Ronald W. DeGrandis, a native of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Temple University. He received his Master of Music Education Degree, with concentration in viola, from West Chester University in 1978, and has additional fifty-five graduate credits at Vandercook College and the University of the Arts.
Having taught one year in the Great Valley School District and five years in the Tower Hill School in Wilmington, Delaware, Mr. DeGrandis joined the Easton Area School District in 1980 to teach at the school formerly known as Shawnee Middle School. He retired in June 2011 from the school, then named Easton Area Middle School (EAMS 7/8). His teaching duties included the school’s orchestra, concert and marching bands, jazz band, and instrumental music lessons. During his tenure at EAMS, the band and jazz band received numerous awards. His orchestra participated in four artists-in-residence programs with Michael J. Miles. Each concert featured nine custom arrangements composed by Mr. DeGrandis.
In addition to his school responsibilities, Mr. DeGrandis has been a violist in the Allentown Symphony for the past 35 years. He also plays in various musical theater orchestras on both viola and electric bass. Frequently he is a guest soloist in area churches and participates in a folk group at his home church. He has been a guest conductor for eight PMEA District 10 Orchestra Festivals at the elementary level and middle school level.
Ron is an avid composer and has created commemorative marches for the 250th Anniversary of Northampton County, the one hundredth anniversary of the Crayola Crayon Company, The Spirit of Youth March for the PMEA District 10 Elementary Band and Orchestra Festivals, and for the PMEA Intermediate Band and Orchestra Festivals. Since 2014, Ron has been commissioned to arrange pieces for the Allentown Symphony Young Musicians String Festival including Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky.
Additionally, Ron plays viola with the Lehigh Valley Pops Orchestra and orchestrates many arrangements for them. In addition he plays electric bass in the Elm Street Jazz Band and does many arrangements and originals for that group as well. Notably, he composed String Orchestra music for Hal Leonard Music Publishers.
Mr. DeGrandis is a member of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, the Music Educators National Conference, the American Federation of Musicians, the Train Collectors of America, and has been selected ten times to appear in the prestigious publication “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers".
Ron resides in Bethlehem with his wife Janet, who was also an instrumental music teacher in the Easton Area School District. They both retired at the end of the 2010-2011 school year, after Ron had taught for more than three decades. He was featured "as a name to remember in music education", by the Express-Times on February 28, 2011. Ron gives private lessons, does guest conducting and continues to compose for schools in the Lehigh Valley. He was named assistant conductor of the Lehigh Valley Pops Orchestra.