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The Band Director's Lounge Podcast

Welcome to the Band Director’s lounge, a podcast about what makes great instrumental music programs. I am a band director trying to build a great program by learning from others and sharing my knowledge along the way.

Sep 18, 2019

Hello and welcome! My interview today takes us out of the Midwest to the east coast to the great state of New Jersey.

Derek Rohaly Background

Derek Rohaly earned his bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the Pennsylvania State University in 2010 where he studied trumpet under Dr. Langston Fitzgerald III and completed a minor in Music Technology.

Mr. Rohaly began his career immediately after graduation in Quakertown, Pennsylvania teaching elementary band, general music, and high school jazz band in the Quakertown Community School District.  In 2011, he became a band director for Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, New Jersey where he remains an established music educator today.  In his time at Mainland Regional High School, he has taught concert band, all levels of beginning through advanced keyboard and guitar, music theory, and freshman seminar in technology.  To serve Mainland Regional’s growing interest in music, he spearheaded the development of the school’s first music technology class from course proposals, budgeting projections, curriculum development, and implementation. 

In additional to his school-day responsibilities, Mr. Rohaly contributes a significant amount of his time with extracurricular groups like jazz band, pit orchestra, & guitar ensemble.  In his five years of directing the marching band, he has led the Mainland Band to a Tournament of Bands New Jersey State Championship in 2014 & 2015 and consistently earned top tier placements at state and regional contests. Mr. Rohaly currently is the co-coordinator for the Atlantic Cape Honor Band (serving Atlantic and Cape May counties) and is the webmaster for the South Jersey Band and Orchestra Directors Association (

As a music educator, Mr. Rohaly finds it extremely important to continually perform as a musician.   He regularly performs with the South Jersey Area Wind Ensemble and has performed in the pit orchestras for the Off Broad Street Players theater company in Millville, NJ. 


We are going to dive into our interview in just a second, but first I want to mention that this episode is brought to you by Audible.

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Episode Overview

  • Background (03:24)
  • Mainland Regional High School (05:38)
  • Marching Band (12:20)
  • Unique Activities and Offerings (19:56)
  • Relationships with Administrators (30:37)
  • Jazz Bands (34:33)
  • Family, Work, and Teaching (38:07)
  • Recruitment (56:15)
  • Band Travel (62:07) 
  • Recommended Books (65:47)
  • Advice for Young Band Directors (67:32)
  • What Makes a Great Band Program? (71:39)


And that wraps up today’s episode.

If you enjoyed this episode or any other episode, consider leaving a review on any of the platforms that you listen to the show on. Itunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or Facebook. Your reviews, with or without written feedback, help get the word out about the show. At the end of the day I am doing this podcast to not only improve my own knowledge and skill set but hopefully provide this as a resource to the greater music education community. If you are able to help promote this program I would greatly appreciate it!


If you like what you heard today consider heading over to and use our affiliate links to purchase some of the books mentioned in the show, sign up for a free trial with Audible, or pick up a set of Eargasm Earplugs ( Your purchases through these links help offset some of the costs of recording, producing, and hosting this show.


Thanks again for tuning in, I will see you back here next time in The Band Director’s Lounge.


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