Growing up in East Tennessee, Tony Babecka has become a sought after music educator and performer throughout the United States and abroad. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN, and a Master of Music Performance from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI.
As an educator, he has taught and conducted clinics throughout Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois, California, Indiana, New Mexico, Arizona, Virginia, Nevada, and Massachusetts covering a wide range of musical talents and abilities. His private students have received first chair placements, superior solo and ensemble scores, district and All-State honors. He has taught at the Preparatory Institute of Academic Excellence at Charles I. West Hall and Morris Sunset East High School in Las Vegas, Nevada; Josiah Quincy Upper School in Boston, Massachusetts; and served as 5th grade woodwind instructor and Amigos Upper School for the Cambridge, Massachusetts schools.
Under his direction, the band at West made tremendous progress receiving ‘Excellent’ ratings at festivals and performing at the following prestigious Las Vegas events: College of Southern Nevada Science Expo; Martin Luther King, Jr., Oratorical Competition; Nevada Senator John Ensign; and the City of North Las Vegas Awards Banquet. Tony was director of the Morris Sunset High School Drumline which has performed at the Clark County Education Services Division Graduation Ceremony and placed 2nd in the Wal-Mart ‘Notes to Grow Contest. While at the Josiah Quincy Upper School, the band has seen a tremendous resurgence growing exponentially in a short time. Students have successfully auditioned for the All-East Massachusetts Honor Band; New England Conservatory Ensemble and Lessons Program ; and the Berklee College of Music All-Star Ensemble and High School Mentoring Academy. The school has performed at the historic Boston Common Park, EdVestors Annual Awards Event, and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh.
Mr. Babecka’s bands have been featured on local media in Las Vegas, NV and Boston, MA and nationally on VH1. His students have had the opportunity to perform along side Barry Manilow; Ernie Boch Jr.; and Charlie Puth. The band has received national recognition from the Grammy Foundation as a Grammy Award Winning Community School.
In addition to success in the classroom, Mr. Babecka has been awarded grants and monetary awards totaling $300,000 at his several schools. This has helped purchase the necessary equipment to maintain effective programs and provide unforgettable opportunities and experiences.
As a performer, Mr. Babecka has been a featured soloist with professional symphony orchestras and concert bands. As a woodwind specialist, he has performed with numerous musical theatre pit orchestras and eclectic jazz groups. His jazz octet was a featured group at the International Association of Jazz Educators and performed with Stefon Harris, Fred Hersch, and Billy Hart. His playing has taken him aboard, being part of the American Music in China series and as a Jazz Artist with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of El Salvador. While in Las Vegas, Tony performed for a wide variety of events. He has performed with Barry Manilow, Terry Fator, the Coasters, the Platters, Lin Yu Chun, Kellie Wright, Sandy Kastel, and venues ranging from First Friday’s Art Downtown, the Bellagio, the Nugget, Las Vegas Hilton, the Mirage, Aria, and the Joint at the Hard Rock Cafe. He has performed as a woodwind specialist for several area musicals and is a member of Massachusetts Roma Band.