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Brett Hosterman '06

Music education | Milton, Pa.

When Brett Hosterman '06 took up the baton of the Milton Area School District Marching Band, the program had not participated in a band competition for more than 20 years.

Hosterman immediately went to work. He updated the band's uniforms and logo, introduced new marching maneuvers and worked with the band's 35 members to improve their musical technique.

After only a year, the Marching Black Panthers began competing and qualified for the Atlantic Coast Championship, where they placed sixth in their division.

"It was exciting for me to be able to provide the students with the tools necessary to advance themselves to this level," he says. "Our success came through much hard work on the part of the students and parents, not necessarily me."

As director of instrumental music for the district, Hosterman teaches music theory and appreciation. He directs the middle school concert band, high school concert band, marching band, jazz band and spring music pit orchestra.

Outside of school, he is a professional pit orchestra conductor, church organist, founder of the Milton Harvest Festival Tournament of Bands competition, and founder and conductor of the Milton Community Band. He also is finishing his master’s degree in wind conducting at Messiah College.

“I am devoting my career to not only providing the best musical education and experiences for the students of the Milton Area School District, but also to the community of Milton,” says Hosterman, who was the 2011 recipient of Susquehanna’s Russell Galt Award for Excellence in Teaching at the secondary level.

As an educator, he models himself after his own high school teachers, choir director Patricia Mitchell '86 Wagner and band director Matt Wagner '83, the two Susquehanna alumni who instilled in him a passion for music.

In 2008, Hosterman and his two mentors were among the 100 Susquehanna alumni who joined the Susquehanna University Masterworks Chorus and Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York City to kick off the university's sesquicentennial celebration. Hosterman describes the experience of singing in the famous performance halls alongside two of his biggest mentors as "surreal."

Hosterman relishes the chance to inspire in his young musicians the same lasting love for music his own teachers gave him. "I want my students to value music as an important part of our everyday lives," he says.

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