Educational Support Manager, Northeast Region
Walt Straiton has blended a distinguished career in education, business, and professional performance. A graduate of Millersville University (PA) and the Eastman School of Music, he also pursued Doctoral Study in music education at the Pennsylvania State University. Walt served as Director of Orchestras and Assistant Director of Marching Bands at Williamsport Area High School in PA for 26 years, and was honored to be the recipient of a coveted John F. Kennedy Center Fellowship for Teachers in the Arts, as well as a finalist for “Teacher of the Year” in the nationally-televised Walt Disney Corporation’s “American Teacher Awards”. In 2003, Walt joined Yamaha Corporation of America assuming management of the Yamaha “Music in Education” system in 2003 Institutional Solutions Group of Yamaha’s Keyboard Division through 2015.
A professional saxophonist, violinist, and jazz pianist, Walt has been recognized as a national leader in the movement to bring both standard and contemporary jazz repertoire to the American symphony orchestra, He remains active as a guest conductor and adjudicator for student festival orchestras throughout the country, including appearances with All-State Orchestras in Florida, Vermont, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia. Published articles to his credit include such topics comprehensive orchestral program development, conducting, and music technology, and have appeared in the Jazz Education Journal, American String Teachers Journal, and the Technology Institute for Music Education.
Walt has produced and conducted numerous multi-genre concert events featuring a variety of contemporary pop/jazz artists, including Chris Botti, Bob James, Burt Bacharach, Michael Cavanaugh, David Benoit, Maynard Ferguson, Chuck Mangione, Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton, Phil Woods, The Captain and Tennille, The Spinners, Patti Austin, Neil Sedaka, Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, The Empire Brass Quintet, and Bobby Rydell. Beginning in 2010, Walt served as the founding Artistic Director of the Corona (CA) Symphony Orchestra prior to his return to the east coast in 2013. Professional guest conducting appearances include the New World Symphony Orchestra (Miami Beach, FL), the United States Air Force Symphony Orchestra, the Champaign-Urbana (IL) Symphony Orchestra, and the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra (PA).
Our Educational Support Team is available to deliver customized strategies to assist YOU with: Financial Planning & Leasing Options, Strategic Planning, Instrument Inventory Management, and Clinics and Professional Development.