About Jeff Waggoner

Version 2Jeff Waggoner retired in 2011 from Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale, Illinois, in the western suburbs of Chicago. During the 26 years he worked at Hinsdale Central he served as Director of Bands, Director of Jazz Studies, Music Department Chair, and Instructional Technology Coordinator. He had been teaching since 1977 and has taught grade school band, middle school band, high school band, and college band and color guard. He holds degrees from the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University, with additional course work taken at Illinois State University, DePaul University, the VanderCook College of Music, and the Keller Graduate School of Management. He also completed a Graduate Certificate in E-Commerce from Keller Graduate School of Management. He is currently completing Level Two of the Marching Roundtable Judges Academy judge training.

Jeff was Illinois State Unit President of IAJE when the state unit won the Outstanding State Unit Award, and he won the Outstanding IAJE State Newsletter Award twice, in both Ohio and Illinois. He also served as the Co-chair of the Special Publications Committee for IAJE. He’s sorry IAJE is no longer in existence but urges you to support the Jazz Education Network.

During his years teaching at Hinsdale Central, he commissioned over a dozen works for jazz ensemble and several for concert band. He had a strong commitment to putting composers together with student ensembles, and his bands worked with such great educator/composers as Stephen Melillo, Jeff Jarvis, Steve Wiest, Denis DiBlasio, and the late Frank Mantooth.

Jeff is a proud member of the Central States Judges Association and now judges marching bands most weekends in the fall. He has judged bands and drum corps in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kentucky, West Virginia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Tennessee, Florida, Ohio, and Indiana. He also judged drum corps in Canada a few years back when he was judging for Drum Corps Midwest and DCI.

In addition to composing, arranging, and judging marching bands, Jeff has been involved in web design for many years and recently starting working with database creation in FileMaker Pro.

Jeff and his wife Debbie have two great kids. Brian is a former trumpet player who graduated from Bowling Green State University and works in computer game development for Gazillion Entertainment in the San Francisco Bay Area. Melissa, who plays saxophone, flute, and clarinet and studied at Western Illinois University, is the owner of Schlesinger Designs, a color guard instruction and design company. She is also the color guard instructor for William Fremd High School in Palatine, Illinois. She and her husband have two beautiful daughters, and Grampa thoroughly spoils them!

Last updated October, 2016.

5 thoughts on “About Jeff Waggoner

  1. Hi Mr. Waggoner!

    I’m one of your former students from Barberton H.S. from 1982-83.

    Jeff Biagetti forwarded me your blog URL. I was glad to read about all your activities.

    I just wanted to send a brief note to tell you how much of an impact you’ve had on my life. You introduced me to jazz, which is one of my passions that still continues today.

    And you were patient and understanding with me when I didn’t deserve it. (I was a pretty obnoxious kid!)

    I learned more about music from you than any of my other music teachers, past or present.

    By the way… it’s years overdue but I’m working on my own CD that should be complete early 2010. (On guitar. Unfortunately I let the trumpet fall by the wayside.)

    I’m glad to see you still helping kids play and appreciate music. You’re leaving behind a legacy that has touched thousands and will continue to influence thousands.

    Keep up the good work!

    All the best,
    Dan Gallapoo

    1. Good to hear from you after all these years! I can’t believe it’s been 25 years since I was teaching in Barberton!
      Dan, when your CD is finished I would love to hear it. Also – a former student of mine (from shortly after I came to Hinsdale) is the owner/founder/operator of CDBaby – you should see about putting your CD on there. It’s a great place for independent musicians to sell their work!

      Keep in touch!


  2. Hey Mr. Waggoner!

    “You probably don’t remember me….”

    My name is Pam Cooper Foldessy. You were one of my first flute teachers at Portage Elementary school (Walt Jensen being the other one). I was a freshman alto sax player in your band at Barberton High School during the 1984-1985 school year. (That was the year of Joey Stefanko as drum major.)

    Just like Dan said (above), you had an enormous impact on me as a musician. After high school, I went on to study music education at the University of Akron. I took a long break after college to get married, have a child, and do some soul searching. When I finally “grew up, I became a general music specialist in the Maple Heights City School District. I taught 7th and 8th grade general music from ’03 until ’09. I also taught choir and helped the band director. I’ve been teaching 4th and 5th grade general music since fall ’09.

    I’ve googled you a couple of times and managed to track you down on Hinsdale’s website. Somehow, I never found your publishing company site or blog. I’ll pass your site on to my colleagues. Even though you were my high school band director for only one year, I remember very well how you arranged music for marching band and wind ensemble.

    I think that most of the time, we teachers don’t know how we impacted a student’s life. I’m glad that I could locate you to let you know that during the time you were my teacher, you helped mold me into the teacher I am today. And that’s a really good thing.


  3. Hey Mr. Waggoner,

    Not sure you remember me. I was with you from 96-98 I believe. I’m wondering if you’re still living in Clarendon Hills. I’d love to catch up if you’re interested. I played bass in the jazz ensembles. I was a senior when Brian Torff did a trio gig with Lawrence Hobgood and Chris Crisanti. Sounds like things are going well for you. Hope you’re doing well.

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