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About the Director - John Werth

A self-described "band music fanatic", John Werth is a former high school band director and an active performer in local community bands as bass clarinetist with the Washington Wind Symphony and Seattle Wind Symphony. He is also the founding and current conductor of the River Winds Concert Band.

John began his college career majoring in the sciences, but played in university groups as an undergraduate. He has often said that he "joined the band to meet girls" - and in 1985 he met his wife Julie while playing with the University of Oregon Wind Ensemble. Julie is also a clarinetist and plays with the Woodinville Concert Band, River Winds Concert Band, Kirkland Civic Orchestra and others.

While pursuing his PhD in mathematics, he realized that his heart really lay in music. In 1990, he left graduate school and entered the California State University Northridge music program with the intent of becoming a high school band director, which he did after graduating three years later with a degree in music and music education.

John and Julie now live in Redmond with their Belgian Shepherds, Sasha and Nick. They operate Union Hill Winds from their home, where she teaches clarinet lessons and he repairs woodwind instruments.