Ohio State Fair officials have announced that Brian W. Dodd of Bladensburg in Knox County has been named as director of the All-Ohio State Fair Band.
As director, Dodd will have a variety of responsibilities throughout the year as well as during the 2016 Fair. He will recruit, prepare and manage a talented ensemble of more than 200 high school musicians selected to represent Ohio's diverse population in the famed All-Ohio State Fair Band. Dodd is entering his 10th year as an All-Ohio State Fair Band staff member and first as director.
Dodd is a graduate of Philo High School in Muskingum County and The Ohio State University. He holds an Honorary Chapter FFA Degree and has received the Honor to Educator Awards from West Holmes Schools six times. Mr. Dodd is a recipient of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award and was named Teacher of the Year two times for the East Knox Schools. Prior to his time at West Holmes, Mr. Dodd served as a member of the Adjunct Music Faculty at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and spent 14 years as Director of Music at East Knox High School.
“I am really honored and excited for this opportunity to continue serving the All-Ohio State Fair Band as Director,” an enthusiastic Dodd explained. “I look forward to building on the traditions established by Mr. Santa-Emma and the other fine directors that came before me. I am excited to work with the students from fine music programs from across our wonderful state as they continue to grow – both as musicians and positive leaders. It is with excitement that I accept this role as I eagerly look forward to the band’s performances at the 2016 Ohio State Fair.”
Dodd is in his 31st year as a high school band director and educator, and is in his 17th year as director of bands at West Holmes High School in Millersburg where he currently directs 235 students in the school’s two concert bands, jazz band, pep band, marching band and percussion ensemble. His bands have performed throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. and Florida, and regularly perform for the Cleveland Cavaliers. His students participate in
numerous honor bands throughout the state including the All-Ohio State Fair Band and Youth Choir, in which he has had members for the past 31 years.
Dodd is a member of Ohio Music Education Association and served as district chairman and host of OMEA District 10 Large Group Adjudicated Event. He remains active as a performer in the North Central Ohio area and is a member of American Federation of Musicians Local #159. He and his wife Lori currently reside in Bladensburg.
In September, former All-Ohio State Fair Band Director Donald F. Santa-Emma of Rocky River in Cuyahoga County announced his retirement after serving on the band’s staff for 42 years and spending the last 17 years as director.
The All-Ohio State Fair Band has been a featured attraction of the Ohio State Fair since 1925. The band selects approximately 200 superior high school musicians for membership annually based on a number of factors including student ability and recommendation from their local band directors. Participating students gain a unique musical and educational experience, as well as an opportunity to build many lasting friendships during a two-week stay at the Ohio State Fair. The All-Ohio State Fair Band arrives at the Ohio Expo Center just days before the Fair opens, learning all of their music in a limited time. They remain housed on-site and perform nearly 100 times during the 12-day Fair.
Donald F. Santa-Emma, Director of the All-Ohio State Fair Band, has announced his retirement after serving on the staff for 42 years with the last 17 years as director.
Unbeknown to fairgoers and supporters, Santa-Emma quietly took his final bow as director at the conclusion of the 2015 Ohio State Fair. During his tenure, he compassionately worked with thousands of Ohio's finest high school musicians, allowing them to showcase their talents at thousands of concerts. His leadership, wisdom and diplomacy have provided stability over the years, guiding the All-Ohio State Fair Band and leaving a lasting mark on the State Fair.
"It is with great sadness that I accept Mr. Santa-Emma’s announcement,” explained General Manager Virgil Strickler. “Don has shown such an immense amount of passion toward the All-Ohio State Fair Band, empowering each and every one of its youth members with an outstanding musical education, a positive Fair experience and a devoted sense of community spirit. While I am saddened to see him go, I am proud of the legacy of excellence that Don has left behind.”
The Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame member joined the staff in 1974 when he received a frantic phone call from the director of the All-Ohio State Fair Band at the time, Omar Blackman. Blackman urged the hesitant Santa-Emma to join the band staff as an assistant director as a vacancy needed to be filled immediately.
Through the years he has been a steady force as a leader within the organization. Whether serving in his previous roles as Assistant Director, Administrative Assistant, or Director, his foremost focus was on the band members. He desired a high quality music experience for the members while working to create a welcoming and professional environment in which the members would grow as young citizens of Ohio. Mr. Santa-Emma knew that the AOSFB provided the right arena for high school students to grow and develop and he did all that he could to set the stage so that each member could maximize the opportunity and experience.
Mr. Santa-Emma received his undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University and his Master's Degree from Austin Peay State University. He engaged in doctoral course work at the University of Kentucky. Mr. Santa-Emma served as Director of Fine Arts Education for the Cleveland Public Schools where he supervised over 200 teachers. He has received numerous citations and awards, including The Distinguished Service Award for Music Education from The Ohio State University, The Industry Service Award from the Ohio Music Education Association, and The Hall of Fame of his high school, West Technical High School. He was recipient of the Martha Holden Jennings Teacher/Leader Award and a Master Teacher Citation from The Cleveland Public Schools. He is President Emeritus of the 1,000 member Cleveland Federation of Musicians, Local 4, American Federations of Musicians and he continues to serve as music contractor for Cleveland's Playhouse Square, America's second largest performing arts center.
It has been said that Mr. Santa-Emma "helped the band through changing times and guided theorganization to new levels of achievement. He deserves the utmost respect for his leadership and contributions to the All-Ohio State Fair Band and Music Education." Without a doubt, Mr. Santa-Emma led the AOSFB in the spirit of previous directors - Jack Wainwright, Louis Pete, Jack Evans and Omar Blackman, as he carried forward many traditions in respect of the organization's deep history. At the same time, he encouraged and managed change which allowed the band to excel while meeting the needs of today's youth.
Along with Santa-Emma’s retirement comes the departure of his “right hand,” Patricia Santa-Emma, who has been beloved by band staff and members for her unmatched support of the organization - from stuffing envelopes to answering countless calls from members and parents. She has greatly impacted the organization you hear at the Ohio State Fair.
Plans are being made to honor Mr. Santa-Emma at the Ohio State Fair in 2016. Watch aosfb.com for more details and info.
Thank you Mr. Santa-Emma for touching the lives of many through your distinguished and dedicated time with the All-Ohio State Fair Band . . .take a well-deserved bow with an extra round of applause from the entire AOSFB Family!
The new year brings us a new banner - 2 of them actually, one each for Black & Red Band. Plus we'll have tall wind banners at our concert sites for all sit down concerts.
Sure, the AOSFB members are still at home and packing....but that doesn't mean it's quiet for the staff or at Rhodes Center.
Jim "Tank" Esswein and Mr. Santa-Emma continue to work on music. Mr. Santa-Emma has brought back a few pieces from the library, added a few of his selections and welcomed new suggestions from the music staff. We understand that Mr. Dodd has a piece or two that worked well for his band at West Holmes that you might hear at the Fair this year. Thanks to Dakota Parrish and Alumni Committee Member, Andy Brubaker for assisting Tank in the monumental task of putting the music folders together.
Meanwhile, Lisa, Ed & Megan Gallagher along with Melissa Spangler and Jennifer McDowell took on the annual task of assigning bunks, labeling bunk tags, and prepping the parent packets. It took just under 3 hours to assign bunks to each band member. It may sound easy, but the staff takes health concerns, instrument, veteran status and more when placing each member in their bunk.
Cleaning day takes place tomorrow and it has become an annual tradition for the staff, alums, friends and even current members. We'll be at Rhodes Center at 12:15 with pizza and we'll begin the cleaning shortly after with the plan to wrap-up no later than 4pm. By then the mattresses will be cleaned, bunks tagged, the rooms shined up and the office ready to go! Come on down and join us for some fun.
The AOSFB is headed to the City of Ashland this year.....mark your calendar for Thursday, August 6 @ 8pm when the Band plays at the Guy C. Myers Memorial Band Shell.
Directed by Donald F. Santa-Emma since 1998 and founded in 1925, the band is made up of musicians from throughout Ohio. This special event is sponsored by Ashland Bicentennial Committee to honor the formation of the Band shell’s concert series. The band’s last appearance here was July 31, 2003 when Louis E. “Doc” Pete, Ashland’s Mr. Music, influential musician and beloved music teacher, was again honored for his past contributions to Ashland’s music scene and the construction of the Guy C. Myers Memorial Band Shell. This performance is a wonderful addition to our series in celebration of Ashland’s Bicentennial. Special thanks to Larry Hiner.
Enjoy the day by listening to The Stars and Stripes Forever as performed by the All-Ohio State Fair Band.
As you may know, the DiSalle Center and the former Model Train/Heritage Crafts Buildings have been torn down to be replaced with a 100,000+ square foot exhibit hall building. As you can imagine, the results of the loss of space has created a domino effect for numerous events!
This largest change for the AOSFB is that the Rhodes Center Auditorium, our rehearsal home for decades, will not be available as it will be used for Fine Arts and Arts & Craft Displays that used to be in DiSalle. Flexibility is key at the Fair so the Band is going on the road for every rehearsal. Our new home will be in the Buckeye Building. Most recently the building has been used as The Buckeye Sports Complex and years ago it housed exhibitors and many state agencies.
Everyday we'll be marching to and from rehearsal as we get prepped for the 2015 Ohio State Fair.
The final instructions have been mailed to all members in good standing for the 2015 All-Ohio State Fair Band. Members and parents should spend some time reading the information and schedule that was enclosed. There are numerous changes and tweaks to the way we have done many things over the years......many exciting things on the horizon for AOSFB '15!
Click here for the final instructions.
The applications are in the mail for the 2015 All-Ohio State Fair Band. They were mailed to members of the 2014 AOSFB who were in good standing and to well over 900 high schools throughout Ohio.
Click here to download the entire packet that was mailed.
The Rhodes Center was filled with activity on Saturday the 5th of July. It was exciting to see 29 people there - members of the Alumni Association Executive Comittee, alums, band members, parents and staff members - working together to get the dorms, office and equipment ready for the upcoming Fair. All three floors of the dorms were swept and mopped, all percussion and sound equipment cleaned, music stands and podium steps spray painted, all bolts tightened on the chairs, bunks moved and tagged, and the office door painted blue (just like it had been for years)....and more.
Many thanks to the cleaners who traveled made the trip to Columbus and dedicated 4 hours each to the goal of helping the band and staff start off the year right.
. . . . . . 13 days until the first notes of rehearsal
The Rhodes Center has seen some great changes this year...including new sinks throughout the entire building and restroom stalls being installed in the men's restrooms. Thanks the State Fair staff and Fair Commission to making the funds available for these upgrades.
. . . . . . 40days until the first notes of rehearsal
This weekend we have overcome some technical challenges and did for some cleaning-up around aosfb.com. Time to get ready as we head toward July 19.
As you get ready for the Fair why not join us on Twitter @aosfb or sign up for the eNews that will become a regular visitor in your inbox over the next few weeks. There is now an @aosfb account on Instagram as well!
Join us on Facebook, too!
Stop back everyday for up to date info and inside details about the 2014 Ohio State Fair.
. . . . . . 41 days until the first notes of rehearsal
It's time to expand your wardrobe with AOSFB Gear by AOSFB partner - The Identity Group. So, Mom & Dad, current band members and, of course, AOSFB Alums check out the link below to see what's in the store . . . gray and red polos & t-shirts, bags, fleece sweatshirts and more!
As usual, the folks at The Identity Group will embroider your purchase with instrument or year to make it a great souvenir to wear during and after the State Fair.
Alums often get their years of membership added and new moms and dads have been getting AOSFB Mom or AOSFB Dad on their shirts.
Click on the logo below to check it all out.
You might also consider Identity Group for al of your corporate clothing and other branded items needs.
It is with much sadness that the news of Ed Siennicki's passing is shared. The much beloved music educator, composer and former AOSFB Assistant Dircetor passed away on May 3, 2014. He touched many over the years as a teacher in the Cleveland Schools and during his time in Columbus with The Band. We can't thank him enough for sharing his pieces such as Flowers for Teresa, Flight Over Niagar, and the beloved Bile Them Cabbage Down. A note to current Band members - this is where the "Cabbage" comes form when we play Big Band Polka! You may visit his obituary here.