Donald William Huff
Donald Huff, a trombonist, and conductor, has taught music for eighteen years in two Seventh-day Adventist academies. He currently is director of bands at Spring Valley Academy in Ohio and director of the Kettering Praise Orchestra at the Kettering Adventist Church in Ohio.
Huff was born and raised in Bourbon, Missouri, one of three children born to Joseph and Alyce Chapman Huff. He started piano lessons in fourth grade and continued for three years.
He started playing trombone in eighth grade while attending Hillcrest Jr. Academy in St. Louis, and then continued at Sunnydale Academy in Centralia, Missouri, playing in band for four years and, in his senior year, in a brass quintet. He was honored with the John Philip Sousa Award for his work in the academy band when he graduated. Huff found the lessons and ensemble experiences he had with Tom Buller, his academy music teacher, to be particularly inspiring.
After graduating from SA in 1991, he enrolled at Union College, where, during his first year he decided to major in music education with trombone as his performance area. Steve Hall was his major professor and during his four years at UC, he not only played in the band (Concert Winds) and the Brass Union but also directed a trombone choir and pep band. Huff was again awarded the John Philip Sousa Award for his accomplishments in the college band program.
Following graduation in 1995, he accepted a position at Spring Valley Academy in Kettering, Ohio, where he taught all aspects of instrumental music and developed a highly successful comprehensive band program that included an academy band, wind ensemble, stage band, and a brass ensemble called the Valley Brass. He also directed middle school and 5th grade bands, in addition to giving instrument lessons and teaching a class in music appreciation.
He made several recordings, toured extensively, and involved his students in numerous festival bands conducted by noted composers and conductors. In 2006, he accepted the instrumental teaching position at Loma Linda Academy, in California where he again toured widely during his two years there.
In his years as a band director, Huff has traveled with his ensembles in over 25 states and in Canada and the Caribbean. They have played multiple times at both Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California. His ensembles have commissioned works from noted nationally known band composers James Swearingen, Stephen Bulla, and James Curnow.
Since his return to Kettering in 2008, Huff has been associated with music at Kettering College Adventist Church. In 2010, he completed a master's degree in music education at the University of Dayton.
Donald is married to Kristan Nickell, who completed an undergraduate degree in music with flute, piano, and organ as her performance areas. She subsequently completed a graduate degree and is now a Doctor of Optometry. The Huffs have one son, William Lee.
Sources: Completed biography sheet and other biographical information provided by Donald Huff in 2011 and 2013.