Serving the East Valley from 1900 to the present.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

About the Directors

Larry Baedke wore two hats in the Mesa City Band (Assistant Director and one of the band's top trumpet players) until April 2006 when he became the director. He had assisted Tom Kacere, our former director, since 1989. Mr. Baedke taught band in the Minnesota Public Schools from 1967 to 1973 and has been involved in Arizona music education since 1973. Larry retired after 32 years as band director and department chairman of the Poston Junior High music department in 2005.

Since coming to Arizona, he has been active in the state’s youth music program and has served as Solo and Ensemble Festival chairperson, clinician, adjudicator, and has conducted the Honor Band at Northern Arizona University’s Summer Music Camp. He also has been guest conductor at various junior high band festivals in the Phoenix area. An excellent trumpet player, he freelances and enjoys performing in Arizona's Official Historical Brass Band (a turn-of-the-century brass band) called Territorial Brass.

Larry is a native of Iowa. He is a graduate of Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa (now Buena Vista University). He has done graduate work at the University of Minnesota under Dr. Frank Bencriscutto as well as at Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University.


Chris Perry has been a member of the Mesa City Band since 2004. In 2011 he was made the Assistant Director.  Chris is an active musician in Mesa and Tempe:  Associate Conductor of the SilverRidge Pops Orchestra, Director of the Sunland Singers Choir, and Director of the St. Mark's Episcopal Church's Praise Band.

Aside from his directing roles, Chris also performs on a variety of instruments including guitar, piano and flute.  He is the pianist for Swing Memories Big Band, which performs in a variety of venues in Mesa and Apache Junction.

Chris graduated from ASU with a BM in Music Composition and Theory.  He continues to write and arrange music in a variety of styles for the various groups in which he is involved.  He also teaches private guitar and piano students from his home in Phoenix.


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