Prelude Wind Ensemble Director Michael R. Krofta recently retired as director of instrumental music at Oconomowoc High School. His 37 years teaching public and private schools included teaching in Wisconsin and Ohio. His past duties include conductor of the nationally-acclaimed Oconomowoc High School Wind Symphony, as well as director of the Concert Band, Jazz Ensembles, and Jazz Combo. Mr. Krofta is past Jazz Chairperson for the Wisconsin Music Educators Association and Director of Jazz Studies at Marquette University (2003 – 2006). He is currently the band director at St. Anthony in Pewaukee, St. Charles in Hartland, and Holy Apostles in New Berlin.
Prior to his work in Oconomowoc, Mr. Krofta was the Marching Band Director at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as Director of Bands at River Valley High School in Spring Green. Under his direction, Mr. Krofta’s ensembles have consistently earned superior ratings in many music festivals throughout the United States.
Under Mr. Krofta’s direction, the Oconomowoc Wind Symphony has performed numerous times at the Bands of America/Music For All National Concert Band Festival. The Wind Symphony was also selected to perform numerous times at the Wisconsin State Music Convention and the Wisconsin Association of School Boards and Administrators. Mr. Krofta was selected for the 2016 Symphonic Bands & Orchestras (SBO) National Magazine’s “50 Directors Who Make A Difference,” the 2017 Phi Beta Mu- Wisconsin Band Master of the Year Award, and received the “Citation of Excellence” from the National Band Association three times for his teaching excellence, and achievements and contributions to concert bands.
Michael R. Krofta completed his Masters Degree in Music Education at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio with a conducting emphasis, studying with Craig Kirchhoff. Mr. Krofta’s undergraduate work was completed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and also studied at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He was a trumpet soloist with both the Indiana Hoosier Marching Band (Ray Cramer, director) and the Wisconsin Marching Band (Michael Leckrone, director).
As a professional trumpeter since high school, Mike has had many amazing musical trumpet performance experiences–in orchestras, big bands, backing up rock bands, in parades, and at Brewers and Packers Games. He has performed professionally with the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, the Temptations, the Manhattan Transfer, Ice Capades Show, the Rodeo Circus Show, and toured with the Lawrence Welk All Stars and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.
Mr. Krofta is a member of The National Band Association (NBA), The American School Band Directors National Association (ASBDNA), The National Association for Music Education (NAfME), The Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA), and the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity.
Mike and his wife Connie first met in MFY/MYSO in the Senior Symphony trumpet section. Returning to MYSO as co-directors of the Prelude Wind Ensemble is coming full circle. They couldn’t be more excited to join the MYSO staff to direct the Prelude Wind Ensemble program to share the gift of music with the students of today. Mike’s goal is to give every child the opportunity to excel in music–and experience the joy of music as a form of expression as he has.