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NHMP Staff

Music Director
Linda A. Hartley founded the University of Dayton’s New Horizons Music Program in 2000. As a professor of music, she served as coordinator of UD’s Music Education program for 24 years before becoming an Associate Dean of the School of Education and Health Sciences for five years. Prior to her work at UD, Linda directed school band programs in grades 5-12, and taught music education, woodwinds and bands at Mount Union College and Virginia Tech. Linda holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Bowling Green State University, and her master’s and Ph.D. in music education from Kent State University. Linda was awarded the title of Professor Emerita upon her retirement from UD in 2020.
Jazz Band 1 Director, Instructor
Tom Pfrogner is a band leader, trombonist, vocalist and music educator. He is the music director of the Tom Daugherty Ochestra and director of the Centerville Community Band. He has also arranged music for many groups throughout the United States and in Europe and is currently supplying transcriptions for the vocalists of The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Mike Berkowitz and The Gene Krupa Orchestra, The Air Force Band of Flight and others.
Jazz Band 2 Director, Instructor
Denny Dutcher taught instrumental music at the Centerville City Schools for 31 years. His duties included beginning and middle school band, high school band classes, jazz ensembles, and 17 years as assistant marching band director. He is the associate director of the Centerville Community Band. With UD New Horizons, Denny teaches beginning lessons, coaches ensembles and plays guitar in the jazz band. He performs on woodwinds and guitar throughout the Dayton area.

Gretchen L. Germann holds a Bachelor of Arts in music education from Shepherd University in West Virginia and a Master of Music in performance from Northern Arizona University. She began her career teaching elementary band in California. Over the years, Gretchen has directed middle school honor bands, flute choirs, and taught flute to students of all ages. She performs with the Yellow Springs Chamber Orchestra and Syrodesy Flute trio. She is a member of Dayton Music Club, the National Flute Association, the Suzuki Association of the Americas and Flute Play. Gretchen serves as adjunct faculty at Stivers School for the Arts in Dayton and maintains an active flute studio (GIFT) at her home in Kettering. For more information, please visit her website at

TSgt Retired Grant R. Koeller is a jazz saxophonist with 23 years of active-duty service in the US Air Force Bands with world-wide performances. Grant hosted Jazz at Jazz Central in Dayton for over 12 years and was radio host of Jazz Horizons on WDPS 89.5 FM. He performs regularly on saxophones, flute, clarinet, bass guitar, piano, organ, and drums. Currently Grant is an active private music teacher and freelance musician. He has performed with a long list of professional bands, including the Kim Kelly Orchestra, Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey Band, Helen Reddy, Crystal Gail, Four Lads, Four Tops, Mills Brothers, This Side Up, Jimmy Baker Blues Band, Generations Big Band, Different Hats Big Band, Shin Sings Orchestra, Jack Garrett and the Syndicate, Switch 2, Johnny Mac Super Big Band, Wilford Brimley, Greg Lee and the Chuck Taylors, Bobby Fisher, Central Jazz Big Band, Barry Campbell Big Band, and the Tom Daugherty Big Band.
Program Director
Kay Wert Minardi has been a UD New Horizons Music Program member since January 2011, and is beginning her fourth year as program director. Her primary instrument is trumpet, which she plays in the Viel Spass oompah band. In the past she has played trumpet and tuba in the concert band, but currently she and Attila the Horn can be heard every Thursday morning at Temple Beth Or. Kay has played in the Kettering Civic Band, the Greene County Adult Concert Band and the Community Christmas Concert Band, and currently plays in UD’s concert band. She has volunteered with Oakwood’s Harman and Smith elementary school bands, helping teach beginning brass players. She considers herself successful when the trombone players pass her up by the end of the school year. A proUD graduate of the University of Dayton (1982), Kay met her husband, Mark (tuba), in the Pride of Dayton marching band.
Graham Hardert is an alumnus of the University of Dayton, graduating in 2021 with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education. He is from Tipp City, Ohio graduating from Bethel High School in 2017. Graham studied percussion under the instruction of Professor James Leslie and HS band director Danny Elam. He currently serves as Director of Percussion for the Pride of Piqua Marching Band and as an assistant instructor for the Stebbins High School Drumline.
Director, String Orchestra

Sonja Pershing has 40 years of string teaching experience, along with 35 years performing viola with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton and Wright State University. In addition to private studio teaching, Sonja has taught in area schools and conducted an adult chamber ensemble. We appreciate her versatility not only on string instruments, but also as a clarinetist and band director. Additionally, Sonja is a developmental specialist for Four Oaks Early Intervention.


Special Programs and Continuing Education

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 7011
Special Program and Continuing Education