Great conductors possess a winning combination of people skills and musicianship to lead groups toward delivering audience-pleasing performances. Greater Greenwood Community Band is fortunate to have leadership of band directors who meet the needs of volunteer musicians and audiences alike.
Mr. Thomas Dirks
An educator for 36 years, Thomas Dirks spent 26 of those years as the Director of Bands for the Center Grove Community Schools Corporation. While under his guidance, the Center Grove band program grew into a nationally recognized band program, receiving several national championships with the winter guard and percussion ensemble.
Mr. Dirks was the recipient of the Council of Sagamores of the Wabash awarded by the Governor of Indiana in 2000, inducted into the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, and given the Outstanding Band Director’s Award, Band World’s Legion of Honor, the Sudler Shield Award, and other Distinguished Service Awards.
Since his retirement in 2001, Mr. Dirks has been active as an adjudicator for many marching and concert band championships and festivals throughout the country. He also has developed a new career in real estate. In 2010, Mr. Dirks joined the faculty of Franklin College in a position of lecturer of music. Mr. Dirks is also active in the Greenwood White River Rotary Club. He currently serves as a board member of the Greater Greenwood Arts Council.
Mr. Dirks received both his bachelors and masters degrees from Indiana State University with post graduate work at Vandercook College of Music and Illinois Normal University. He and his wife, Connie, reside in Trafalgar, Indiana and are members of the Mt. Olive Lutheran Church.
Mr. Ora C. Pemberton
Ora Pemberton has been the Associate Director, Conductor and Consultant of the Greater Greenwood Community Band since the spring of 2005.
Mr. Pemberton has been Music Supervisor and Department Chair of Bands at Arlington, Zionsville, Beech Grove, and Columbus in the State of Indiana. He was on Faculty at Concord College Athens, West Virginia, instructor and Director of Instrumental Music. In addition, he was on the Board of Directors for the Butler University Summer Band Camp and on the Board of Directors for the Indianapolis Capital City Band Camp. Mr. Pemberton helped start and directed The Columbus City Band for six years starting in 1983.
Mr. Pemberton holds a B.M. and M.M. Degrees in Music Education from Butler University. He is a member of numerous professional organizations and is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity. Mr. Pemberton is the Recipient of: Columbus City Band Proclamation of Honor, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation Proclamation of Honor, The City of Columbus Proclamation of Honor, and the Indiana Retired Teachers Association Certification in Recognition of Outstanding Community Service, 2010 and 2012. He and his wife, Valeria who is the oboist in the band, reside in Columbus, Indiana and are members of the First United Methodist Church. They are the parents of two children, Robin of Ft. Wayne, Indiana and Chris of Houston, Texas, and are the grandparents of four grandchildren.