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Steve Kesner


Steve Kesner

Visiting Instructor of Music Education

Music and Theatre


Steven Kesner retired in 2012 after a 34-year career as a high school band director in Arkansas.  A native of Fort Smith and graduate of Southside High School, he earned his B.A. degree in Music Education from Arkansas Tech University as a trombone major and holds an M.Ed. degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. At his retirement from full-time teaching, Mr. Kesner was Director of Bands at Fort Smith Southside High School and also served as band director at Hazen High School and Greenwood High School.  During his 19 years at Southside, Mr. Kesner served as director of the Southside Marching Band, Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, and chair of the Southside fine arts department.  In addition to being an ASBOA Sweepstakes Award winner each year, his bands at Southside had the opportunity to perform in San Antonio, Kansas City, Nashville, Washington DC, New York City, Orlando, Chicago, and Honolulu.

Mr. Kesner is a member of the Arkansas Bandmasters Association, honorary member of Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association, and is past President of the Arkansas (Omicron) chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Band Fraternity.   In 2009, Mr. Kesner was named the Arkansas Bandmaster of the Year by the Arkansas Bandmasters Association. Most recently, he was presented the 2022 Jon Barbarotto Lifetime Service Award by Phi Beta Mu.

Since retirement, Steve has remained active as a band clinician, adjudicator, adjunct instructor, and has been a presenter at the Arkansas Bandmasters Association convention. He resides in Fort Smith with his wife Brenda, who is also a retired teacher, and enjoys spending time with his family.