National Band Directors’ Day

National Band Directors' Day

To celebrate National Band Directors’ Day, our school services team is shining a spotlight on several band directors who are recognized for their exceptional dedication and support in education. 

From fostering a love for music in students to overcoming challenges, these stories capture the essence of what makes educators truly remarkable.

Seth Riehl

Anna S. Kuhl Elementary School
Nominated by Andy Ladue, Educational Representative

Every year, Seth Riehl takes all 100 of his students to a Broadway play. On top of that, he seats them right up front to ensure they’re completely immersed in the performance and have the best experience possible. Seth’s intrepid spirit and dedication to high standards are also evident in the classroom. Even though his classroom is undergoing construction, he’s succeeded in creating a space for lessons and full band rehearsals in part of the cafeteria. Seth truly embodies the idea of making something from nothing, all while maintaining great focus and a smile on his face.

Seth Riehl

Samantha Maltagliati

Sandalwood High School
Nominated by Chelsey Roberts, Educational Representative

Although Samantha Maltagliati is in her first year as a high school band director, her program’s achievements suggest years of experience. She’s led her students to earn top ratings in marching, jazz, and concert performance assessments. Beyond these accolades, Samantha’s true strength lies in her unwavering commitment to her students. Her classroom is a warm, structured, and organized environment that enables her 120+ students to feel valued and included.

Samantha also goes above and beyond typical expectations for a high school band director. She provides numerous performance opportunities and is actively involved in the “Drum Major Leadership Academy,” a leading virtual platform for leadership and conducting education in marching arts. Samantha’s expertise also extends to presenting at conferences like the Tennessee Music Educator Association Conference and the Alabama Bandmasters Association Summer Conference. Her topics, “Building Your Dream Marching Ensemble” and “Developing A Higher Performing Student Leadership Team,” showcase her innovative approach to music education.

Samantha embodies the top qualities sought after in music educators: creativity, engagement, passion, kindness, and musical prowess. Her contributions make her a beacon of excellence in the field of music education, and it’s truly an honor to collaborate with her.

Samantha Maltagliati

Richard Gordon

Sycamore JHS
Nominated by Jason Squire, Educational Representative

Richard Gordon is a dedicated band director who made significant strides despite the challenges of the Covid era. As part of his efforts, he crafted an exceptional curriculum on YouTube which has garnered nearly 23,000 subscribers to date. His channel is now an established hub of musical inspiration and learning, providing a go-to resource for students and educators alike. Through his engaging videos, John has adapted to the digital landscape and enriched the music community with innovative teaching methods and a love for music that transcends obstacles. His commitment to music education is truly commendable, making him a standout figure on National Band Directors’ Day.

Richard Gordon

Debbie Hutson

Northwest Christian School
Nominated by Jim Winslow, School Services Regional Director

Debbie Hutson’s illustrious career spans over 30 years as a dedicated band director in the Phoenix, AZ area. In her roles as part of the Alhambra ESD, Deer Valley SD, and currently at NWCS, Debbie consistently delivers exceptional music programs. Her commitment to her students shines through in everything she does—from playing with outside groups to hosting an annual winter holiday concert in her driveway where her full band delights the neighborhood.

Debbie’s impact even extends beyond her current students. She actively looks for ways to contribute to her school and greater community, including mentoring future educators by involving student teachers from local colleges. Debbie’s dedication and passion make her a true oasis in the Arizona desert, nurturing a love for music and education that has a real and lasting impact.

Debbie Hutson

It is our great pleasure to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the music educators we work with. There isn’t enough time to recognize all the inspiring people we know and appreciate, but know that we see you and value everything you do for your students and for music. We can’t wait to see the boundaries you push and everything you accomplish in the coming year.

Interested in learning more? Join our Educator Newsletter!



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