Russ Newbury is very excited to become the newly appointed “Foster Project Northwest Division Chair” as a part of the National Band Associations vision to recognize, support, and develop outstanding Title I band programs and their directors. This project includes a mentorship program incorporating the development of educational strategies for Title I and similar developing programs. As the current conductor of the Columbia Basin Concert Band and advisor to the Columbia Basin College Jazz Ensemble, Russ is helping to guide the future role of the department as a life changing opportunity for all students who attend CBC. He is very excited to be writing and arranging for the CBC bands, with original works for concert band along with arrangements for combined jazz ensemble and jazz choir.
In conjunction with his role at CBC, Russ serves as the “Visual and Performing Arts Facilitator” for the Pasco School District in Pasco, Washington. During Russ’s tenure as both band director and VPA TOSA, the Pasco School District has been recognized numerous times as one of the “Best Communities” for support of music education in the United States by music industry and education partners NAMM and NaFme. This recognition stems from the intentional development or programs for kids such as an “Instrument for Loan” program, which places an instrument in the hands of disadvantaged youth within the public school setting. Providing a summer music program for band and orchestra students’ grade 5-8, which includes free breakfast, lunch, transportation and instruction. Russ motivates the promotion of community outreach that networks performance opportunities for students within and beyond the K-12 public school system working to create bridges to higher education for students who may never find the resources to make that happen.
Prior to his current assignment, Russ served as a high school band director for twenty-five years. He served as the Director of Bands at Pasco High School in Pasco, Washington and Bozeman High School in Bozeman, Montana where his performing ensembles were always among the top groups in festivals and competitions throughout the northwest. Russ is currently serving as the Executive Director of the newly reformed Columbians Drum and Bugle Corps in the Tri-Cities, Washington and is attempting to redefine the activity to include performers from all socio-economic backgrounds. He has served as the music arranger for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, the Seattle Cascades, Spokane Thunder, and the Columbians. Russ maintains an active schedule writing original works for concert band and marching band along with a variety of commission projects for groups of all ages. Recent projects include “Trial by Fire”, performed by the Montana All-State Band under the direction of Mr. Newbury and “Fanfare; To the Great Hall” for band, chorus and orchestra written to commemorate the grand opening of the new performing arts center at Ferris High School in 2014. “WINDOWS,” was written for the Hanford High School Wind Ensemble to be premiered at the “Music for All” Festival in Indianapolis in March 2014. Russ’s “Cantabile” for orchestra was performed in Carnegie Hall in New York in 1997, and his Sonata for Flute and Piano is currently being performed internationally, published through ALRY Publications.
Russ currently serves on the National Innovations in Music Education Committee, a branch of NaFme (National Association for Music Education) and with the OSPI Music Curriculum Council for the state of Washington. Russ has been active as a clinician throughout the United States and Canada and currently resides in Pasco, Washington with his wife Loralee. He is honored to be part of the “Foster Project” offering the opportunity to promote band programs throughout the northwest and nationally.