ABOUT THE DIRECTORS

Mr. Ryan Budzinski

Ryan Budzinski is the director of bands at Normal West High School  He received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2006 and has since completed graduate level courses at VanderCook College of Music (Chicago, IL), Illinois State University (Normal, IL), the Ohio State University (Columbus, OH), Carleton College (Northfield, MN), and The Juilliard School (New York, NY).  He has taught in the Unit 5 Schools since 2006.  Mr. Budzinski conducts the Normal West High School Wind Symphony and Concert Winds.  He is co-director of the Normal Marching Band, director of the Normal West Jazz Orchestra, and head of instrumental jazz studies at Normal West.  Additionally, he teaches AP Music Theory and serves as the Normal West High School Music Department Building Chair.  Mr. Budzinski was selected by the Normal West High School student body as the recipient of the Teacher Honor Roll Award in the spring of 2008.  Prior to his appointment at Normal West High School, Mr. Budzinski held the position of Assistant Director of Bands at Normal Community High School.  He serves as the Illinois Music Education Association District 3 Senior Band Co-Representative (2018-2021) and as a member of the Illinois High School Association Music Advisory Committee (2019-2022.)  He is a member of the Illinois Music Education Association and the National Association for Music Education.

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Mr. Tyler Harr

Mr. Harr is excited to join the Unit 5 band faculty in 2022!  After growing up in Bloomington-Normal, he is thrilled to be coming back home to teach in the school district that helped him fall in love with making music!

Mr. Harr previously taught for five years in Brimfield, IL and Paxton, IL. He has taught K-12 general music, choir, and band classes over the past few years.  He is a graduate of Normal West High School and Eastern Illinois University.

Mr. Harr will be teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th grade bands at Kingsley Junior High School as well as the Symphonic Band at NCWHS and Jazz Band at Kingsley.

Ms. Lisa Preston, Director of Bands Emerita

Lisa Preston was the founding Director of Bands at Normal West High School from its opening day in 1995 through the spring of 2022.  The Bands gratefully acknowledge and celebrate her exemplary career!

Click here to learn more about Ms. Preston.

Click here to read School Band and Orchestra Magazine's October 2009 article featuring Ms. Preston.