James W. Dragovich has been a member of the music faculty of the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools for the past thirty-one years, the last twenty-seven as Director of Bands at George W. Hewlett High School. He holds both a Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music Education Degree from Long Island University, C. W. Post Campus. Mr. Dragovich also holds a Master of Arts Degree in Wind Conducting.from Hofstra University. During his studies at Hofstra University he served as the Graduate Conducting Associate to both the Hofstra University Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. Mr. Dragovich returned to the Hofstra campus in the spring of 2007 as a member of the music education faculty teaching graduate and under graduate classes in both percussion and brass methods. In addition, Mr. Dragovich was a member of the music education faculty of C.W. Post College for sixteen years.
Ensembles under Mr. Dragovich’s direction have received numerous awards and recognitions. Both the Hewlett High School Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble have received Gold Ratings at NYSSMA Festivals, and the Hewlett High School Marching Band received a First Place award in the New York City Columbus Day Parade.
Most recently the Hewlett High School Jazz Orchestra was chosen to perform at the 2014 NYSSMA Winter Conference. Mr. Dragovich has toured and conducted in Canada, Walt Disney World and throughout the east coast. In addition, he has conducted numerous world premieres of music for wind band and jazz ensemble and served as the original director of the Nassau-Suffolk Jazz Band. He is now enjoying his thirteenth season as Conductor of the Nassau-Suffolk Concert Band. Mr. Dragovich works as a guest clinician presenting workshops at local universities, state conferences and for county organizations. He also serves as a guest conductor and clinician for Educational Tours Inc, affording him the honor to work with dozens of high school bands from around the nation. Mr. Dragovich also serves as a judge and clinician for both Music in The Parks and Festivals of Music and is on the advisory board of Best Bands International.
As a conductor, Mr. Dragovich has worked with many guest soloists including Stanley and Naomi Drucker, John Riley, Erik Ralske, Jack Schatz, Cecil Bridgewater, Joe Alessi, Mike Fahn, Leon Petruzzi and Jim Snidero. An active instrumentalist, Mr. Dragovich has performed with numerous artists including Billy Ekstine, Julius LaRosa, Jerry Vale, The Four Aces, Bobby Shew, Dave Pietro, The Four Freshmen, Ray Alexander, Clem DeRosa, and with numerous regional orchestras. Mr. Dragovich is also proud to have been nominated to Who’s Who among American Teachers numerous times by his students.