Meet MTC Tour Director Chuck KublyJef Furr
Meet Music Travel Consultants Tour Director Chuck Kubly, one of our professional Tour Directors, who uses his commitments to excellence and experience to make sure a music director’s trip is successful.
Rest assured, if the unpredictable happens, your MTC Tour Director is at your side, ready to take on the unpredictable and get your trip back on the road. With over 40 years of experience teaching music and understanding what directors need on trips, Chuck Kubly is ready to tour direct your next adventure. This highly decorated man comes with some quick wit and extensive knowledge of what it takes to bring your group the best experience possible. It is unique to have such a charismatic individual, who is a great tour director and also so well-liked.
A recently retired band director, Chuck earned his BS and MA degrees from Ball State University. He began his career in 1975 as band director at Roosevelt Middle School in Monticello, Indiana. Seven years later, he accepted the job as head band director at Monticello’s Twin Lakes High School, successfully filling that position for 30 years, through 2012.
During his career, Chuck has served as a member of the board of directors of the Indiana Music Educators Association and the Indiana State School Music Association. He is a member of MENC, IMEA, ISTA, NBA, IBA, IAJE, and ASBDA. He has judged ISSMA contests at both the District and the State levels. He has served as contest host for organizational, solo and ensemble, and marching band competitions. In 2004 he was inducted into the Indiana chapter of the International Bandmasters Fraternity, Phi Beta Mu.
Through the years, Chuck’s bands have competed in many different venues. His high school concert band was the recipient of a Division I rating in Organizational Contest every year of his tenure. The Twin Lakes Jazz Ensemble was awarded 30 consecutive Division I ratings at ISSMA Jazz Festivals. In addition, his marching bands were ISSMA State Finalists five times, and participated in the Hollywood Christmas Parade in Hollywood, California, the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Fiesta Bowl Parade in Tempe, Arizona, the Citrus Bowl Parade in Orlando, Florida, the Chicago Christmas Parade in Chicago, Illinois, the Waikiki Holiday Parade in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington, DC. Chuck’s bands performed at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. In 2001 and 2008 the band had the honor of performing at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Chuck served as Music Department Chair for Twin Lakes High School and taught classes in Music Theory and Electronic Music. Various instrumental groups under his direction entertained many civic groups around the Monticello Community. He was instrumental in organizing the Monticello Community Band, which draws adult musicians from several counties.
In 2004, the Indiana Music Educators Association named Chuck Kubly the “Outstanding High School Music Educator Of The Year”. In 2007, he was presented the “Crystal Apple” Award by the Twin Lakes Education Foundation as the Twin Lakes School Corporation Teacher of the Year. The Twin Lakes Band program under his leadership was the recipient of the Indiana State School Music Association “All-Music” Award every year since the award’s inception in 2002.
Chuck retired from teaching at Twin Lakes in 2012. Letting no grass grow under his feet, he operates a thriving private lesson studio, is a freelance adjudicator, clinician, arranger and, of course, also works as a tour director for Music Travel Consultants.
Chuck was gracious enough to share some answers about his experience so far with MTC:
How long have you been a Tour Director for Music Travel Consultants?
Chuck: I have been a tour director for MTC since November of 2013.
Please talk about your background in music/music education.
Chuck: I was a band director, here in Indiana, for 37 years before my retirement in 2012. I served many years on the Indiana State School Music Association Board of Directors as well as on the board of the Indiana Music Educators Association. I continue to judge concert band, marching band, jazz ensemble, show choir, and solo & ensemble contests, and I teach private lessons and work with various band programs in Indiana.
How did you get started tour directing?
Chuck: My high school band toured all through my career. I always traveled with Music Travel Consultants. I love music and being around band, choir and orchestra students. It is always interesting to me to meet music educators from around the country and see how their programs function. It just seemed a natural transition to become a tour director.
How many trips have you tour directed?
Chuck: I have tour directed over 25 trips so far and look forward to many more!
What is the hardest part of being a successful MTC Tour Director?
Chuck: I think all our tour directors would agree that the hardest part of tour directing is dealing with unexpected problems that occur, that are beyond our control. It is challenging to meet these unexpected problems head-on and find creative solutions to them.
What is the largest group you have tour directed?
Chuck: Over the last few years, I have taken several large, multi-motor coach, marching bands on trips. They can be challenging, but with large groups, Music Travel always has more than one tour director assigned to take care of the group’s needs. The largest group I tour directed was the Bands of America Honor Band at the Tournament of Roses Parade. I was fortunate to be one of several tour directors to work with that outstanding ensemble.
Is there something you wish travelers knew before a trip departs?
Chuck: To expect the unexpected and to be flexible. One of the things that makes travel such an adventure is the interesting things that occur on every trip! Also, travelers need to be aware of the sun, if traveling to a warm climate. One day in the sun without sunblock can make the rest of a trip miserable.
Tell us about your proudest moment, or a time when you ‘being there’ made a difference.
Chuck: My proudest moment came recently on a trip to Disney World when our departure was delayed because of a motorcoach mix-up. We left six hours late, but working with the drivers and directors, we only lost two hours off the schedule and we didn’t lose any park time!
What is your favorite place to travel/visit, with and without groups?
Chuck: My favorite group destination is Orlando, Florida and Walt Disney World. It is a delight taking groups to Disney World and facilitating performances before large, multi-cultural crowds. As for myself, I enjoy visiting cities, such as New Orleans, that offer great entertainment and food. Also, after retirement, my wife & I purchased an Airstream trailer and we are visiting National Parks around the country.
What does it take to be a successful MTC Tour Director?
Chuck: It takes great organizational skills. You have to really study the trip you are about to undertake and make sure everything is set up and running smoothly. You also need great communication skills. You not only need to communicate clearly with the directors, drivers, parents, and students on your trip but also with all the food, hotel and event vendors.
What are the benefits of having an MTC Tour Director at your side?
Chuck: The biggest benefit of having an MTC Tour Director on the trip is that the music director doesn’t have to worry about the logistics of the tour. That director then can concentrate on the students and their upcoming performances. Our tour directors all have a background in education, with many in music education. For the most part, our tour directors have “been there and done that” with their own groups and can really tailor the trip to meet the needs of the specific group. We know how to speak the language of the music director!
Any advice to share with groups considering performance travel?
Chuck: Don’t be afraid of student travel. Traveling with your band, orchestra or choir provides many opportunities for performances that you can’t have in your community. It also provides many educational benefits. The Music Travel Team is outstanding at putting together educational, exciting itineraries to some of the most interesting places in the world. You always have an experienced MTC Tour Director by your side to take the worry and stress out of your ensemble’s trip.
Do you think you have what it takes to wear the cape and be an MTC Tour Director like Chuck?
Contact Music Travel Consultants to start planning your trip.