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Chuck Holtan



     My name is Mr. Holtan and I am the Director of Bands and Orchestra at Daniel J. Savage Middle School. I have spent the past 20 years teaching music at Ustach and Savage Middle Schools in the Sylvan Union School District.

     I grew up in Upland, in Southern California. I graduated from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in Stockton and completed my student teaching with Dr. Gary P. Gilroy at Beyer High School. As luck would have it, Ustach opened the following year.

     I am married and have a 11 year old daughter. We love all water sports, especially boating and waterskiing. On dry land I enjoy camping, hiking, and fishing in the mountains, tennis, soccer (Upland H.S. defender), and golf. My newest hobby is snowboarding!!! Tons of fun!!! There are issues with having a winter hobby and two winter percussion ensembles… Not enough winter weekends!!!

     Finally, my most important passion is music. I began playing the trumpet in 5th grade. In the 7th grade I had saved enough money from my paper route to buy my 1st drumset. My parents approved as long as I didn’t quit the trumpet. In college I played in the U.O.P Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and many Brass Ensembles while studying trumpet with Mike Vax. The paper route drumset paid off earning me a place in the U.O.P. percussion ensemble. I still play trumpet and drums in various groups and venues around Modesto.

     I am truly lucky that my ultimate passion is directing middle school bands, orchestras, jazz bands, and percussion ensembles.  

Mission for the Savage Bands and Orchestra

1) To create comprehensive musicianship in middle school students.

2) For those students to become lifelong learners of music.

3) To instill an understanding, respect, and enjoyment of music.

4) To remember music is passion, emotion, work, and fun all at the same time.

5) Music is in everyone, a musician just knows how to let it out!