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In this episode, I speak with Greg Scapillato and Keith Ozsvath. They’re the coordinators of the brand new MFA middle school track at the 2016 Music For All Summer Symposium.
We’ll talk about how Keith and Greg met and where their careers have taken them. We discuss the challenges they face as middle school band directors, like recruiting, retention and burnout. They also share why they saw a need for a camp like the MFA middle school camp, as well as their approach to designing the event from scratch.
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About this week’s guests
Keith Ozsvath is passionate about teaching music, professional development, and integrating technology. He joined the music faculty at Rotolo Middle School in Batavia, Illinois, in 2000 and teaches the 8th Grade Band, Jazz Ensemble, and the Symphonic Band. Mr. Ozsvath is an active adjudicator and clinician in the Chicago area. He is a member of the American School Band Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, been recognized twice by “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” and is an Eagle Scout. He has been an Illinois Summer Youth Music conductor at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Additionally, he has presented sessions at the National Middle School Association Conference, Illinois Music Educators All-State Conference, and at VanderCook College of Music. Keith currently teaches two VanderCook MECA classes: Tech Tools for the Music Educator and an online class, You Made This! Website Design & Creation for Music Educators. Mr. Ozsvath also authors a blog, www.teachingbandandmore.com, which provides practical teaching ideas for music educators.
Greg Scapillato teaches band in Northbrook District 28 (IL), conducting the Wind Ensemble and teaching lessons grades 4-8. Mr. Scapillato strives to create meaningful musical experiences for students in his care. While teaching the Beginning Band, he introduced a demonstration concert designed to improve parent investment and engagement. The NBJH Wind Ensemble, under Mr. Scapillato’s direction, has benefitted from special performance opportunities, including joint concerts with professional ensembles and service-based performances such as the local Veterans’ Day Ceremony. Mr. Scapillato also initiated a biennial alumni concert to connect students to those with a life-long love of music performance. In addition to music-related pursuits, Mr. Scapillato enjoys developing his expertise with technology and its integration to accelerate student learning. Success is not a solo adventure: Mr. Scapillato is grateful for supportive colleagues, friends, and family. He calls Arlington Heights, Illinois, home with his wife, son, and an incorrigible Golden Retriever.