Michael Spirko has been named new Director of Bands, and Sean Rutherford has been named new Assistant Director of Bands for Oak Ridge High School.
“The band program at Oak Ridge High School has a rich history and long standing tradition of excellence in a wonderful community that has always deeply supported the arts,” explained Mr. Spirko. “Mr. Rutherford and I look forward to continuing that tradition of excellence, and to moving ahead to the next chapter for the Oak Ridge Bands.”
Mr. Spirko has served as Assistant Director of the Oak Ridge High School Bands for the past 6 years and Mr. Rutherford has served as the band director at Jefferson Middle School for the past two years in addition to being in charge of percussion instruction at the high school.
Mr. Spirko previously served as Director of Bands at West Valley Middle School for 11 years and Halls High School for 2 years. In addition to being an active guest clinician at various honor bands around the area, Mr. Spirko is a professional trumpet player. He is currently a member of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, leads his own swing big-band, The Streamliners, and plays with several other local bands. Mr. Spirko received his education at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he earned a Bachelors degree in Music Education while also double majoring in Studio Music and Jazz. He was a proud member of The Pride of the Southland Marching Band at UT and was honored to serve as the head drum major there in 1997. Michael and his two sons, Jake and Luke, reside in Knoxville.
Mr. Rutherford previously taught as the assistant director at Fulton High School for one year and as the Director of Bands at Clinton Middle School and assistant at Clinton High School for 6 years. He also spent 4 years in DCI (Drum Corps International), where he had the opportunity to study with Thom Hannum, Lee Beddis, Colin McNutt, Brian Tinkel, James Ancona, and Ian Moyer who are some of the top names in the percussive and marching arts. Mr. Rutherford is a member of MENC, TMEA, ETSBOA, PAS, and is part of the Vic Firth Education Team. Sean and his wife, Missy, reside in Knoxville with their son, Silas.
In regard to their new positions, Mr. Spirko and Mr. Rutherford are very eager and optimistic about the future of the Oak Ridge High School Band Program.
“The City of Oak Ridge’s culture proves there’s a lot of interest in and support of the arts, and the band program here reflects that”, Mr. Spirko says. “Our goal as a program is to foster the musical and personal growth of our students, support the spirit of our school, and enrich the culture of our community by upholding excellence in all that we do.”