Douglas Droste named Yamaha Master Educator

Yamaha Master Educator Program Inspires, Empowers and Equips Music Directors to Achieve Their Full Potential


INDIANAPOLIS (November 2, 2016) — Reinforcing its longstanding commitment to music education, Yamaha Corporation of America has launched the Yamaha Master Educator Program, an exciting new initiative that will provide inspiring professional development opportunities and artistic music collaborations for music educators at the local, state and national levels. 

“Many band and orchestra directors nationwide have asked us for support to improve and elevate their effectiveness as teachers,” says John Wittmann, director, Artist Relations and Education, Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis. “With their needs in mind, we formed an all-star group of educators with the skills, expertise, and the heart for inspiring and empowering music teachers at all levels – elementary school, high school, college and beyond.”

The Yamaha Master Educator program is designed to complement the Yamaha Performing Artist roster, and add dimension to the company’s teacher support capability. While the world-class roster of Yamaha Performing Artists conducts more than 600 clinics annually, the renowned Master Educator team will play a complementary, yet pivotal role, by sharing their expertise to help educators stay motivated – and challenged – to fulfill their teaching potential.

Offering multiple benefits for teachers, the program will also provide educators with access to experts who can work with their teaching teams on-site during staff development days. Now, teachers at every level of instruction can enjoy access to a diverse group of experts who can advise them on everything from recruitment in the middle schools, to the most advanced conducting techniques. Teachers can also explore an online “menu” of topics to view the specific areas of each Master Educator’s expertise. 

In addition, Yamaha Master Educators will take part in speaking and conducting appointments with state Music Education Associations; district meetings for music teachers and fine arts departments, district-wide in-service days; and clinics at middle schools, high schools, colleges and conservatories.

“The Yamaha Band and Orchestra division is not only committed to offering musical instruments of high quality and exceptional value, but also to providing abundant educational resources and tangible support for music educators,” says Richard Floyd, State Director of Music Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin. “The launch of the Yamaha Master Educators project is a profound commitment to that initiative. This visionary assembly of 18 of the country’s most recognized and distinguished conductor/teachers will quickly become a priceless resource for a broad spectrum of music educators nationwide. Once again, Yamaha has raised the bar in the arena of educational support.”

 The premiere roster of Yamaha Master Music Educators features a diverse range of distinguished academics, clinicians, consultants and authors, including:

Mr. Daniel Berard – Director of Bands at Fossil Ridge High School (Fort Collins, Colorado)

Dr. Travis J. Cross – Associate Professor of Music and Wind Ensemble Conductor, at the University of California, (Los Angeles, California)

Dr. Rodney Dorsey – Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Conducting at the University of Oregon (Eugene, Oregon)

Mr. Douglas Droste – Director of Orchestras at Ball State University and Artistic Director, Muncie Symphony Orchestra (Muncie, Indiana)

Mr. Richard Floyd – State Director of Music Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin and Music Director, Austin Symphonic Band (Austin, Texas) 

Ms. Cheryl Floyd – Director of Bands at Hill Country Middle School (Austin, Texas)

Mr. Kevin Ford – Director of the Leadership Conservatory for the Arts at Tarpon Springs High School (Tarpon Springs, Florida) 

Mr. Larry Gookin – Distinguished Professor and Emeritus Professor of Music, Central Washington University (Ellensburg, Washington)

Mr. Michael Haithcock – Director, University Bands and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Conducting at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan) 

Mr. Jerry Junkin – Director of Bands and Professor of Instrumental Conducting at the University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas) 

Mr. Craig Kirchhoff – Former Professor of Music and Director Emeritus of University Bands at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Mr. Gary Lewis – Director of Orchestras and Bob and Judy Charles Professor of Conducting at the University of Colorado Boulder (Boulder, Colorado) 

Mr. Anthony Maiello – Professor of Music and University Professor at George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia)

Dr. Kevin Sedatole – Professor of Music, Director of Bands, Michigan State University College of Music (Lansing, Michigan)

Mr. David Starnes – Assistant Professor and Director of Athletic Bands at Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, North Carolina)

Dr. Emily Threinen – Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Mrs. Marguerite Wilder – Middle School Conductor, Clinician and Consultant, (Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia)

Mr. John Madden – Associate Professor of Music, Associate Director of Bands and Director of the Spartan Marching Band, Michigan State University College of Music (East Lansing, Michigan)

For more information about Yamaha Music Education, please visit


About Yamaha

Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is one of the largest subsidiaries of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, sound reinforcement, commercial installation and home entertainment products to the U.S. market. Products include: Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products and NEXO commercial audio products, as well as AV receivers, amplifiers, MusicCast wireless multiroom audio systems, Blu-ray/CD players, earphones, headphones, home-theater-in-a-box systems, sound bars and its exclusive line of Digital Sound Projectors. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology and entertainment products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, music, professional audio installation and consumer markets.

Douglas Droste




Director of Orchestras, Ball State University

Artistic Director, Muncie Symphony Orchestra




Conductor Douglas Droste is recognized as possessing “obvious joy” for making music and a “sure sense of timing” when on the podium. Those under his baton routinely acknowledge his in-depth interpretations, keen sense of communication, and personable ability to empower musicians. Droste is Director of Orchestras at Ball State University and Artistic Director of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra. 

At Ball State, Droste conducts the Ball State Symphony Orchestra (BSSO), opera performances, and oversees the orchestral conducting program. In addition to standard repertoire, the BSSO seeks unique collaborations, including a dual performance of the Nutcracker Suites by Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington; the first live performance of Oliver Nelson’s The Kennedy Dream since the original recording release in 1967 (both with the Ball State Jazz Ensemble); and the Langston Hughes Project: Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz, with jazz pedagogue, Ron McCurdy. The BSSO performed at the 2016 Indiana Music Education Association Conference.


As Artistic Director of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, Droste has been praised for his dynamic leadership and innovative programming. He has conducted performances of Scott Routenberg’s Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra featuring Christian Howes; Michael Shapiro and Victor Cheng’s Identity: Zhongshang Zhuang, Concerto for Guzheng and Orchestra featuring Su Chang; and recently commissioned Joe Deninzon’s Dream Diary: Concerto for Seven-String Electric Violin and Orchestra. Droste has also led passionate performances of traditional repertoire such as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Debussy’s La Mer, Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, and Saint-Saens’ Symphony No. 3.


Believing that community engagement is critical for orchestras, Droste has helped establish new concerts such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Concert, a Sensory Friendly concert for children with special needs, a Toddler Pops concert, and co-created/produced the popular Young People’s Concert, “Music is Science!” Droste continues to program accessible pops concerts with artists such as Time for Three, the Ball State University “Pride of Mid-America” Marching Band, and local blues/gospel singer-songwriter, Jennie DeVoe.


In 2014, Droste and jazz violinist Christian Howes were invited by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to perform and teach as part of an ongoing cultural exchange and engagement. Droste guest conducted the INSO-Lviv Symphony Orchestra in a goodwill concert entitled Music from the New World and gave a conducting masterclass to young Ukrainian conductors. Other recent guest conducting includes the orchestras of Columbus, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Midland-Odessa, and the Amarillo Virtuosi, performing as violin/leader on Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1. He will also serve as a cover conductor for the Kansas City Symphony. Demonstrating his versatility, Droste has conducted pops concerts with artists such as Ben Folds, The Flaming Lips, Pink Martini, Michael Cavanaugh, John Pizzarelli, and Emily Drennan. 


A dedicated advocate of music education, Droste regularly conducts youth orchestras and presents in-service conference sessions throughout the country. He is active as a clinician and adjudicator for school orchestras and festivals, and is affiliated with organizations such as Yamaha, Music For All, American String Teachers Association, and Festival Disney.


A talented violinist, Droste has performed with the orchestras of Fort Wayne, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Nashville, Memphis, Lubbock, and the Lancaster Festival (OH). He is a former student of John Gilbert and the late Michael Davis. Droste is also skilled on viola and trumpet, and has sung with a variety of choral ensembles.


Droste has held positions at Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Oklahoma Youth Symphony, Austin Peay State University, and Liberty Union-Thurston School District (OH). Droste studied conducting at the Pierre Monteux School, the Oregon Bach Festival with Helmuth Rilling, as well as at other prominent conducting seminars. His primary conducting mentors include Gary Lewis, Larry Rachleff, and Michael Jinbo. Droste holds degrees from The Ohio State University and Texas Tech University.






Workshop Topics

For school directors

Guest conductor/clinician for all-state and regional orchestras

Adjudicating festival events

As a violinist

String pedagogy, creating a full and rich sound with good bow weight, speed, and placement

As a trumpet player

Overall blend with young full orchestras

Clinician and conductor for all levels of orchestra