Our Conductors: John Skelton
John Skelton conducts and is a charter member of the Salem Symphonic Winds. John earned his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Oregon, and was a music director in the Dallas School District from 1974 until his retirement in 2005. He has earned a reputation for creative programming which features quality new literature from international sources. His groups have been responsible for commissions of new concert band works from composers that include Frigyes Hidas, Norman Dello Joio, Melvin Shelton, Jon Sutton, and Leonard Duarte. He has been an active advocate of copyright laws and the composers and publishers they protect.
His high school bands earned several state championships and represented Oregon in Washington DC, at the National Concert Band Festival in Chicago, at the International Youth Music Festival in Vienna, Austria and on performance tours in Canada, Europe, and Japan. He is a staff member with the Oregon Ambassadors of Music, which have taken thousands of Oregon students on performance tours of Europe.
He recently retired from the Oregon Army National Guard after more than thirty-seven years of service. He had served as First Sergeant, euphonium soloist, leader of the brass quintet, drum major and conductor of the 234th Army Band in Portland, Oregon. John has served in a variety of advisory and leadership positions in the Oregon arts community. He was manager of the OMEA/OSAA State Solo Contest for four years, and served as President of the Oregon Music Educators Association. He lives in West Salem with his wife, Toni.