Ronald Demkee
  • Artist-Lecturer in tuba and euphonium
  • Tuba and euphonium Pedagogy
  • Tuba and euphonium Literature

conductor@ptd.net

Ronald Demkee joined The Allentown Band in 1964 as the featured tuba soloist and was elected conductor in 1977. Under his direction the band has recorded nineteen volumes of the highly acclaimed "Our Band Heritage" series, which have reached listeners in all fifty states and seventeen countries. The Allentown Band, America's oldest civilian concert band has been in existence since 1828 and averages forty-five performances each year. Under Mr. Demkee's leadership, the band has taken three trips to Europe for concerts in Switzerland and Austria. In addition to conducting numerous high school honor bands and orchestras, Mr. Demkee has served as guest conductor for The U.S. Army Band, The U.S. Army Field Band, The U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point, The U.S. Navy Band, The U.S. Coast Guard Band, The Marine Band of Washington, and the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band. Furthermore, he served as Assistant Conductor for Leonard B. Smith's famous Detroit Concert Band where he conducted the band for Mr. Smith's cornet solos in live performances as well as the highly praised "Gems of the Concert Band" recordings.

As Associate Conductor of The Allentown Symphony Orchestra since 1983 he has worked with conductors Donald Voorhees, William Smith and Diane Wittry. From 1983 to 1994 he conducted all of the orchestra's Young Peoples Concerts, Pops Concerts and Holiday Concerts. He has also conducted performances of "The Nutcracker" for the Berkshire Ballet (MA), the American Ballet Repertory Co. (Princeton, NJ.) the Lehigh Valley Ballet (PA) and the Repertory Ballet Company of Allentown. He has led the ASO in concert performances featuring internationally famous artists including: Rudolf Firkusney, Cecile Licad, Robert McDuffie, Young Uck Kim and Joyce Castle of the New York Metropolitan Opera.

In 1991 Muhlenberg College awarded Demkee an Honorary Doctor of Music. He earned his Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Music Education at West Chester (Pennsylvania) State University. Mr. Demkee conducted the Freedom High School (Bethlehem, Pa) Patriot Band, Orchestra and numerous other instrumental ensembles, where he was also Chairman of the Fine Arts Department, from the time the school opened in 1967 until 1997. During his tenure at Freedom High School the Patriot Band performed in the nation's most visible parades including The King Orange Jamboree, Cotton Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Aloha Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, two National Cherry Blossom Parades in Washington D.C. and three Tournaments of Roses in Pasadena, California.

Mr. Demkee is the recipient of a number of awards including: The National Band Association's "Citation of Excellence," The John Philip Sousa Foundation's "Sudler Legion of Honor," and The Allentown (Pennsylvania) "Arts Ovation Award" for Outstanding Achievements in the Performing Arts. In 2005 the the Allentown Arts Ovation presented Mr. Demkee its first "Lifetime Achievement Award." He is and inductee of the "National High School Band Directors' Hall of Fame" and has been a member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association since 1986.

Since his retirement, Mr. Demkee continues to teach in the music departments of both Moravian and Muhlenberg Colleges and plays tuba in both the Mainstreet Brass Quintet and the Allentown Symphony Orchestra. He and his wife Joan, who have been married since 1967, have two children, Mark and Elizabeth, both public school teachers, and two grandchildren Aidan and Sarah.