BIOGRAPHY

RON CASTONGUAY (b. 1971) is an educator, musician, composer, conductor and performer.  He is currently in his third year as Director of the Arts and Music Director at The Frederick Gunn School in picturesque Washington, Connecticut, after spending 23 years at Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, Florida, where he was the Department Chair for the Performing Arts and Music Director.  In Miami he directed String Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Vocal Ensemble and A.P. Music Theory. He has also taught a self-created course titled “Jazz Theory & Improvisation” as well as IB Music SL & HL.  During his tenure at Gulliver Prep, his ensembles and individual students consistently earned top marks at District, State and National music festivals.

 

Ron received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Theory & Composition from the University of Miami (FL.) in 1993. He has been, or is currently, an active member of the National Association for Music Education, American String Teachers Association, Connecticut Music Educators’ Association, Florida Orchestra Association, Florida Vocal Association, Florida Bandmasters’ Association, Florida Music Educators’ Association, Florida American String Teachers Association, and the Florida Schools Music Association.

 

In addition to his career as a conductor and music educator, Ron is also a a published composer with Leap Year Publishing, as well as a professional saxophonist and recording artist.  Ron’s compositions have been performed numerous times and span a wide array of ensemble genres, from instrumental to choral, and in all musical idioms, from classical to contemporary to jazz.  His compositions are currently available at JWPepper.com and LeapYearMusic.com.

 

As a saxophonist, Ron has released two self-produced CDs of original music in the contemporary jazz genre; 1998’s Subtle Touch and On The Right Track, released in 2008. He is also a studio musician, most recently performing all of the saxophone parts on Kate Nauta’s Holiday LP.  Ron’s music is available on Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, and CDBaby.

Ron resides in Washington, CT, with his wife, Melissa, and their two daughters, Siena and Summer.

Notable Conducting Venues

  • Graceland Performing Arts Center, Memphis, TN

    • Wind, String, Vocal and Jazz Ensembles

  • National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TN

    • Vocal Ensemble

  • Hard Rock Restaurant, Memphis, TN

    • Jazz Ensemble

  • BB King’s Restaurant, Orlando, FL

    • Jazz Ensemble

  • Strathmore Center for the Performing Arts, MD

    • Wind, String, Vocal and Jazz Ensembles

  • Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center, Miami, FL

    • Professional Orchestra for run of "Into The Woods," Carnival Theater

  • Lincoln Center Avery Fisher Hall, NYC

    • Wind, String and Vocal Ensembles

  • Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Allen Room, NYC

    • Jazz Ensemble

  • Osceola Center for the Performing Arts, FL

    • Wind, String, Jazz and Vocal Ensembles

  • Performing Arts Center in Atlanta, GA

    • Wind, String, Jazz and Vocal Ensembles

  • Carnegie Hall, NYC

    • Wind, String and Vocal Ensembles

  • Atrium outside The Metropolitan, NYC

    • Jazz Ensemble

  • Walt Disney World & Universal Studios, FL

    • Wind, String, Jazz and Vocal Ensembles

  • Performances with National Music Festivals

    • Wind, String, Symphonic, Jazz and Vocal Ensembles

      • WorldStrides Heritage Festival of Gold, Dixie Classic National Adjudicators’ Invitational, OrlandFest, MemphisFest, Battle of the Jazz Bands, Lakeside Jazz Festival and others

Achievements and Accolades

  • 18 Consecutive years of Consistent Superior Ratings (MPA and Solo & Ensemble Festivals)

    • Florida Orchestra Association’s District/State Music Performance Assessments for String Ensemble

    • Florida Bandmasters’ Association’s District/State Music Performance Assessments for Wind Ensemble

    • Florida Bandmasters’ Association’s District/State Music Performance Assessments for Jazz Ensemble

    • Florida Vocal Association’s District/State Music Performance Assessments for Concert Choir

  • 22 Consecutive years of attendance to the Music Educators National In-Service Conference in Tampa, FL

  • 22 Consecutive years of student participation in the Florida All-State Music Festival across all ensemble genres

  • Student selection to NAfME All-National Ensembles (Orchestra and Chorus) – 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

  • Conducted the professional run of “Into The Woods” at the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center in Miami, FL

    • 28 performances, January – February, 2015

    • Responsibilities included attaining/auditioning orchestra musicians, rehearsals, score editing/adaptation, performances

  • Music Theory & Ensemble Director at the University of Miami’s 2004 Summer Choral Camp

  • Performed alto saxophone solo with the Miami Symphony for the performance of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue”

  • Performed alto, tenor and bari saxophones on Kate Nauta's holiday LP release in 2019