Perry Ralenkotter, Middle School Band Conductor


Mr. Ralenkotter is the director of bands at Sunman-Dearborn Middle School in St. Leon, Indiana. He began his career in 1988 teaching in Cobb County, Georgia. In 1991 he began at S-DMS with 140 students. Within four years the program had grown to 445 students in grades six through eight. The Advanced, Concert, Discovery and Jazz bands at S-DMS have consistently received superior ratings at the Indiana State School Music Association festival and at other local festivals.


The Advanced Band has also been awarded a Superior With Distinction in the ISSMA Concert Festival in 2009. This is the second time the advanced band has received this recognition. In 2003 Only 39 of 749 performing ensembles in the state received this distinction. Mr. Ralenkotter is active as a clinician and adjudicator in the region and is a founder of the St. Leon All Star Band. In December of 2005 Mr. Ralenkotter was invited to present at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic to discuss recruiting beginning band students.  In December he will again present at the Midwest Clinic to discuss the impact of No Child Left Behind on music programs.


In January of 2006 the S-DMS Advanced Band performed at the Indiana Music Educators Conference in Indianapolis. He is a conductor of theStephen Collins Foster summer music camp at Eastern Kentucky University and has been featured twice as School Band and Orchestra’s 50 directors who make a difference.


Mr. Ralenkotter attended the University of Kentucky where he studied trumpet under the direction of Vincent DiMartino. He completed his student teaching with Dr. J. Steven Moore, the then director of bands at Lafayette High School in Lexington, Kentucky. In 2003 he completed a Master of Music in Music Education degree at the University of Kentucky. He is currently pursuing a D.M.A. at Boston University. He is a member of IMEA, NEA, Phi Mu Alpha, and USAT. Mr. Ralenkotter is a Yamaha clinician where he works with school systems and music programs on recruiting, retention and support for the arts.