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Meet Mr. Winters
Mr. Curtis Winters grew up in Glendale, AZ, where he took violin lessons starting in 2nd Grade, and joined the school band on trombone in 5th Grade. In 1990 he said goodbye to the Valley of the Sun and moved to Happy Valley. Attending BYU on an academic scholarship, Mr. Winters played trombone in the Cougar Marching Band for 4 years, and led the band as Drum Major for 2 years. He also played in the Dixieland Jazz Band and Synthesis (BYU's top Jazz Ensemble). In 1996 Mr. Winters toured Europe for 4 weeks with Synthesis, and was a featured trombone soloist on the Synthesis: Live at Montreux album.
After graduating in Music Education in 1998, Mr. Winters began teaching band at Orem Junior High. A few years later he started teaching some of the orchestra classes, and continued to teach them all for 25 years! All 3 of his top ensembles (Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, and Jazz Band) achieved consistently high ratings and were regularly invited to the State Festivals. In 2023 Mr. Winters was offered the Band position at Orem High School, and he took the big leap, becoming an Orem Tiger!
In 2012, while pursuing his Master of Music degree at BYU, Mr. Winters received a prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship grant to develop Improv Pathways, a jazz improvisation method for middle school jazz bands. He graduated from BYU (again) in December, 2012, and continues to seek for new ways to help students succeed in band and orchestra.
Mr. Winters has won a Best of State medal for producing the New Bop Big Band, the youngest jazz band in the Caleb Chapman Soundhouse. He was also awarded the "Superior Accomplishment" award in 2017 from the Utah Music Educators Association for creating the NinGenius Music app. He has several YouTube channels, totalling over 15,000 subscribers, and has posted dozens of educational videos over the years. Most recently he received the Ray Smith Jazz Educator of the Year award.