The Bandmaster’s Podcast, Episode 37: Bill Jastrow, Retired, Indian Prairie School District 204, IL. Bill Jastrow discusses comprehensive musicianship, organizing a school district’s music program, and the caring and “feeding” of the young percussionist.
Spanning 41 years, William Jastrow’s teaching experience ranges from a community high school with an enrollment of 450 students, to Neuqua Valley H.S. with an enrollment exceeding 4,000, to the position of Music Education Coordinator for Indian Prairie School District 204, a unit district comprising 33 schools and 29,500 students. Teaching and conducting responsibilities at Neuqua Valley included concert bands, jazz ensembles, marching band, and the Klangfarben Percussion Ensembles. Jastrow holds degrees in music education from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University.
A frequent Illinois All-State and NAfME clinician, as well as a district and all-state festival conductor, Jastrow served the Illinois Music Education Association Board of Directors as Band Division President and State President. As an executive officer, Jastrow assumed a leading role in the development of a Leadership Conference for exemplary music educators, a Future Music Educators Symposium for high school students, and an All-State Percussion Ensemble. As past president, Jastrow was active in promoting a statewide survey on the status of music education, contributed to the planning of “Dream Out Loud”, a joint advocacy initiative with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Yamaha, and authored numerous articles on the vital role that music should play as part of a comprehensive education for all students.
Over his career, Jastrow’s bands have performed for the University of Illinois Superstate Festival, the NBA National Convention, the West Sussex International Youth Music Festival, and the Liberty, Outback, and Fiesta Bowl festivals and parades, as well as for international audiences in Canada, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, and the People’s Republic of China. During his tenure, Neuqua Valley H.S. was recognized as the Kennedy Center National School of Distinction in Fine Arts Education and was a multiple recipient of the Grammy Signature Gold and National Signature School Award. A 2011 inductee into the Phi Beta Mu Illinois Bandmasters Hall of Fame, Jastrow is a recipient of the John Paynter Lifetime Achievement Award, Illinois State Board of Education “Those Who Excel” Recognition, ILMEA Distinguished Service Award, and NAfME Excellence in Teaching Music Award.
Special thanks to my friend and colleague Scott Barnas for taking the lead on this episode!
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