Former director of bands at Eastern Illinois University and current CEO and founder of the non-profit Music Guerrilla, Milt Allen joins me to speak about his own career and his views of music education and the band world.
Dr. Milt Allen has worked with hundreds of schools and thousands of students, directors and community members during his career. He is often credited as being one of the most creative, innovative, inspiring and non-traditional music educators today. Conductor, clinician, speaker, author and tireless advocate on behalf of music education, his passion for reaching more musicians at a grass-roots level drove him to leave a 26-year career in education, including 17 years in the public school, to step outside the traditional rehearsal room to create The Music Guerrilla, allowing him – and eventually others – to harness the power of music through whatever avenues available. In so doing, “Doc” is also able to create a means to reach out to programs in need, as well as partnering with music programs in third-world countries, most recently in Rwanda, Zambia and Haiti.
Milt brings a rare perspective to his roles as MG President and Executive Director. His cross-genre music interests effectively combine with previous teaching positions in rural/suburban, large/small and public/parochial environments to create a truly unique ability to connect to those he serves. His experiences range from teaching beginning band in a boiler room to premiering new works at the university level, to working with young African musicians learning to play an instrument. Yet always, from Glasgow, Scotland to Zambia, Africa, and at regional, state, national and international conferences, Milt’s humor, passion and experience combine to illuminate the possibilities of both music and the live art of performance.
Milt’s articles and insights have appeared in music, parenting and educational magazines as well as various newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angels Times and the Chicago Tribune. He is also the author of Music, Artistry, and Education: A Journey Towards Musical Growth and Enlightenment, published by Meredith Music Publications/Hal Leonard. Dr. Allen’s online venture: “Milt’s Music Minute,” continues to gain in popularity, providing quick information and helpful hints for both music directors and parents.
Ensembles under Doc’s direction have received numerous awards at local, state and national levels including recognition by the United States Congress for Musical Excellence. He is a two-time high school Teacher of the Year, a Kansas Teacher of the Year Semi-Finalist, and is listed in various Who’s Who publications. Other honors and distinctions include 5 awards from the Ohio State University School of Music recognizing his teaching and service and selection as a Conducting Fellow for the Eastman Wind Ensemble’s 40th Anniversary. In 2008, Dr. Allen became the first civilian in the history of the United States Air Force to tour as a featured conductor (USAF Heritage of America Band) and received an Eastern Illinois University Achievement and Contribution Award.
A podcast featuring conversations with teachers, composers, and performers of music for winds and percussion.
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