Meet the Directors

Matthew Winarski

Originally from Memphis, TN, Matthew Winarski joined the Alexandria Public School's Band Department in 2014. Matthew attended the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, where he received a Bachelors of Music Education.

Matthew taught at Discovery Middle School and Alexandria Area High School his first two years with District 206. In the Fall of 2016 Matthew became the Director of Bands at Alexandria Area High School. Responsibilities at AAHS include the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Varsity Band, Head Marching Band Director, sharing Pep Band, and assisting with Jazz I and Jazz II.

Before Matthew started teaching in Alexandria, he taught for one school year(2013-2014) at Sargent Central Schools in Forman, ND, and North Sargent Schools in Gwinner, ND. In both school districts he taught band in grades 5th-12th.

Matthew has a been involved in many different marching programs all over the world. He started college at the University of Memphis where he marched in the Mighty Sound of the South. After two years he transferred to the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. At UW- Eau Claire Matthew worked with the Blugold Marching Band(BMB), the largest Division III marching band in the country. While at UW-Eau Claire, Matthew served as Drum Major for his final two years, directing the BMB and its over 325 members. Also during his tenure at UW-Eau Claire he started the Blugold Athletic Band(BAB), a pep band for the University's basketball games. Both groups are incredibly active at UW-Eau Claire today.

Matthew lives in Alexandria, and has a wonderful dog named Colby.

 

Derek Ziemer

(Check back soon)

Past Directors

Greg DeGier - Starting in 2014, Greg is the director at Discovery Middle School

A native of Starbuck, MN, Greg DeGier attended the University of Minnesota, Morris, where in 1986, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Instrumental Music Education.

In the fall of 1998, Greg accepted the position of Associate Band Director at Jefferson High School in Alexandria, MN, where Todd Blaser and he direct the award-winning Jefferson High School Marching Band. In 2000, Todd and Greg took the marching band to the Fiesta Bowl Parade in Phoenix, Arizona, and took 1st place in their class and 2nd place overall. During Christmas 2003, Todd and Greg took the JHS Marching Band to Orlando, Florida, and participated in the Capital One Citrus Bowl Parade and Disney World’s Torchlight Parade.

Greg’s duties at Jefferson include directing the Symphonic Band, the Red Concert Band and Pep Band, as well as being the Head Jazz Band Director and Assistant Marching Band Director.

Before Greg started teaching in Alexandria he taught at the Clinton-Graceville Schools in Graceville, MN, from 1989 to 1998 and the Grant-Deuel Schools in Revillo, SD, from 1987 to 1989.

Currently Greg is working on a Masters Degree in Instrumental Conducting from St. Cloud State University. Greg is also active in teaching private lessons and adjudication.

 

Todd Blaser

Todd Blaser is originally from Norfolk, Nebraska, where he graduated from Norfolk High School in 1983. At Norfolk High School he was involved in band, intramurals, golf, and served as drum major of the award winning Norfolk High School Marching Band. After high school, he attended Northeast Technical Community College, the University of South Dakota, and eventually graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music education from Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa. During his early musical career, he marched in Drum and Bugle Corps spending 5 summers with the Crimson Cadets of Norfolk, and one year with the Phantom Regiment of Rockford, Illinois which placed 4th at the 1984 DCI World Championships.

Prior teaching and performance experiences includes:

1988 Ruthven – Ayrshire Community Schools - Iowa (5-12)

1989 to 1992 - Anthon-Oto Community Schools - Iowa (5-12)

1992 to 1997 - Cherokee Washington High School – Iowa (9-12)

1997 to present at Jefferson High School and Alexandria Area High School

1987 to 1998 - served as camp director/clinician at the Reggie Schive Summer Jazz Camp on the campus of the ‘University of Okoboji’

1989 to 1996 - member of the Clark Terry ‘Big Bad Jazz Band’ of Westmar College in LeMars, Iowa

Currently Todd’s teaching duties since 1997 include directing the Wind Ensemble, White Concert Band, Jazz II, Head Marching Band Director, and sharing pep band duties. He recently received his Master’s of Education from the College of St. Catherine’s. Todd also maintains an active judging schedule working with marching bands, concert bands, jazz bands, and solo ensemble throughout the Midwest.

He is married to Rhonda, a band director at Voyager Elementary School in Alexandria, and has two daughters - Alex and Ki - and two dogs named Cleo and Ollie.