Our Conductors

Read about the leaders of the band!


Joe Santanello

Joe Santanello

2017 - present

Our Current Conductor, Joe Santanello, is originally from Vernon, New Jersey. Santanello is also the Director of Bands at Strayer Middle School in Quakertown, Pennsylvania and has been since 1999. He earned his Bachelors of Music Education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and his Masters of Conducting from the American Band College of Sam Houston State University. In addition to teaching at Strayer, he is the Co-Director of the Quakertown Community High School "Panther" Marching Band and also directs one of the high school's two jazz bands - now dubbed "Joe's Jazz Cafe." He maintains a regular performing schedule as the principal horn of the Pennsylvania Symphonic Winds, and also plays with the Berks Opera Company and the newly founded Liberty Wind Symphony. In addition he also has a small horn studio in Quakertown and his students have been selected to the PMEA Region, District and All-State Festivals as well as performed in the prestigious Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. Santanello is an avid New York sports fan and amateur chef. He enjoys running, tennis and reading. When he can Santanello sits in on horn in the Band while others are conducting. He is the 14th Conductor of the Band.

Al Zwart

Albert Zwart

2008 to present, Associate Conductor

Albert Zwart was born and raised in northwestern Indiana, graduated from Hammond High School in 1965, and went on to receive his B.A. in Music from Central University of Iowa in 1969. He married his Pennsylvania sweetheart and moved to Newtown, PA where he began teaching instrumental music in the Council Rock School District. In 1973, he received his M.A. in conducting from Trenton State College studying under the late Stanley Austin. After 30 years of teaching in Council Rock, he then became the band director at Upper Bucks Christian School in Sellersville, where he conducted until retiring in 2014. His has performanced in numerous pit orchestras for musicals throughout the Delaware Valley and substituted in several of the county and community bands and orchestras in Bucks County. Al also serves as a French Horn player with the Quakertown Band.

Richard S. Karschner

Richard S. Karschner

1999 - 2017
2017 - present, Conductor Emeritus

Richard Karschner spent more than thirty years as a high school band director and then worked as a Supervisor of Music from the Upper Dublin Schools until retiring. Richard studied at Susquehanna University, Miami University, and Temple University. Having directed award-winning concert, marching and jazz bands as well as more than twenty-five musicals, he is familiar with a wide variety of musical styles. Karschner now serves as our Conductor Emeritus.

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