Katie Zdanowski, Director of Bands
Katie Zdanowski is the director of bands at Montezuma-Cortez High School in Cortez, Colorado. She conducts the Symphonic Winds, the Marching Panthers, the Panther Pep Band, and teaches general instrumental music courses. Under her direction, the M-CHS bands have enjoyed a number of successes, including performances in state finals competition, consistent superior ratings at CHSAA Large Group Festival, and national recognition for their performances at the Bands of America Regional competition. Prior to arriving in Cortez, Miss Zdanowski served as director of bands at Robinson High School in Robinson, Illinois, where her bands consistently earned recognition for their achievements at local and regional events.
In 2019, Miss Zdanowski was named the Montezuma-Cortez RE-1 Teacher of the Year. She currently lives in Cortez, and maintains an active schedule as a performer and guest conductor. She currently plays with the Southwest Civic Winds, the San Juan Symphony Orchestra, and a variety of local chamber groups.
Miss Zdanowski received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Illinois State University in 2012, where she studied conducting with Dr. Stephen Steele, and tuba with Dr. Andy Rummel. She went on to earn her Master’s degree in Music Education from Adams State University in 2018. Miss Zdanowski is currently a member of the Colorado Bandmasters Association and the National Association for Music Education.
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Alex Mohr, Assistant Director of Bands
Alex Mohr graduated from Wright State University in Dayton, OH in 2012 with a degree in Music Education. During his time there, he was active with many ensembles, including the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, Saxophone Quartet, and the Raider Pep band, and was the Vice President of Membership for WSU’s colony of the Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity. While studying saxophone with Dr. Shelley Jagow, he participated in master classes featuring Jean-Marie Londeix, Dr. William Street, Dr. David Nabb, and the Amstel Quartet of Amsterdam. As a member the Saxophone Quartet, Mr. Mohr performed at North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) conferences in Columbia, SC and Chicago, IL, the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) Annual Conference in Columbus, OH, and the 2012 World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland. In addition, he was an active performer and occasional conductor with the WSU Men’s Chorale, and served as student conductor and music arranger for the Raider Pep Band.
Outside of his educational commitments, Mr. Mohr taught with the Bands of America National Semi-finalist Northmont High School Marching Band, where he served as a visual, woodwind, and tuba instructor, before taking a position as Visual Caption Head his final year. He was also a member of the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps during the summer of 2009 and 2010, performing in the tuba section. Prior to coming to Cortez to begin his professional teaching career, Mr. Mohr served in the United States Air Force for four years as an Avionics Technician. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Emily, and they have two sons, Sullivan and Elijah.
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