About the Director

About the Director:

Damon Knepper - Director of Bands

Mr. Damon Knepper was born and raised in Tucson, AZ, and attended all Amphitheater District schools (Mesa Verde Elementary School, Cross Middle School, and Canyon del Oro High School), graduating in 2010. He then attended the University of Arizona, receiving his Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) in 2016. Following his undergraduate studies, Mr. Knepper earned his Master of Music Education (M.M.Ed.) from the University of Florida. 

Mr. Knepper's performance experience includes the following:

- 2010-2013 Academy Drum & Bugle Corps (front ensemble section leader 2012 & 2013)

- 2014-2015 University of Arizona Wind Symphony (principal percussionist)

- 2011-2014 U of A Philharmonic Orchestra (2013-2014 principal percussionist)

- 2011-2014 U of A Percussion Ensemble

- Tucson Repertory Orchestra

During his years of performance and intense studying, Mr. Knepper has had the pleasure of learning from some of the best music educators in the country, including Dr. William Bauer, Dr. John Duff, Dr. Norman Weinberg, Dr. Mark Eichenberger, Dr. Andrea Venet, Dr. Elizabeth Soflin, Dr. Jeff Hewitt, Dr. Kevin Cross, Dr. Kevin Holzman, Mark Richardson, Gregg Hansen, Glen Crosby, Ike Jackson, Robin Horn, Tim Berg, Sean Gordon, Brian Crist, Brian Nungaray, Darrell Prochaska, Russ Granillo, Toru Togawa, Mark Hodge, and Nicholas Rayas.

Mr. Knepper has been the director of string and percussion studies at Ironwood Ridge since 2016 and is a passionate educator and lover of all things related to music! This will be his sixth year as a teacher at Ironwood Ridge, after six years of instructing the percussion sections at Amphitheater High School (2012-2015) & Canyon del Oro High School (2010-2013). In addition to being a full-time high music educator, Mr. Knepper is also a private percussion teacher and in-demand clinician around Arizona.

Mr. Knepper's ensembles regularly receive high ratings from adjudicated festivals throughout the Southwest. Numerous students from Mr. Knepper's ensembles continue to be accepted into music performance, music education, and music therapy programs, many of whom now teach their own students.

In addition to conducting, teaching, and performing, Mr. Knepper is an accomplished composer/arranger. He has written music for ensembles throughout the United States and still composes and arranges music regularly.

Mr. Knepper is a proud member of the following organizations:

Besides teaching, Mr. Knepper enjoys cooking, traveling, graphic design, going to shows for the local Tucson music scene, and most of all spending time with his family and friends.

Mr. Knepper can be reached at dknepper@amphi.com