Bachelor of Science, Music Education, University of Maryland 2001
Mr. Conto is a native of the Washington D.C. area and is an alum of Archdiocese of Washington affiliated schools. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education in 2001 and his Master of Music Degree in Music Education in Conducting in 2009, both from the University of Maryland. Mr. Conto has served the Bishop McNamara Community as Director of Bands since May of 2001. In recent years he has also added the title of Director of Orchestra and Fine Arts Director. Under his baton, Mr. Conto's ensembles perform all around the Washington Metropolitan area as well as out-of-state, consistently receiving numerous honors cultivating a reputation for musical excellence.
The band and orchestra program has grown from approximately 80 members to over 150 students participating in nine different performing ensembles. Mr. Conto is active in the community, Archdiocese, and state. Last year he was elected President-Elect of this Maryland Band Director's Association (MBDA,) which is the office he holds now until his promotion to President for 2012 to 2014. He has served on the board for MBDA as the State Jazz Festival Coordinator and the All State Jazz Manager for the last seven years. Mr. Conto also serves as President of the Washington Archdiocesan Music Teachers Council (WAMTC,) of which he is now finishing his third and final term (6 years.) You will also find Mr. Conto around the DC Metropolitan Area as a guest conductor, adjudicator, clinician, festival administrator, fundraiser and freelance trumpet player.
He accredits much of his professional success to the great teachers and music directors through his educational journey along with a supportive community at Bishop McNamara.
Most Memorable Artistic Moment - I was given the honor to guest conduct the University of Maryland Wind Ensemble in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in College park. The performance was in honor of the 100 year celebration of the University of Maryland Band Program.
Most Memorable Teaching Moment - In April of 2008 the Bishop McNamara Wind Ensemble was given the opportunity to perform at Andrew's Air Force Base for the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI. I have had to opportunity as a musician to perform for a Pope as well as a President; however this was the first time I as able to share this experience with my students. It was so great to expose them to the process of preparing to perform for such elite figures. It was great to see them get so excited about their gifts and talents.