J.D. Latorre, Director of Bands

     Mr. Latorre attended the University of Dayton , in Dayton Ohio, graduating with a bachelors degree in Music Education in 1996. His principal instrument is trumpet (click to hear him performing A Trumpeter's Lulluby with the BU Wind Ensemble).
     Mr. Latorre did his student teaching at Fairborn High School, working with Robert C. Bass (now at Mason High School). In the four months he spent at Fairborn, Mr. Latorre worked with every instrumental ensemble, grades 6-12, and conducted a piece with the Concert Band at a music festival in Toronto.
     In July of 1996, Mr. Latorre took over as Director of Bands at Berne Union. Berne Union Local's small size warrants only one full-time instrumental music instructor, making Mr. Latorre responsible for all elements of the band program, including: Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Concert Band, 5th Grade Band, 6th Grade Band, Jazz Band, Pep Band, and other smaller ensembles. Mr. Latorre also teaches a music elective that rotates by year between Music Theory, Jazz Lab, and Brass Ensemble. Two digital audio recording classes have been added to the music curriculum in recent years as well.
     The Berne Union Bands have continued their winning tradition under Mr. Latorre's Direction, with the Wind Ensemble receiving twenty-four superior ratings. In Mr. Latorre's time at BU the Marching Band has won: 22 Grand Champion Awards, 27 Reserve Grand Champion Awards, 73 1st in Class, 28 2nd in Class, 49 Best Auxiliary, and 46 Best Percussion Awards. The band has earned 16 Superior ratings at state finals.
JD is an OMEA marching Band adjudicator, and currently serves as a member of the state wide Adjudicated Events Committee.
     Mr. Latorre and his wife Elizabeth and children Katie, Joshua, Maggie and Ellen live in Lancaster.

Email JD

Click here to see a list of previous BU directors.


Maggie Mathias, Guard Instructor

     Maggie graduated from BU in 2010, from Ohio University in 2013, and is now a math faculty member at Berne Union High School. Maggie provids all the visual design for the color guard.


Jared Hunter, Percussion Instructor

     Jared graduated in the spring of 2002 from Berne Union High School and earned the Denise Hurst, John Philip Sousa, and Director's Awards while participating in the school's music program. After graduating he attended Cedarville University where he obtained a Bachelor's Degree in History with a minor in Music. Jared performed in the university wind ensemble, brass choir, orchestra, and pep band. He earned second place in the university's Gabrieli scholarship competition which is given to the best musicians in the upcoming freshman class. He now serves the band as one of the Percussion Instructors and Assistant Director.