Meet Music Travel Consultants Tour Director Steven BoxJeff Buchanan
Meet Music Travel Consultants Tour Director Steven Box, a master of music education.
A native of Northwestern Ohio (Liberty Center) and a graduate of Otsego High School, Steven Box received his Bachelor of Music Degree in 1980 from Bowling Green State University, where he studied under Mark Kelly, John Deal, and Ivan Hammond. He earned his Masters of Music Education degree from the University of Akron in 2002.
Steve began his teaching career in the Rolling Hills Local School District (Meadowbrook Middle School and High School) in 1980, where he taught instrumental music for thirty-five years. He retired in July of 2015. Under his direction, the Meadowbrook High School Marching Band and Concert Bands participated in many OMEA (Ohio Music Education Association) adjudicated events, and qualified for State Marching Band finals 33 out of 35 years. The Meadowbrook Concert Band also qualified for State several times during Steve’s tenure. Heavily involved in OMEA leadership, serving as District IX President, District IX Honor Band Co-Chair, OMEA East Central Region State Co-Chair and OMEA Marching Band/Solo & Ensemble Adjudicator, Steve served as Contest Chair for the Meadowbrook Festival of Bands for 28 years. In 2005, he was asked to direct the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference All-Star Marching Band, and he co-directed the Muskingum Valley Youth Winds during the 2010 season.
Steve remains very active in music by leading worship at Calvary Baptist Church in Byesville, OH, as a member of the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds, by performing with the Cambridge Lions Club Variety Show Band, and as a substitute teacher in Byesville, OH. Best of all, Steve works as a tour director for Music Travel Consultants of Indianapolis, Indiana. Hobbies include travel, playing and teaching guitar, woodworking, and a new passion for hiking in the mountains. He and his wife, Diane, also a music teacher, reside in Byesville and have three grown children and two grandchildren.
How long have you been a Tour Director for Music Travel Consultants?
Steve: I am in my third year with Music Travel Consultants.
What is your background in music/music education?
Steve: I taught middle school and high school instrumental music in the Rolling Hills Local School District in Byesville, Ohio for 35 years.
How did you get started tour directing?
Steve: MTC tour designer, Jeff Buchanan, a good friend from college days at BGSU, recruited me as I was nearing retirement.
How many total trips have you tour directed?
Steve: Eleven so far, but more each travel season.
What is the hardest part of being a successful MTC Tour Director?
Steve: While I love to travel, trips are often both physically and mentally exhausting, and it usually takes a day or two to recoup afterward. The positive thing about coming home from a trip exhausted is that it usually means I have done my job and the group had a successful trip.
What is the largest group you have tour directed?
Steve: My largest group was my first training trip with Round Rock High School Band, from Austin, Texas to BOA Grand Nationals in Indianapolis. There were over 300 students, staff, and chaperones on two charter flights. Fortunately, veteran MTC tour director Sue Guindon was my training mentor and lead tour director on the trip.
Is there something you wish travelers knew before the trip departs?
Steve: Most trips require a good deal of walking, so travelers need to be ready for this. Begin the trip rested, wear comfortable shoes and stay hydrated.
What’s your proudest moment, or a time when you leading the trip made a difference?
Steve: I was with a group in Florida, and we were at the hotel, loading the buses, preparing to leave for a choir performance at Disney Springs. The director was on the phone with one of the students who was still in his room looking for his black dress performance pants. I happened to have a pair of black pants in my room, so I offered to let him use them for the performance. Fortunately, the pants fit and all was well!
What is your favorite place to travel/visit with and without groups?
Steve: I think my favorite destination with groups is New York City. I took my own groups there as a teacher, and that first glimpse of the city from across the Hudson River is always an exciting moment. My favorite destination without groups is where our grandchildren live, currently Denver, Colorado and Columbus, Ohio.
What does it take to be a successful MTC Tour Director?
Steve: Preplanning and foresight. The sales and operations staff at MTC do a great job of planning outstanding trip itineraries, but once the trip departs there can be many variables which affect the schedule. The tour director has to be ready to make on-the-spot decisions. The ability to look ahead and foresee issues that may come up during a trip, and to create a Plan B and, sometimes, Plan C, is very important.
Why should every group have a MTC Tour Director at its side?
Steve: As a former band director, having an MTC TD with us on the trip allowed me to focus my attention on the students and their performance. I knew that the details of the trip, like buses, hotel check-in, event tickets, meal cash, etc. were taken care of, which gave me peace of mind and created a much more enjoyable trip experience for everyone.
What can you share with groups considering performance travel?
Steve: If you haven’t traveled with your performance group before, and are not sure about it, I encourage you to try it. During my 35 years of teaching, some of the most rewarding experiences for my students were on performance trips.
Do you think you have what it takes to wear the cape and be an MTC Tour Director like Steven Box?
Contact Music Travel Consultants to start planning your trip.