Gray Weaver

Mr. Ford developed a real endearing connection with our kids! At the same time, he treated them like professional musicians while pushing them to new heights of musical performance. The band directors in the district were also amazed at how much we learned from him in this short period of time. He’s a great clinician for both students and directors!

Gray Weaver
Milton HS (FL) Director of Bands, Santa Rosa County Schools Instrumental Coordinator

Stephen Melillo

“During our multiple opportunities of shared professional time, Ralph Ford has become a close friend. Our friendship is born of the many collaborative Musical and Educational experiences he has afforded me as a fellow educator in the development of the fine student Musicians during his tenure at Troy University. In a mere two years, I quantifiably heard, and witnessed the exponential improvement of his Music students to such a degree that we considered a 3rd recording project together. This speaks to Ralph’s abilities and commitment as a Teacher.”

Stephen Melillo
Composer, Smithfield, VA

Nicholas Efstathiou

“As an educator, Ralph Ford was one that pushed you to strive for an excellence in every aspect in your work, musical ability, and life.  His stories about music and life lessons played a pivotal role in my musical education and have made me the teacher I am today.  If stupidity was a medical condition, he would have the cure for it.”

Nicholas Efstathiou
Director of Bands, Bay High School, Panama City, FL., former student

Dr. Marc Dickman

“Ralph’s jazz ensemble charts are always inventive and playable.  When he conducted the band at The North Florida Music Camp, he quickly gained the respect and admiration of the student musicians and faculty. Mr. Ford has been a clinician at the camp for over 10 years.  He has conducted both jazz and concert bands and teaches advanced theory, Finale, and arranging.”

Dr. Marc Dickman
Associate Professor, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL

Dr. Mark Walker

“Ralph Ford is a consummate musician and educator. His compositions and arrangements are true gems that are no doubt finding their pride of place in the standard concert band repertoire. His knowledge of styles and musical idioms is vast and he is able to draw upon that knowledge to craft music with a freshness and immediacy that is long lasting and durable.  I have conducted a great deal of Ralph’s music with bands at all levels and abilities, and the students who play his music come away from that experience better musicians. His music is infused with a simple joy and exuberance that is immediately perceived by the students and transferred to the audience. Ralph is, without a doubt, one of the preeminent composers working today – and one whose music will be played and enjoyed by generations to come.”

Dr. Mark Walker
Director of Bands, Troy University, Troy, AL

M. Reid Hall

“I had the privilege of watching Ralph Ford work with our GMEA District Ten Honor Band back in February 2012. The band division of our district commissioned Mr. Ford to compose a piece for our 11th – 12th grade honor band. The piece, CompleX-2030 was premiered on February 16, 2012 with Mr. Ford conducting the ensemble. The students had an incredible experience working with him as the composer and clinician but I was even more impressed with his “down to earth” interaction with the students. His personality is one that the students are drawn to. Not only was his composition exciting, but also, the clinic was unforgettable! Kudos to Ralph Ford!”

M. Reid Hall
Band Director, Evans High School, Evans, GA

Dr. Gerald King

“As Head of Music Education and Conducting, and as the former Director of the School of Music at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia I have had the opportunity to work with many adjudicators in various countries. In my view, Mr. Ford is one of the finest in our field. Former students from the School of Music at the University of Victoria (now teaching in the Schools) have commented to me on how much they and their students have learned from Mr. Ford during festival adjudication and clinics. They state that Mr. Ford’s knowledge base is vast and his ability to analyze each individual ensemble (strengths and weaknesses) and provide constructive feedback to the students and director is superb. They also have stated that their students are immediately engaged/focused and eager to listen to Mr. Ford-his approach is to the point, his analysis accurate and presented with a sense of humor and honesty.”

Dr. Gerald King
Professor of Music and Director of Bands, University of Victoria, British Columbia

Dr. Michael Burche-Pesses

“Ralph Ford is an extraordinarily gifted composer who writes as well for young bands as he does for professionals. His symphonic band music is always melodic, evocative, and accessible. When he guest conducted the honor band at my university, he quickly gained the respect and admiration of the band through his genuine and personable approach, knowledge of the score, and clarity of conducting.”

Dr. Michael Burche-Pesses
Director of Bands, Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR

Dr. Frank Tracz

“Ralph Ford is an outstanding teacher, conductor, arranger, and composer.  I have had him on my campus to conduct and we have contracted him to write for my band and his talents are exceptional!   His arrangements work and sound very good and the students certainly enjoy playing them.  His abilities to rehearse, motivate, and educate ensembles from the podium is tremendous.    We will continue to use his talents with our marching band and concert ensembles.”

Dr. Frank Tracz
Director of Bands, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Dr. Jerry Gatch

“Ralph was a ”no brainer” when we discussed possible clinicians for The Charleston Music Festival.  He is a rare combination of a fine musician with a career’s worth of experience as a teacher and conductor, a fantastic composer of so many different styles and genres, and an experienced judge/clinician with the personality to relate to students of all levels as well as their teachers.  He proved us right!”

Dr. Jerry Gatch
Artistic Director, The Charleston Music Festival, Charleston, SC

Todd Stefan

“I have known Ralph Ford for several years. His compositions and arrangements are solid. Not only do the students love working on his charts, they also contain a wealth of educational tools to help the bands become better musicians. Very few arrangers and composers can write effective marching band, concert band, and jazz ensemble pieces; Ralph certainly has accomplished this. My bands (of all levels) have played Ralph’s music. I have also had Ralph work with my bands and have had him guest conduct a Pennsylvania (PMEA) Region Honor Band. He is one of the most effective teachers and conductors I have worked with in my career. He relates very well to the students and gets the best out of them. To me Ralph is the complete musician. On a personal level, he is a tremendous friend and mentor. To say that he has helped me through his compositions and teaching would be an understatement.”

Todd Stefan
Director of Bands, North Allegheny Senior High School, Pittsburg, PA

Dr. Joseph W. Hermann

“Ralph Ford’s experience in the concert, jazz and marching genres is ideal. He has been a leader in music education throughout the Southeast and is a respected conductor, adjudicator, and teacher with experience working with students and every level, middle school through collegiate. Further, Ralph Ford is an international figure as a composer. His published works as a composer and arranger number over 500. He is constant demand as a professional in the field and is a major contributor to instrumental music programs worldwide. As a gentleman, I also know Ralph as a spirited good-humored devoted husband, father and family man. He devotes great energy to the field, always makes professionals and students feel better about themselves, and displays perpetual energy for making music and making a difference.”

Dr. Joseph W. Hermann
Director of Bands, Tennessee Tech University

Dr. Paul R. Schilf, Ph.D.

“We contracted Ralph Ford for the 55th year of our band festival to be the guest conductor of our Honor Band.  Mr. Ford was received by the students, our college faculty, and the director participants as an outstanding conductor, passionate educator, and a brilliant composer. He did a wonderful job of making music with the students and he will be invited back at the first availability.”

Dr. Paul R. Schilf, Ph.D.
Director of Bands, Inst. Music Education

Douglas Macaulay

“Like many, I first met Ralph Ford through his music – in my case Royal Canadian Sketches, and have been fortunate to get to know the man and enjoy his exceptional work. He is an extraordinary and prolific composer and arranger who creates music that engages the musicians and the audience in way that is rarely experienced. This is true of his arrangements and particularly true of his original compositions. His works are consistently favourites amongst my bands. He is also a master music educator, adjudicator and clinician who, like his music, engages musicians of all ages and providing them with positive, constructive feedback – improving individual musicianship and the sound of the ensemble.  We are very proud to have Ralph as a regular faculty member at the Con Brio Whistler Music Festival where he has inspired thousands of young musicians and music educators with his kind and professional approach. We are particularly proud to have Mr. Ford’s Con Brio March named for our festival.”

Douglas Macaulay
Founder, Artistic, & Managing Director, Con Brio Festivals and Conductor

Robert Buckley (composer)

“Ralph Ford is one of those rare, talented individuals – an innovative composer and arranger, a gifted conductor, an inspiring clinician, and a warm, wonderful human being. He’s also a lot of fun!”

Robert Buckley
Composer