Middle School Orchestra


Tom Reed

Taft Middle School & Wheeler Middle School Orchestra Director

Biography information:

Tom Reed is currently in his twenty sixth year of teaching at Robert Taft and Colonel John Wheeler Middle Schools in Crown Point.  During that time, he has been active as an instrumental music instructor, having served as director of both the band and more recently the orchestra classes.  Reed currently serves as Music Department Chair at Taft Middle School.  In addition to his responsibilities at Taft and Wheeler schools, Reed serves as Assistant Director of the Crown Point High School Orchestra, and assists with the CPHS  Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. He has also served as the director of the Crown Point High School Jazz Ensemble and the Crown Point Royal Regiment.  During his tenure in Crown Point, Reed’s ensembles have consistently earned superior ratings at the ISSMA contests. Educational experiences include a BM from Northern Illinois University, and MM from VanderCook College of Music.  Membership in organizations includes the American String Teachers Association, Indiana State Teachers Association as well as the American Federation of Musicians. Personally, he has earned awards for his efforts as an educator, including the Crystal Bell Award in 2009 and the Outstanding Music Educator Award sponsored by Quinlan and Fabish Music in 2012.   Reed is also quite active as a freelance musician.  He has performed in a variety of situations, including solo work and chamber ensemble playing.  He has performed with the Rockford and Beloit Symphonies as well as performances and recordings with various big bands.  Other playing experiences have included Presidential performances, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Ray Charles, Paul Anka, Bob Hope, Mel Torme, Dionne Warwick, Garth Brooks, Clay Aikin, Conti Condoli and Chuck Berry among many others.  Reed has also played for many shows at several of the musical theatres in the Chicagoland area.  Primary instructors include Bill Adam, Ron Modell, Steve Squires and Steve Orcutt.

Course Offerings:

6th Grade Orchestra - Sixth Grade Orchestra focuses on rudimentary skill development as well as an introduction to ensemble playing.  Students work on further development of left hand finger and hand position and basic bow usage.  Opportunities for ensemble playing are presented as students prepare for upcoming musical performances.

7th Grade Orchestra - >Seventh Grade Orchestra provides a continuation of basic skill development while advanced skills are being introduced.  Students continue to work routinely with their method books, while additional emphasis is placed on ensemble playing.  Opportunities for outside performance and instructional opportunities such as youth orchestras or private lessons are presented at this time.

8th Grade Orchestra - Eighth Grade Orchestra provides additional opportunity to refine basic skill development while presenting additional advanced techniques, such as vibrato and advanced shifting.  A greater emphasis is placed on ensemble playing, and additional performance opportunities continue to be presented.  Students are again provided occasions to participate in individualized instruction as well as musical contests and festivals.