The Music staff at Mount Dora High School work as a team to provide a positive environment and the high-quality educational experience for every student. Each staff member is approved by the Lake County School system and is held to the highest standards of education. Mr. Uhrich the band director vets each member throughly and carefully chooses the most qualified and experienced staff for the band program. Our staff is always open to any discussions that may help serve the music students at Mount Dora High School
Mr. Uhrich, M. M. - Director of Bands
Mr. Uhrich holds bachelors degrees in both Psychology and Music from Virginia Tech, and received his Masters of Music in Computer Composition degree from the Peabody Conservatory at The Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Uhrich is a professional performer, composer, producer, recording engineer, studio designer, teacher, and consultant with more than thirty years of experience.
He has produced, recorded, and performed every type of music- jazz, pop, classical, theater and dance music, and old time standards. Mr. Uhrich has worked in piano bars, created and written music for dance and live theatre, contemporary stage productions, recording studios, pit orchestras and in-stage bands, and many things in between. He has also professionally shot and edited moving and still picture. Mr. Uhrich's primary compositional work medium for both sound and image has been the computer.
Mr. Uhrich taught at Windy Hill Middle School from 2008 to 2013, and at Gray Middle School since from the fall of 2013 to 2016. Mr. Uhrich has been teaching at Mount Dora High School since 2016. Each program Mr. Uhrich has developed has grown in numbers and ability. The symphonic and jazz groups from both schools have consistently performed at high levels and received superior ratings since 2010 at Music Performance Assessments and regional jazz festivals.
In 2011 earned the distinction of being presented the Tom Bishop award from the Florida Bandmasters Association. His substantial and versatile experience as a teacher, media developer, computer applications consultant, and professional musician includes teaching a wide range of students and subjects by presenting learning problems that engage and challenge them.
He has also provided services at the highest level owning and operating a recording, media development, and teaching studio. Mr. Uhrich is dedicated to creating stimulating and enriching learning environments to provide students with a solid learning foundation.
He is an avid sailor, and traveler. As a long distance bicyclist, he has pedaled across the US from California to Cape Hatteras NC, from Key West to Canada, ridden the entire Blue Ridge Parkway, Pike's Peak and for the past three summers, has been cycling through the South West and Colorado. He lives in Tangerine, Florida in a historic home with his wife Amy, 2 cats and his very happy yellow lab/retriever Roxy.
Dr. Ray Donato - Percussion Instructor
Dr. Raymond Donato holds a Bachelor of Music in Education and a Master of Arts in Music from Florida Atlantic University, as well as a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida. After his collegiate musical studies with Seth Wexler of the Florida Philharmonic and Dr. Michael Parola of The Harid Conservatory, he gained 13 years experience as a percussion instructor and arranger for various South Florida school music programs, before moving to the Orlando area.
Dr. Donato was a member of the Florida Wave Drum and Bugle Corps from 1989-1990, and the Concord Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps from 1991-1992. He then served as front ensemble technician and/or arranger for: Suncoast Sound, Florida Guardsmen, Heatwave Senior and The Magic Drum & Bugle Corps, which included the role of Caption Head for the 2006 competitive season.
Previously, Dr. Donato served as the Marching Band Director and Percussion Coordinator at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, followed by Director of Bands at Eustis High School and Music Director at Groveland Elementary School in Lake County, Florida. Currently he is the Music Specialist at Round Lake Elementary School.
Dr. Donato is one of the four initial founders of STRYKE Percussion based out of West Palm Beach Florida, which is a WGI Independent World Finalist as well as a former Open Class Bronze & two-time Silver Medalist. Over the course of 10 seasons, Dr. Donato served in such roles as Ensemble Director, Board Member, Show Designer, Music Arranger and Program Coordinator. Additionally, Dr. Donato served as the Program Coordinator and arranger for RPT Percussion, a WGI Independent A Finalist, and is currently the Program Coordinator and Front Ensemble arranger for INFINITY 3, the 2016 WGI Percussion Independent A Class Silver Medalist.
Dr. Donato is a member of The Florida Music Educators Association, The Florida Elementary Music Educators Association, The Percussive Arts Society and The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Dr. Donato is also endorsed by Vic Firth Drumsticks, and is a member of their Education Team as a Marching Percussion Specialist. He is an active Music and Percussion Adjudicator with the both the Central States Judges Association, where he served as the Percussion Caption Head from 2009-2012, as well as the Florida Federation of Judges Association.
Mr. Phil Porter - MDMS Director of Bands
Phil Porter is a Florida native and graduate of both the University of Central Florida and Nova Southeastern University.
While attending UCF, Mr. Porter served as Field Coordinator and Drum Major of the Marching Knights, as well as principal horn in the Orchestra and Wind Ensemble.
Upon graduation he was appointed Music Director at North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts (K-8), eventually becoming Director of Bands at the North Fort Myers High School Center for Arts and Media. During his 8 year tenure the band received 15 consecutive Superior ratings, 3 Grand Champion Marching Band Awards, and was recognized as the DMF National Champion Jazz Band. Membership in the music program also grew from 35 to over 300 students.
In the summer of 2007 Mr. Porter was appointed Music Director at Mount Dora High School. During his 4 year tenure the band grew from 30 to over 140 members and received only Superior ratings. In 2010 he served as Mount Dora HS Teacher of the Year.
In the summer of 2011 Mr. Porter was appointed Music Director at Mount Dora Middle School. Since then the band has earned Straight Superior ratings in both Concert and Jazz Band evaluations and the music program has grown to over 330 members. Mr. Porter served as the 2013 Mount Dora MS Teacher of the Year.
Mr. Porter has been a guest conductor and clinician with many middle and high school bands. His professional memberships include the International Horn Society, Music Educators National Conference, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and the Florida Bandmasters Association. He is a 2 time recipient of the Lake County Schools “Mighty Pen” grant award, and in 2010 earned the distinction of being presented the Tom Bishop award from the Florida Bandmasters Association.
Mr. Porters’ motto: “Whatever it takes.”
He lives in Eustis with his wife Erin, daughter Molly, son Mason and dog Beanie.