As Band Director at Harrisonburg High School since 2012, Daniel Upton conducts the Symphonic Band, Percussion Ensemble 1, 2, and Musical Pit Orchestra, co-directs the Concert Band and Marching Blue Streak Band and teaches courses in general music. During his tenure, the band program has more than doubled in size and is one of the largest in the Shenandoah Valley. The program prides itself on inclusion, hosting Virginia’s first United Sound Band. In 2021, he launched an Adaptive Music through Peer Mentorship class, furthering the program’s inclusive and leadership goals. Harrisonburg High School has been named a VBODA Virginia Honor Band and VMEA Blue Ribbon School and Harrisonburg City Public Schools has been named a NAMM Best Community for Music Education. Upton’s ensembles have performed at the Virginia Day of Percussion, Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Virginia Music Educators Association Conference Composition Festival, Inaugural Virginia Tech Concert Band Festival, the CNU Wind Ensemble Invitational, including the concert halls of CNU, JMU, VCU and Virginia Tech.
Upton is an active adjudicator and clinician throughout Virginia, has served the Virginia Music Educators Association and Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association as District V Chair and Representative for two terms, as the coordinator of the professional development workshops at the annual All-Virginia event for five years and has presented at the Virginia Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference and Kennedy Center Very Special Arts Integration Conferences. In 2022, he was inducted into the Alpha Chi chapter of Phi Beta Mu, International Bandmasters Fraternity. As a life-long learner, he takes great pride in regular attendance at conducting symposiums across the country with some of the top conducting faculty,
He received his Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Music Education in 2011 and a Master’s of Arts degree in Education in 2012 from Virginia Tech where he performed with the Marching Virginians, New River Valley Symphony Orchestra, Percussion & Marimba Ensembles, Campus Band, as a founding member of the Rosewood Quartet and as section leader and President of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. He is a founding member of the Valley Wind Ensemble, an ensemble made up of local music educators and professional musicians. In 2023, he was appointed principal percussionist of the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra. He is married to Gracie, and lives in Harrisonburg with their 7 year old rescue dog, Rudy, and two cats, Baxter and Beau. They are excited to welcome their first baby boy this December, Daniel “Danny” Upton III.