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Dr. Ronald H. Demkee

Freedom HS
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Ronald Demkee earned his Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Music Education at West Chester State University. After taking additional graduate work at Lehigh University, Muhlenberg College awarded him with an Honorary Doctor of Music in August, 1991. Before retiring from teaching instrumental music for thirty-two years in Pennsylvania public high schools, he conducted the Freedom High School (Bethlehem, Pa) Patriot Band, Orchestra and numerous other instrumental ensembles from the time the school opened in 1967 until 1997, where he was also Chairman of the Fine Arts Department. During his tenure the Patriot Band performed in the nation's most visible parades including The King Orange Jamboree, Cotton Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Aloha Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, two National Cherry Blossom Parades in Washington D.C. and three Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California. Mr. Demkee has served as the Associate Conductor of The Allentown Symphony Orchestra since 1983 where he has worked with conductors Donald Voorhees, William Smith and Diane Witttry. From 1983 to 1994 he conducted all of the orchestra's Young Peoples Concerts, Pops Concerts and Holiday Concerts. He has conducted full performances of "The Nutcracker" for the Berkshire Ballet (MA), the American Ballet Repertory Co. (Princeton, NJ.) and the Lehigh Valley Ballet (PA). He has also led the ASO in concert performances featuring internationally famous artists including: Rudolf Firkusney, Cecile Licad, Robert McDuffie, Young Uck Kin and Joyce Castle of the New York Metropolitan Opera. 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 sixteen volumes of "Our Band Heritage" which have reached listeners in all fifty states and seventeen countries. The Allentown Band, America's oldest civilian concert band has been in existence since 1828 and averages fifty performances each year. Under Mr. Demkee's direction, the band has taken three trips to Europe for concerts in Switzerland and Austria. In addition to conducting high school honor music festivals, Mr. Demkee has served as guest conductor for The U.S. Army Band, The U.S. Army Field Band, The U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point, The U.S. Navy Band, The U.S. Coast Guard Band, The Marine Band of Washington, and The Detroit Concert Band. He was guest conductor for the 1986 Mediterranean Fine Arts Festival hosted by the American Community School in Amman, Jordan. After conducting the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Region V State Orchestra in February, 1998, Mr. Demkee traveled to the Sultanate of Oman and served for three weeks as guest conductor for His Majesty's Royal Guard Band and the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Demkee has recently been appointed to the Advisory Board of the World Music Showcase in Bern, Switzerland. Mr. Demkee is the recipient of a number of awards including: The National Band Association's "Citation of Excellence," The National High School Band Directors' "Hall of Fame, " The John Philip Sousa Foundation's "Sudler Legion of Honor," and The Allentown (PA) Arts Ovation Award for "Outstanding Achievements in the Performing Arts." In 1986 he was elected into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association.