Ronald Demkee, Adult Band Conductor

Adult Band Conductor, 2024

Ronald Demkee joined The Allentown Band in 1964 as the featured tuba soloist and was elected conductor in 1977. Under his direction, the band has recorded thirty volumes of the highly acclaimed "Our Band Heritage" series, which have reached listeners in all fifty states and twenty-three foreign countries. These recordings are now available in CD and digital format from Naxos, i-Tunes and Amazon. Mr. Demkee has served as guest conductor for the Army Band, Army Field Band, Military Academy Band at West Point, Navy Band, Coast Guard Band, Marine Band, Air Force Heritage of America Band, and the Air Force Band. Furthermore, he served as Assistant Conductor for Leonard B. Smith’s famous Detroit Concert Band where he conducted the band for Mr. Smith’s cornet solos in live performances as well as the highly praised “Gems of the Concert Band” recordings.

Mr. Demkee earned his Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Music Education at West Chester (Pennsylvania) University. In 1991 Muhlenberg College awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Music. After teaching in the public schools for thirty-two years, Demkee continued to teach in the music departments of both Muhlenberg and Moravian Colleges for another eighteen years, culminating with fifty years of teaching from the elementary to collegiate levels.

Mr. Demkee is the recipient of several awards including:

  • The 2024 Association of Concert Bands Outstanding Conductor Award acknowledging “conducting skills, musicality, community contributions and educational foresight,”
  • The National Band Association's "Citation of Excellence,"
  • The John Philip Sousa Foundation's "Sudler Legion of Honor," and
  • The Allentown (Pennsylvania) “Arts Ovation Award” for Outstanding Achievements in the Performing Arts.

In 2005 the Allentown Arts Council presented its first Lifetime Achievement Award to Demkee. He is an inductee of the “National High School Band Directors’ Hall of Fame” and has been a member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association since 1986. He serves on the Advisory Boards of both the National High School Band Directors’ Hall of Fame and the Association of Concert Bands.

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