On March 10th, 2018, D.C.’s Different Drummers presented a panel in partnership with the Maryland Music Educators Association at their 2018 annual convention in Baltimore, Maryland. The panel regarded LGBTQ+ students in music education. D.C.’s Different Drummers panelists presented to over 30 Maryland music educators and described their positive and negative experiences growing up LGBT in their school bands and orchestras across the United States.

The panel “LGBT Alphabet Soup... An Open and Honest Discussion on the Topic for the Music Teacher” seeked to ensure Maryland music educators better understand issues specific to LGBT students, and how they can work to better facilitate and encourage their music education. Topics of focus included how music educators can identify LGBTQ+ student concerns, define terminology for LGBTQ+ students, and discuss strategies to approach this topic with a goal of ensuring a safe, respectful welcome space for music learning for all students. Music educators partook in this unique opportunity to engage with a group of now-adult former music students who matriculated through school bands and maintained an enthusiasm for marching, concert, and jazz ensemble participation.

The host and presenter, DCDD Capitol Pride Symphonic Band director Anthony Oakley, held an open space throughout the presentation for the audience to ask questions. Teachers and panelists engaged in open and honest discussions on hard questions such as "do I out my student to their parents if they're struggling?", "how do I know when to intervene to support a student?", "what pronouns should I use?", "how do I hold a bully-free space?". The audience listened as the panelists told their stories of being LGBTQ+ from primary school to college. As the panel ended past the allotted time there were still plenty of questions from the educators. It could have easily continued for an hour. With such a turnout and enthusiasm perhaps there will be more panels by DC's Different Drummers in the future.


Maryland Music Educators Association (MMEA) is the professional association for the school music teachers of Maryland. MMEA is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit association incorporated in the State of Maryland. The mission of the Maryland Music Educators Association is to advance music education in Maryland schools.

For additional information on this previous panel or possible upcoming panels on LGBT student issues, please contact D.C.’s Different Drummers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For additional information on the Maryland Music Educators Association (MMEA), please contact MMEA at 1-800-94-MUSIC

DCDD is pleased to welcome Charles Roth as the new Artistic Director of the DCDD Marching Band.  Charles, a native of Dayton, Ohio, graduated from Miami University of Oxford, Ohio with a B.A. in Music Education.  He is a sought after director, clinician, and studio director for many schools in the Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, and D.C. metro areas. Charles has been an active part of the marching band scene since 2000 as a performer, section leader, staff member, and director with multiple high school programs.  In addition, he also marched in the Miami University Marching Band. Charles assisted both show and competition band styles and led schools to consistent superior ratings in competitions and performances around the country.

Charles is also an avid performer. He participated in many collegiate and community ensembles as a saxophonist and woodwind specialist.  Beyond band, he also performed vocally in several university and community choruses, men’s ensembles, theater performances, and show choirs.  In 2007, he was selected to perform at the American Choral Directors Association Conference National Honor Choir held in Miami, Florida.  Charles is currently a member of the North American Saxophone Alliance, Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association, and National Association for Music Education. 

Charles resides just outside of DC, in Northern Virginia where he currently teaches instrumental music.  In his spare time, Charles enjoys playing community sports including softball, volleyball, and recently, flag football.  He values making time for family, friends, and community.

Charles is looking forward to getting the DCDD Marching Band rehearsals underway in Spring 2018.  If you’re interested in joining D.C.’s Different Drummers, go to the “Contact Us” section of our website & fill out our online form.  Stay tuned for more updates on all our ensembles’ performance schedules.

D.C.'s Different Drummers is a proud member of the following organizations.

To join D.C.'s Different Drummers visit our "Join" page.

For more information, 
contact us or write/call:
DCDD - PO Box 57099 - Washington, DC 20037-0099 Phone: 202-403-3669

D.C.'s Different Drummers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit music organization incorporated in the District of Columbia.

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