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          In Memoriam:  Omar Blackman   &  John Zipay
Final Instructions                                                                                                                                                    
July 1, 2015
The final instructions have been mailed to all members in good standing for the 2015 All-Ohio State Fair Band. Members and parents should spend some time reading the information and schedule that was
enclosed.  There are numerous changes and tweaks to the way we have done many things over the years......many exciting things on the horizon for  AOSFB '15!

Click here for the final instructions.                                                                                   
Applications are in the mail!                                                                                                                       
February 1, 2015
The applications are in the mail for the 2015 All-Ohio State Fair Band.  They were mailed to members of the 2014 AOSFB who were in good standing and to well over 900 high schools throughout Ohio.

Click  here to download the entire packet that was mailed.
Welcome Buckeye Health Plan                                                                                    
July 2, 2015
The AOSFB will be proudly sponsored by Buckeye Health Plan in 2015 & 2016.  They are known as being a health insurance company for Ohio's Medicaid population.  Their logo,
pictured to the right will, be displayed on the left sleeve of all uniforms, on the official AOSFB banner seen at concerts and on parade.  In addition, large vertical wind banners are being
created for use as well.  Buckeye Health Plan continues to be a sponsor of the Skyglider at the Ohio State Fair with their logo emblazoned on each car.

Each member of the AOSFB will receive two uniform shirts under the sponsorship....a great way to support the Band and allow it to be more affordable for
Hold on tight......rehearsal location changed!!                                                                                                
July 3, 2015
As you may know, the DiSalle Center and the former Model Train/Heritage Crafts Buildings have been torn down to be replaced with a 100,000+ square foot exhibit hall building.  As you can imagine, the results
of the loss of space has created a domino effect for numerous events!

This largest change for the AOSFB is that the Rhodes Center Auditorium, our rehearsal home for decades, will not be available as it will be used for Fine Arts and Arts & Craft Displays that used to be in DiSalle.  
Flexibility is key at the Fair so the Band is going on the road for every rehearsal.  Our new home will be in the Buckeye Building.  Most recently the building has been used as The Buckeye Sports Complex and
years ago it housed exhibitors and many state agencies.

Everyday we'll be marching to and from rehearsal as we get prepped for the 2015 Ohio State Fair.
Happy 4th of July                                                                                                                                                   
July 4, 2015
Enjoy the day by listening to The Stars and Stripes Forever as performed by the All-Ohio State Fair Band.
What else is new??                                                                                                                                              
July 7, 2015
The AOSFB is headed to the City of Ashland this year.....mark your calendar for Thursday, August 6 @ 8pm when the Band plays at the Guy C. Myers Memorial Band Shell.

Directed by Donald F. Santa-Emma since 1998 and founded in 1925, the band is made up of musicians from throughout Ohio. This special event is sponsored by Ashland Bicentennial Committee to honor
the formation of the Band shell’s concert series. The band’s last appearance here was July 31, 2003 when Louis E. “Doc” Pete, Ashland’s Mr. Music, influential musician and beloved music teacher, was
again honored for his past contributions to Ashland’s music scene and  the construction of the Guy C. Myers Memorial Band Shell. This performance is a wonderful addition to our series in celebration of  
Ashland’s Bicentennial. Special thanks to Larry Hiner.

Check out this link for more info: http://www.ashland200.com/v/documentlinks/All-Ohio_State_Fair_Band.pdf
2015 News
Presented by
A Busy Week Behind Us                                                                                                                                             
July 18, 2015
Sure, the AOSFB members are still at home and packing....but that doesn't  mean it's quiet for the staff or at Rhodes Center.

Jim "Tank" Esswein and Mr. Santa-Emma continue to work on music.  Mr. Santa-Emma has brought back a few pieces from the library, added a few of his selections and welcomed new suggestions from the
music staff.  We understand that Mr. Dodd has a piece or two that worked well for his band at West Holmes that you might hear at the Fair this year.  Thanks to Dakota Parrish and Alumni Committee Member,
Andy Brubaker for assisting Tank in the monumental task of putting the music folders together.

Meanwhile, Lisa, Ed & Megan Gallagher along with Melissa Spangler and Jennifer McDowell took on the annual task of assigning bunks, labeling bunk tags, and prepping the parent packets.  It took just under 3
hours to assign bunks to each band member.  It may sound easy, but the staff takes health concerns, instrument, veteran status and more when placing each member in their bunk.

Cleaning day takes place tomorrow and it has become an annual tradition for the staff, alums, friends and even current members.  We'll be at Rhodes Center at 12:15 with pizza and we'll begin the cleaning
shortly after with the plan to wrap-up no later than 4pm.  By then the mattresses will be cleaned, bunks tagged, the rooms shined up and the office ready to go!  Come on down and join us for some fun.
You'll See Us Coming This Year!                                                                                                                                             
July 21, 2015
The new year brings us a new banner - 2 of them actually, one each for Black & Red Band.  Plus we'll have tall wind banners at our
concert sites for all sit down concerts.
Mr. Santa-Emma Takes a Final Bow as Director of the AOSFB
The Baton is Passed to Brian W. Dodd
Brian W. Dodd Named Director of the AOSFB
Donald F. Santa-Emma, Director of the All-Ohio
State Fair Band, has announced his retirement
after serving on the staff for 42 years with the
last 17 years as director.

Unbeknown to fairgoers and supporters, Santa-Emma
quietly took his final bow as director at the conclusion
of the 2015 Ohio State Fair. During his tenure, he
compassionately worked with thousands of Ohio's
finest high school musicians, allowing them to
showcase their talents at thousands of concerts.
His leadership, wisdom and diplomacy have provided
stability over the years, guiding the All-Ohio State Fair
Band and leaving a lasting mark on the State Fair.

"It is with great sadness that I accept Mr. Santa-Emma’s
announcement,” explained General Manager Virgil Strickler.
“Don has shown such an immense amount of passion toward the All-Ohio State Fair Band,
empowering each and every one of its youth members with an outstanding musical education, a
positive Fair experience and a devoted sense of community spirit. While I am saddened to see
him go, I am proud of the legacy of excellence that Don has left behind.”

The Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame member joined the staff in 1974 when he received a frantic
phone call from the director of the All-Ohio State Fair Band at the time, Omar Blackman. Blackman
urged the hesitant Santa-Emma to join the band staff as an assistant director as a vacancy
needed to be filled immediately.

Through the years he has been a steady force as a leader within the organization.  Whether
serving in his previous roles as Assistant Director, Administrative Assistant, or Director, his
foremost focus was on the band members.  He desired a high quality music experience for the
members while working to create a welcoming and professional environment in which the
members would grow as young citizens of Ohio. Mr. Santa-Emma knew that the AOSFB provided
the right arena for high school students to grow and develop and he did all that he could to set the
stage so that each member could maximize the opportunity and experience.

Mr. Santa-Emma received his undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University and his
Master's Degree from Austin Peay State University.  He engaged in doctoral course work at the
University of Kentucky.  Mr. Santa-Emma served as Director of Fine Arts Education for the
Cleveland Public Schools where he supervised over 200 teachers. He has received numerous
citations and awards, including The Distinguished Service Award for Music Education from The
Ohio State University, The Industry Service Award from the Ohio Music  Education Association,
and The Hall of Fame of his high school, West Technical High School. He was recipient of the
Martha Holden Jennings Teacher/Leader Award and a Master Teacher Citation from The
Cleveland Public Schools.  He is President Emeritus of the 1,000 member Cleveland Federation
of Musicians, Local 4, American Federations of Musicians and he continues to serve as music
contractor for Cleveland's Playhouse Square, America's second largest performing arts center.

                                                                 It has been said that Mr. Santa-Emma "helped        
                                                                 the band through changing times and guided the
                                                                 organization to new levels of achievement. He
                                                                 deserves the utmost respect for his leadership
                                                                 and contributions to the All-Ohio State Fair Band
                                                                 and Music  Education."  Without a doubt, Mr.
                                                                 Santa-Emma led the AOSFB in the spirit of
                                                                 previous directors - Jack Wainwright, Louis Pete,
Jack Evans and Omar Blackman, as he carried forward many traditions in respect of the
organization's deep history.  At the same time, he encouraged and managed change which
allowed the band to excel while meeting the needs of today's youth

Along with Santa-Emma’s retirement comes the departure of his “right hand,” Patricia Santa-
Emma, who has been beloved by band staff and members for her unmatched support of the
organization - from stuffing envelopes to answering countless calls from members and   parents.
She has greatly impacted the organization you hear at the Ohio State Fair.

Plans are being made to honor Mr.
Santa-Emma at the Ohio State Fair in 2016.  
Watch aosfb.org for more details and info.

Thank you Mr. Santa-Emma for touching the
lives of many through your distinguished
and dedicated time with the All-Ohio State
Fair Band . . .take a well-deserved bow
with an extra round of applause from the
entire AOSFB Family!

Read the Press Release from the Ohio
State Fair by
clicking  here.      
Posted September 22, 2015
Ohio State Fair officials have announced that Brian W. Dodd of Bladensburg in Knox
County has been named as director of the All-Ohio State Fair Band.

                                       As director, Dodd will have a variety of         
                                       responsibilities throughout the year as well as during
                                       the 2016 Fair. He will recruit, prepare and manage a
                                       talented ensemble of more than 200 high school
                                       musicians selected to represent Ohio's diverse
                                       population in the famed All-Ohio State Fair Band.       
                                       Dodd is entering his 10th year as an All-Ohio State
                                       Fair Band staff member and first as director.

                                       Dodd is a graduate of Philo High School in
                                       Muskingum County and The Ohio State University.
                                       He holds an Honorary Chapter FFA Degree and has
                                       received the Honor to Educator Awards from West
                                       Holmes Schools six times. Mr. Dodd is a recipient of the Ohio
High School Athletic Association Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award and was
named Teacher of the Year two times for the East Knox Schools. Prior to his time at
West Holmes, Mr. Dodd served as a member of the Adjunct Music Faculty at Mount
Vernon Nazarene University and spent 14 years as Director of Music at East Knox High

“I am really honored and excited for this opportunity to
continue serving the All-Ohio State Fair Band as
Director,” an enthusiastic Dodd explained. “I look
forward to building on the traditions established by
Mr. Santa-Emma and the other fine directors that
came before me. I am excited to work with the students
from fine music programs from across our wonderful
state as they continue to grow – both as musicians
and positive leaders. It is with excitement that I accept
this role as I eagerly look forward to the band’s
performances at the 2016 Ohio State Fair.”

Dodd is in his 31st year as a high school band director
and educator, and is in his 17th year as director of
bands at West Holmes High School in Millersburg
where he currently directs 235 students in the school’s
two concert bands, jazz band, pep band, marching
band and percussion ensemble. His bands have
performed throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington
D.C. and Florida, and regularly perform for the
Cleveland Cavaliers. His students participate in                   
numerous honor bands throughout the state including      
       Fair Manager Virgil Strickler
the All-Ohio State Fair Band and Youth Choir, in which         & AOSFB Director Brian Dodd
he has had members for the past 31 years.

                                         Dodd is a member of Ohio Music Education
                                         Association and served as district chairman and host
                                         of OMEA District 10 Large Group Adjudicated Event.
                                         He remains active as a performer in the North
                                         Central Ohio area and is a member of American
                                         Federation of Musicians Local #159. He and his wife
                                         Lori currently reside in Bladensburg.

In September, former All-Ohio State Fair Band Director Donald F. Santa-Emma of Rocky
River in Cuyahoga County  announced his retirement after serving on the band’s staff
for 42 years and spending the last 17 years as director.

The All-Ohio State Fair Band has been a featured attraction of the Ohio State Fair since
1925. The band selects approximately 200 superior high school musicians for
membership annually based on a number of factors including student ability and
recommendation from their local band directors. Participating students gain a unique
musical and educational experience, as well as an opportunity to build many lasting
friendships during a two-week stay at the Ohio State Fair. The All-Ohio State Fair Band
arrives at the Ohio Expo Center just days before the Fair opens, learning all of their
music in a limited time. They remain housed on-site and perform nearly 100 times during
the 12-day Fair.
Posted November 12, 2015
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