Don Bennett has been a music educator for over 30 years, most of those at the high school level. His schools’ concert bands, jazz bands and choirs have performed frequently in provincial and national music festivals, receiving excellent reviews. Students of his have been regularly selected for Provincial and National Honour Bands and Choirs, and several have been chosen to participate in the American High School Honours Performance Series ensembles, performing in Carnegie Hall. Dozens of former students have pursued careers as professional musicians and/or music teachers, but he is most gratified when he hears of many more who have continued to be involved in musical activities for leisure and recreation.
Don has held long-time memberships in the BC and Canadian Music Educators’ Associations as well as several other professional music education organizations. He has served on the executive of the BCMEA and the Pacific Coast Music Festivals Association, and has presented workshops for teachers on brass pedagogy, instrumental music teaching, assessment and conducting. He currently serves as Fine Arts Coordinator for the Kamloops Thompson School District.
Completing a BMus degree as a trombonist at the University of British Columbia, and a MEd degree at the University of Victoria with a major in instrumental conducting, Don has also been active as a performer. He has played with orchestras throughout the province, from Vancouver to Prince George, and has performed regularly with brass and jazz ensembles. Principal trombonist of the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra for 26 years, he stepped down in 2014 to pursue other opportunities. He is currently assistant conductor of the Kamloops Brandenburg Orchestra and the Kamloops Community Concert Band.