Norwin School District administrators are interviewing candidates for a new band director, superintendent William Kerr said.
They are seeking a replacement for band director Robert Traugh, who has taken a job as intermediate school music director and intermediate school band director for the Kiski Area School District.
Mr. Kerr said staff has been collecting resumes for the band director position for two weeks and will conduct three rounds of interviews of at least seven candidates. The second round of interviews on Tuesday will include a demonstration of musical abilities, and the third round of interviews on the same day will involve the central office staff as well as Mr. Kerr.
The district is looking for a new director with experience in band competitions, Mr. Kerr said. During Mr. Traugh's half-dozen years at Norwin, he led the band to several Bands of America regional and Pennsylvania Interscholastic Marching Band Association championships. In addition to the marching band, he served as director of the wind and jazz ensembles.
The Kiski Area and Norwin marching bands have been engaged in what Mr. Kerr described as "a friendly competition" for a number of years.
Cheryl Walter, who retired as Norwin music department head and choir director two years ago, said Mr. Traugh did a good job of rebuilding the Norwin band program.
"We were really happy to have him for six years. He was quite an addition to our staff ... very creative," she said Monday.
Mr. Traugh, 29, of Hempfield, had been nominated for the Grammy Music Educator Award from the Recording Academy and Grammy Foundation, but his decision to leave Norwin removed him from consideration. He had been one of eight finalists from the state.
Mr. Traugh graduated from Kiski Area High School and his wife used to teach in the Kiski Area School District. She also taught in Norwin elementary schools.
"Mr. Traugh is an outstanding music educator and composer of music and he will be sorely missed at Norwin, but we respect his decision based on what is best for his family, moving back to his home area," Mr. Kerr said. "We wish him the very, very best."
Mr. Traugh's position at Norwin paid $58,800 a year.
Anne Cloonan, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.