Oconomowoc High School Band director Mike Krofta will represent Wisconsin in “School Band and Orchestra Magazine’s” 19th annual issue of “50 Directors Who Make a Difference.”
The magazine's annual story highlights some of the best music educators across all 50 states. Featured directors are nominated by current and former students, colleagues and peers and parents.
“I couldn’t believe it," Krofta said. "I’m not sure who nominated me, but it really is such a great honor.
“All I ever wanted to be was a band director.”
Krofta has been the OHS band director for 26 years. His love for playing music and being part of a band began when he was just a boy.
“My first band director was my brother, Jim, and I just wanted to follow in his footsteps," he said."I guess you could say I was born on the parade route.”
Krofta studied music education at Indiana University in Bloomington, completing his undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985. He was a trumpet soloist with both the Indiana Hoosier and the Wisconsin marching bands.
Krofta earned his master’s in music education at Ohio State University in 1991 with a conducting emphasis, having studied with Craig Kirchhoff.
“Working with young people is the best thing – it keeps me young," Kroftka said. "I don’t feel like I’m going to a job every day because it really is my passion.”
Last spring, the award-winning OHS Wind Symphony was one of just 18 high school groups from across the United States selected to perform at the 2016 Music for All National Concert Festival in Indianapolis.
The wind symphony was also the only high school band invited to perform at the National Band Association Convention in Appleton on Jan. 20.
The community will have the opportunity to see Krofta on the parade route as the grand marshal for the Oconomowoc Christmas Parade sponsored by the Oconomowoc Kiwanis Breakfast Club at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3.