July–everything changes once we get to July.  Most of the Academies shift from the southern states to the northern states, and that means the faces of the staff changes as well.  Our staff in the south are made up mostly of band directors and once we get to July it is time for them to return to “real life” and get ready for their respective band camps.  But that’s alright because our northern staff just FINISHED the school year at the end of June and they are now ready to join the proverbial band wagon and work through the conclusion of the workshop season.

When we arrive at Kutztown there is an anticipation among us.  An anticipation of enjoyment and laughter — something that is always present at all the Academies because if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, why do it? — but with the change in staff comes a change in personality.  And let us just say one word:  Coogan!  Michael Coogan, band director from Massachusetts, has finished his school year and rejoins the DMA circuit.  And where there is Michael there is laughter!

Add to Michael the likes of Brian Stellato (NY Band Director) and you have the case of the dynamic duo!  And when these two join the ranks of all the others (Justin McAdams, Erin Cooper, Kerstin Becker, and Matt Kurilla–all educators in PA or MA — and of course, Mr. Parks,  you have one incredibly powerful DMA staff!

140 students partook in a week of hard work, intense learning and a few very good belly laughs with some of the best teachers in the northeast.  And of course, there were the march offs.  Winners included:

Hilary Wehry, Tri -Valley HS in PA
Jessica Binney, Dunellen HS in NJ
Marlowe Estilko, Coghlin HS in PA
Britany Elmes, Berwick HS in PA
Jacob Kempf, Allentown, PA
Jon Yu of Freedom, PA

Congratulations to all of you!!!   See you in 2010 Kutztown.