Donna is currently the director of the Nelson Town Band, a local private teacher and free lance musician. She is also the lead sax player in the Keene Jazz Orchestra, a clarinet player in the Keene Chamber Orchestra and the keyboard/background vocalist in the local band The Nines. She plays clarinet, saxophones, flute, piccolo, and piano.
Donna is from a very musical family and her music education began in Miami more than thirty years ago with piano lessons. She started clarinet in 6th grade, and played in band throughout college. She loves playing clarinet and was able to play in Florida All-state festivals, district festivals, and four years in the Orange Bowl parade.
After college, Donna expanded her woodwind playing to flute and saxophone, studying flute with Shirley Gilpin, formerly of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and Julie Armstrong of the Keene Chamber Orchestra and studying saxophone and applied jazz harmony with Scott Mullett, John Mastriani and Mark Pinto of Boston. She has been in the Keene Jazz Orchestra since 2003 and has performed with Boston’s White Heat Orchestra, Bob Cuniff Orchestra, the Temptations, and the Les DeMerle Big Band on a Caribbean cruise as well as many private gigs in the area. Donna studied jazz piano and harmony with Eugene Uman of the Vermont Jazz Center.
Donna loves to teach private lessons to students of all ages. She has numerous students in the Keene, NH area, at Milford High School, Bellows Falls High School and at Nissitissit Middle School in Pepperell, MA. Many of her students have auditioned and have been accepted for NH All-state, NH Jazz All-State, New England Music Festival, NH Honors Band, and the MA Central District Music Festival.
About 15 years ago Donna began directing the Nelson Town Band. She love the band music repertoire and enjoys the challenge of putting together a piece of music with a group of musicians of different ages and different levels of ability. It has been an incredible experience to conduct such a wonderful group of people.
Donna and her husband Dave reside in Keene, NH. Donna and Dave have two sons, one on each coast. They have lived in Keene since 1996 and find that it is the wonderful people here that help them get through those below zero days!
After 36 years of teaching music, Phil retired in June from Monadnock Regional Middle/High School, where he spent the last 30 years. While at Monadnock, Phil taught theory, jazz, Show Choir, Marching & Concert Band as well as serving as Chairman of the Fine & Performing Arts Department. He also conducted the pit orchestra and was musical director for the school’s musical theater productions, which include West Side Story, Hello Dolly, South Pacific, Shrek, Les Miserables, Beauty & the Beast, Mary Poppins and many, many more.
During those 30 years, his bands competed and performed in New York City, Montreal, Toronto, Williamsburg and made 6 appearances at Disney World in Orlando. Many of his students have gone on to successful music careers as educators and performers. (A former student now holds his position at Monadnock). In 2008, Phil was named Outstanding Band Director of the Year by the New Hampshire Band Director’s Association.
He was a founding member of the Keene Jazz Orchestra and performs annually with the KSC Commencement Brass Ensemble. He is a former member of the Westmoreland Town Band. For the last 20 years, he has served as organist for the Sullivan United Congregational Church.
Born and brought up in the Keene area, Phil studied classical piano from 1964-1972 with Charlotte Beedle. He is a 1979 graduate of Keene State College and studied trombone and euphonium with Douglas Nelson.
Phil and his wife Susan, live in Sullivan and have two children, Sam, 24 and Annie, 19.
Mike is a self-proclaimed “Band Geek” from an early age. Born and raised in Keene, he played percussion through High School and into College and was selected for All State Band honors twice. After being bitten by the Radio bug, he turned his attention to career and family. Mike spent several years working in radio in Keene, both in on air and management roles at WKNE in Keene. After several years of not playing, he once again came back to music when his oldest child was in Phil Crotto’s Marching Band at Monadnock Regional High School. He began a ten year stint as the percussion instructor for the MRHS drum Line. He currently works for Great Eastern Radio as Director of Sales for nine radio stations from Keene to the Upper Valley. Mike resides in Swanzey with his wife Bonnie and has three grown children.
Vicki joined Donna early on and helped launch the Monadnock New Horizons Band. She has been a director and teacher for the band for the last 4 semesters. She is taking on a new position as a case manager for Monadnock Family Services in addition to her band position at St. Joseph's Reg. School so she is going to take a break from MNHB for the 2016-2017 year. We will miss her.
Vicki has been the band, chorus, and music teacher at St. Joseph Regional School in Keene, NH since 2007. Her students can be heard performing at the Keene High School Jazz Invitational, the Kurn Hattin Choral Invitational, Middle Level Honors Band, and many other events. Vicki also performs on trombone in a variety of local groups, including the Keene Jazz Orchestra, the Monadnock Brass Quintet, the Keene Chamber Orchestra, and with the Keene Chorale.
Vicki had an excellent musical upbringing, a product of the nationally recognized Lassiter High School Band program in Marietta, GA. High school performances included the 1988 Rose Bowl Parade, 1989 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, and the 1990 Bands of America Grand Nationals Marching Competition.
Vicki attended the University of Illinois and studied trombone with Elliot Chasanov. Upon receiving her Bachelors Degree in Music Education, Vicki accepted a position in the United States Air Force Heartland of America Band at Offutt AFB, NE. After completing her active duty obligations, Vicki joined the 567th Air National Guard Band of the Northeast at Otis AFB, MA. During this time, she pursued her Masters Degree in Music at the University of Massachusetts where she studied trombone with David Sporny.
Vicki and her family have lived in the Keene area since 1998. Prior to her position at St. Joseph’s, she taught music and band in several regional town schools. Vicki has also taught as an adjunct professor in the music department at Keene State College and Smith College.
In addition to all of her numerous musical activities, Vicki serves on several boards and committees at her church, the United Church of Christ in Keene. She is the Monadnock Region’s volunteer Chairperson for the for the Fresh Air Fund. Vicki also works part-time as a Community Support Specialist for Monadnock Family Services.
Vicki is excited to share her love of music with the Keene community!
Erin and her fiance moved and will not be able to participate in our band this year. We will miss Erin, her fine musicianship and her passionate and often humorous directing. She hopes to find another New Horizons band to work with near her new home.