Curtis Gaesser has been the band director at Folsom High School in Sacramento, one of the most successful jazz programs in the country, for the past 37 years.
Curtis Gaesser has been teaching in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District since 1984, and at Folsom High School since 1987. He currently teaches Marching Band, 2 Orchestras, Jazz Choir, 3 Jazz Bands, Concert Band, Color Guard, and Drum Line for grade levels 9-12.
Mr. Gaesser was honored as 1995's "Most Outstanding Music Educator" by the California Association for Music Education and was "California State Jazz Educator of the Year" in 2003. In 2017, the California Association for Music Education Capitol Section honored Mr. Gaesser as the "Music Educator of the Year".
In 2008, he was awarded the "Annual National Achievement Award in Jazz Education" by DownBeat Magazine and the "Music Achievement Award" by Sacramento News & Review.
The City of Folsom presented Mr. Gaesser with the "Man of the Year" award in 2001 and the Folsom Chamber of Commerce awarded him the "Outstanding Educator of the Year" title in 2016. He also received the Folsom Cordova Unified School District's "Teacher of the Year" award in 1990 and again in 2011.
But the most important accolade at Folsom High School is the winning philosophy that musical participation presents students some of life's greatest lessons.
To quote Curtis Gaesser, "I don't think there is anything more rewarding than to see kids perform at their best after a lot of hard work. I don't care if we win or lose; I just want these kids to do their best."
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