Thad K. Driskell Selected To Lead IHSMA

For additional information:

Alan Greiner


(515) 432-2013


February 10, 2023

Thad K. Driskell Selected To Lead Iowa High School Music Association

Boone, IA – The Executive Committee of the Iowa High School Music Association (IHSMA) is pleased to announce the selection of Thad K. Driskell as the organization’s new Executive Director, effective July 1. Mr. Driskell currently serves as the Director of Bands at Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School and succeeds outgoing Executive Director Alan Greiner who will retire June 30, following a successful 22 year career leading the organization. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Thad to the IHSMA team and are confident that he will bring a wealth of experience, energy, and creativity to the role of Executive Director,” said Kurt Schwarck, IHSMA Executive Committee President and Band Director at Spencer High School. “His past experiences really provide a strong knowledge base that will be beneficial as he moves into this new endeavor. Thad has a passion for music education, a deep dedication to the students of Iowa and a firm commitment to the mission of the IHSMA and we are delighted to have him lead our organization into the future.”

With over 30 years of experience in music education, Mr. Driskell has a proven track record of success and a strong understanding of the needs and challenges facing students, teachers, and music programs of varying sizes across the state of Iowa. Throughout his career, Mr. Driskell has been an active and engaged participant in, as well as leader, and organizer of IHSMA events and festivals. Most recently, he completed a six year commitment as All-State Band Chair, during which he simultaneously led the steering committee for the organization’s 75th Anniversary All-State Music Festival and Young Artist Showcase events held in 2021. 

In addition to his service locally and at the state level, Mr. Driskell serves on the Board of Directors for the National Band Association serving as the North Central Division Chair. His past leadership roles and service to IHSMA will aid in his transition into this new role.

As Executive Director of the IHSMA, Mr. Driskell will oversee the organization’s programs and initiatives, work with member schools and districts, and represent the interests of Iowa’s music students and educators at the state and national levels. He will also work closely with the IHSMA Executive Board, affiliated advisory committees, and staff to continue the organization’s tradition of excellence and ensure that music education remains a top priority across the state.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected to serve as the next Executive Director of the Iowa High School Music Association,” said Mr. Driskell. “The efforts of our dedicated and talented music educators in the classroom and performance venues across the state are inspiring and a point of pride in our shared musical heritage. I am excited for the work ahead as we celebrate the best in music education experiences for all and lay a foundation for performance opportunities and musical excellence for future generations.”

The Iowa High School Music Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting music education in Iowa. With over 300 member schools and districts, the IHSMA provides programs, services, and resources to support music education and to help ensure that every student in Iowa has access to high-quality music programs.

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2022 All-State Festival Concert – parking instructions

Iowa State University has a home football game on Saturday, November 19, 2022.  Game time has been announced as 6 PM.  This will greatly impact parking on Saturday, November 19, 2022 in the lots near Hilton Coliseum, Scheman Building and CY Stephens.

Iowa State University, DiscoverAmes (Ames Convention and Visitor’s Bureau), and the Iowa High School Music Association have collaborated to develop a plan to address the parking needs of the participants, schools attending, as well as those of the parents and other spectators attending the All-State Festival Concert.  That revised (11/16/2022) information can be found here.  

IHSMA Executive Director Position – Application Process

The Executive Committee of the Iowa High School Music Association is now accepting applications for the position of Executive Director. Applications can be submitted here:  Applications are due by November 30, 2022.  Interested parties should prepare the following information for submission:

  1. Letter of Interest
  2. Current Resumé
  3. Collegiate Transcript(s)
  4. Letters of reference (up to 3 will be accepted)
  5. Contact information for the references (Name, Relationship, Length of Relationship, email address, phone number)
  6. Questions to prepare:
    1. Explain your leadership philosophy and style.
    2. What are your related professional experiences that align to the mission and vision of the IHSMA?
    3. How will you ensure IHSMA serves member schools well?

 Materials will be reviewed in December. Applicants will be advised of their status in late December or early January. Interviews for finalists will be conducted on February 7 (new date) in Boone.

Any questions should be directed to Alan Greiner, current IHSMA Executive Director – or to Kurt Schwarck, IHSMA President –

IHSMA Executive Director announces pending retirement.

After 21 years at the helm of the Iowa High School Music Association, Alan Greiner has announced his retirement from his position as Executive Director of the IHSMA, effective June 30, 2023.

Greiner began his career in music education at Northwest Webster Community Schools in 1985 and was on staff until 1987.  From there, he moved on to the Prairie Valley Community Schools as 9 – 12 Instrumental Music Instructor.  With just 19 students to start, he grew the program to nearly 70 members, focusing on a well-rounded educational experience for his students. His many groups and soloists consistently received Division I ratings in all arenas of the IHSMA Festival program.  Alan also built the Prairie Valley jazz program to a level of excellence where they were consistent 1st or 2nd Place finishers at their District Jazz Festival and became annual qualifiers for the Iowa Jazz Championships.  It was in 2001 that Alan left Prairie Valley and joined the Iowa High School Music Association as Executive Director, following the late Everett Johnson.  

During his tenure with the IHSMA, Greiner has been instrumental in crafting and promoting the image and philosophy of the Association.  That philosophy is to promote music as an essential part of Iowa school curriculum and ensure fairness and equity for all students.  It also strives to  provide educational opportunities that foster the development of a life-long appreciation of music for our high school students.  To that end, Alan has worked tirelessly to achieve those goals.  

Alan has always believed that directors should be given every possible tool for success.  To assist new directors in the state, he developed and conducted many regional “New Director Orientation” sessions to introduce new teachers to IHSMA regulations and opportunities.  Greiner also co-founded the K-16 Music Curriculum Summit which created an important avenue for dialogue between Iowa high school teachers and their collegiate counterparts.  

Alan has served as the organizing agent for the Iowa All-State Music Festival.  To his credit, there is no equal to this event.  His abilities and expertise have made the festival the nation’s finest and annually features over 1,100 of Iowa’s finest high school musicians.  

Greiner has been an influential figure on the national scene as a collaborator with the National Federation of High School Associations.  He served on the NFHS committee that developed and implemented the NFHS Learn course, “Understanding Copyright and Compliance”.  Alan and other NFHS leadership worked in conjunction with music publishers to help teachers and activity sponsors understand and apply copyright law as it relates to education.  He also assisted in the development of a music adjudication training course for NFHS Learn and chaired the NFHS Music Committee for four years.  

Other national credits include his membership on the “Citizenship, Ethics and Integrity” committee for the NFHS. This group developed a handbook to aid high schools in preventing and addressing hazing.  Because of his work with the NFHS, Iowa enjoys a prominent place in the national spotlight for music education. 

Greiner has served as a presenter and clinician at many state and national conferences.  His presentations and publications on the subjects of copyright compliance, adjudication training, ethics and music literature have guided current and prospective music educators across the state and nation.

“When I think of the influence that Alan has had on music education in the state of Iowa, I don’t even know where to start in singing his praises,” said Kurt Schwarck of Spencer High School, who serves as  president of the IHSMA Executive Committee.  “Alan’s leadership has created tremendous opportunities for music education across the state.  His focus on the value of music education in our schools and creating opportunities for Iowa high school students to grow and become well-rounded individuals is second to none.  Even though we are all saddened by his announcement, we are excited for him and wish him all the best as he begins a new chapter in his life.”

The Iowa High School Music Association will begin accepting applications for a new Executive Director in the Fall of 2022. More details will be forthcoming.

All-State Percussion for sale!

The Percussion Source (a division of West Music) in Coralville, Iowa graciously provides percussion instruments for our All-State Musicians to perform on.  Those instruments are available for sale at a discounted price immediately following the All-State Festival Concert. A listing of instruments available this year can be found here:

If you are in the market for any of these percussion instruments please consider purchasing it from the Percussion Source so that we might help them continue this valuable service to our students. Contact information for the Percussion Source can be found in the linked document.