Matt Koutney makes first impression




UCLA graduate Matt Koutney will replace Mark Toffelmier in the upcoming school year as the new band director at Roseville High School.

Koutney graduated from Bella Vista High School and then UCLA, with a degree in Music Education and a double major in Trombone Performance. Koutney started playing in sixth grade on the trombone and played throughout high school. In high school he played in jazz band and marching band. He currently teaches band piano and choir at Luther Burbank High School.

Fall drumline major  Amanda Lopes interviewed Koutney along with fellow band students Olivia Clouser, Philip Desrochers and Angelica Halsey. Lopes felt he was very qualified for the position and that his teaching history will help him transition to RHS.

“He stood out in his interview by asking what he could do for us,” Lopes said. “Instead of going on about what he would do to make the program better he asked us what he could do to make the next season successful.”

Koutney hopes to create a music program that has a class for every student, one that covers all ends of the music spectrum.

I’m teaching band and choir this year and I love both of them it’s a lot of fun,” Koutney said. “My main goal is to make sure anyone who wants to participate in music has that opportunity and by opening up different classes it gives kids more opportunities to get involved in the program.”

Koutney hopes to streamline the transition from the elementary band programs to middle school’s to the high school’s.

“My first idea is to get kids into those elementary schools and have sort of a mentorship going on where our kids can work with younger kids and get them excited about music so that they can see where they’ll be in four or five years if they stick with [music],” Koutney said.

According to principal David Byrd, Koutney showed all the signs of what administration wanted from a band director.

“He has a good open mind about wanting to sit down with students and get their opinions,” Byrd said. “He wants to grow the jazz band and he [currently]  teaches a choir class.”

Clouser was upset by Toffelmier’s dismissal but does not hold resentment for  Koutney and is excited to see where he will take the program.

“I feel bad that Toff has to go given the circumstances, but I think he is a good fit,” Clouser said. “There is definitely going to be a learning curve but I think the senior class will be able to help him out.”