As we've highlighted in previous posts about our fellow colleagues Jon and Maggie, Encore Tours' staff is made up of musicians and music educators, allowing us to provide the best possible experience to music directors taking their ensembles on tour. In this article, you'll meet composer and former music educator, Ward Dilmore!
Tell us a bit about yourself - where are you from and how did you get involved in music?
Ward: I have been a cellist since the age of 5 and performed at Carnegie Hall at 16. I attended Interlochen Arts Academy and SUNY/Potsdam for my BS and MS in Music Education. After graduating, I taught all levels of music students, Kindergarten through college. I am also an Emmy-nominated composer of music for TV and motion pictures, with seven albums on iTunes. Prior to coming to work at Encore, I was a music director who traveled with Encore for over 18 years! In that time, I took over 1,400 young musicians all over the world!
What is your role at Encore?
As Director of Development for Ensemble Leaders, I travel the country assisting directors in strategically building their music programs.
What type of musical activities are you involved in now?
Currently, I'm composing a new album of music used in the longest-running TV cooking show, and a 25-year client, Ciao Italia.
How does being a musician help you plan Encore tours and work with music directors?
Speaking the language of music, and knowing the needs of the directors is an absolute must so that every need can be seen in advance, and every director's mission can be respectfully support.
What is one of your favorite stories in working with music directors over the years?
An ensemble director's job was slated for elimination due to budget cuts. In a Hail Mary strategy, their Encore Tour provided their students with an opportunity to showcase the value of their music department. The program lives on today and continues to travel with Encore.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Many people make the mistake of characterizing Encore Tours as a "Tour Company." It's far more than that. An Encore experience is a powerful musical expedition that empowers Music Directors with transformational moments that open doors to the world within ourselves as well as the world we inhabit.
About the Author
Kate first discovered the power of intercultural communication and exchange through music on a month-long trip to China and Japan with her college wind ensemble. She's been hooked on traveling ever since and has performed with different groups in cities such Beijing, London, and Kyoto to name a few! Kate is a clarinet player and a passionate arts advocate with degrees in music, arts administration, and cultural policy. Kate is the Marketing and Communications Manager at Encore Tours.More Content by Kate Huffman