Rob Wagner's World of Sight and Sound


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Rob Wagner is a husband and proud father, musician, educator, conductor, composer, photographer, amateur radio operator, shortwave radio listener, and Collingwood footy fan.

In January 2013, Rob retired as Director of Music at Eltham College, a K-12 independent school in outer north east Melbourne, Australia. He oversaw a broad music curriculum involving concert bands, orchestras, jazz ensembles, rock bands, choirs, chamber ensembles and an innovative classroom music curriculum. At the College, he held the position of Exemplar Teacher and was a leader in The Arts. He believes that music is best experienced with a practical hands-on approach, encouraging students to learn in teams, and sharing knowledge employing varied learning styles.

Rob has studied conducting in Melbourne with Roland Yeung and with leading American wind band conductors Dr. Larry Curtis and Dr. James Croft.  He has conducted bands internationally in Spain, England, China, and New Zealand.  He has also toured extensively throughout the USA on a number of occasions where he studied trends in music education and researched concert bands.
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Aware of the importance of music making at the community level, Rob has been director of a number of community music projects. He was also the founding Music Director (1988) of the Springvale Bicentennial Youth Concert Band, an award-winning ensemble of talented young musicians devoted to musical excellence. He held this post for 14 years. During 2005, Rob was the Associate Conductor of the Grainger Wind Symphony , a Melbourne-based ensemble of outstanding musicians performing high quality music for symphonic band.

Some of his time is devoted as guest clinician and adjudicator at workshops for schools, bands and teachers throughout Australia. For five years, he delivered a series of semester-long lectures in Instrumental Music Pedagogy at Monash University. Rob held the position of Victorian Vice President of the Australian Band & Orchestra Directors Association for nearly six years. He is the recipient of the ABODA Victoria Award for Teaching Excellence in Ensemble Direction and writes regularly for the ABODA Interlude magazine.
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For ten years, he worked professionally as a musician in jazz and rock bands around Melbourne. As a freelance trombonist, trumpeter and studio musician, he performed with many Australian and international artists.

In 1985, Rob and his wife formed a company called Wagner Music, specializing in print music for school concert bands and jazz ensembles. The business operated for 25 years and was the Australian distributor for New York publisher Manhattan Beach Music and British publisher R. Smith and Co, Ltd ( G & M Brand Publications ). This business is now closed.