October 31, 2014

Ken-East band director in running for Grammy Award

Phil Aguglia teaching his students at Kenmore East High School.

It has been said that Kenmore East High School has one of the best music programs around, and the students and faculty of the school point to Phil Aguglia as the reason why.

“I was one of those awkward kids who didn’t really fit into a lot of places,” Aguglia said. “I struggled a lot but it was through band that I found a place. It became part of who I was.”

He started taking trumpet lessons, an instrument his dad played, in fifth grade at Southside Elementary School in Buffalo. During his sophomore year at Hutchinson Central Technical High School, his band director allowed him to work with and help other students. Seeing his peers succeed because of his help filled him with satisfaction.

“No matter what my personal successes were, I felt more accomplished when people I worked with did well. That’s why I wanted to be a teacher,” Aguglia said.

He went on to receive a bachelor’s in music education from Ithaca College and a master’s in music with a focus in education from SUNY Fredonia. He taught in Massachusetts, followed by West Valley, before making his back to Western New York to teach middle and high school band for Cleveland Hill Union Free School District in Cheektowaga.

“He took a program that was in its infancy with very basic skills and turned them into a very respected band and music program in Western New York, all on his own,” said Joseph Greco, who started with Aguglia at Cleveland Hill around 1997 and currently is the assistant principal at Kenmore East High School. “He put in hours... Read the rest of this article in Entertainment


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