Matt Koperniak of Riverwatch Middle School in Georgia joins the show to talk about his school's upcoming performance at the 2017 Midwest Clinic. He also shares his thoughts about music education and tips for other teachers in this very informative episode.
Matt Koperniak is Director of Bands at Riverwatch Middle School in Suwanee, Georgia. Under his direction since 2008, the Riverwatch Band Program has grown from 130 students to a current membership of 650+ students in grades 6-8. The Riverwatch Symphonic Band is a 2017 performing organization at The Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. Recent performances by the Riverwatch Symphonic Band include the National Band Association/CBDNA Southern Division Conference, Music for All National Concert Festival, GMEA In-Service Conference, University of Alabama Honor Band, Southeastern United States Band Clinic, and University of Georgia Midfest. In 2015, the Riverwatch Symphonic Band was featured on “Strike up the Band” on National Public Radio, WABE 90.1. In 2016, the Riverwatch Band Program was the National Blue Ribbon Middle School Program of Excellence recipient from the National Band Association.
Dr. Koperniak is the State Band Chair for the Georgia Music Educators Association. He serves Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia as National Executive Committeeman-at-Large and Chair of the Commission on Standards, and received the national Volunteer of the Year award in 2013. He has presented music education research at the NAfME national research conference, University of Illinois, and Gettysburg College. Dr. Koperniak was the 2012 Teacher of the Year for Riverwatch Middle School, and he was elected to membership in Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity in 2014. He is a 2017 recipient of the UGA Alumni Association’s 40 under 40 award.
Dr. Koperniak received degrees in Music Education from the University of Georgia and Boston University. While at UGA, he served as Drum Major and Band Captain of the Redcoat Marching Band. Prior to his arrival at Riverwatch, previous teaching positions include Jefferson High School and Norcross High School, as well as serving as Music Director of the Classic City Community Band in Athens, GA.
A podcast featuring conversations with teachers, composers, and performers of music for winds and percussion.