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Biography


BIOGRAPHY

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Biography


BIOGRAPHY

2016 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - New York, New York.

Alex Thode would first and foremost like to tell you that not only is the “e” at the end of his last name not silent, but that he has also been involved in the marching arts since 2008, and is becoming a sought-after arranger for marching bands across the continental United States. His intuitive sense of musical color, emotion, pacing and direction helps derive maximum general effect in his marching band arrangements. He aims to steer clear of literal, verbatim transcriptions of source material for his marching band arrangements, instead injecting his own unique compositional voice and arranging style, while still maintaining accessibility and recognizability for audiences and judges. 

Alex's clientele includes numerous class champions and runners-up, semi-finalists, finalists and grand champions at the local and state level. His clients have also been Bands of America (BOA) Regional Finalists and Class Medalists, as well as regular participants at BOA Grand Nationals.

Alex is a graduate of Greendale High School in Greendale, Wisconsin, where he was an avid student leader and participant in all areas of their music program, including their Sudler Shield award-winning marching band as a member of the front ensemble for all four years, where he also served as section leader his senior year. He was also the proud recipient of the John Philip Sousa award. Immediately after graduating in 2012, he joined the Greendale band staff as a front ensemble technician until 2014, and has been arranging their music and serving as an additional music instructor since 2013. During his time with Greendale, his arrangements have been performed by them in the 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Along with composing works for marching band, Alex also has been commissioned to write middle school and high school concert band works. Alex is a member of ASCAP.

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Testimonials


TESTIMONIALS

Testimonials


TESTIMONIALS

“We started working with Alex [during the 2018 season] and I was completely blown away by his dedication and professionalism. Alex is extremely communicative and made our program feel valued and involved in the arranging process. He was open to new ideas, an evolving show concept, and was extremely flexible. His arrangement was creative, paced well, and was extremely playable. His arranging style and attention to detail allowed our program to sound mature and sophisticated. Multiple judges at every contest we attended this season commented on the high quality and creative wind arrangement. Alex never missed a deadline, always communicated what he was working on, and was always willing to go the extra mile to ensure our program had the product we envisioned. He is truly a class act and we will definitely be working with him for years to come!”

- Nick Little
Director of Bands
Campbell County High School, KY


“To say Alex is an expert music designer and creator is an understatement. As our arranger for the last several years, I am always impressed and excited to teach the books he has written as they are well-constructed and highlight the best parts of my ensemble. He is a consummate professional that communicates and delivers in a timely and consistent manner. During the design process, Alex’s expertise has proven to be invaluable as we navigate ways to accommodate the incoming members while balancing an educational and exciting musical product with innovation and relevance. I would recommend Alex Thode’s music to any director of any skill level — your kids’ sound is worth it!”

- Brandon Lesando
Director of Bands
Blue Valley Southwest High School, KS


“For kids to leave any stage feeling accomplished, many band directors would agree a crucial step begins with tailoring repertoire that suits his or her ensemble. With this in mind, it was Alex Thode’s composition style that helped alleviate many pressures this season. His arrangements are school-minded, creative, innovative, and trended with what appeals to students today. Firsthand, I watched my kids enjoy playing and my staff become creatively uplifted working with Alex Thode. Moreover, Alex left upon us a colorful signature and a unique sound, which gave us the opportunity to leave the field feeling proud after every performance.”

- Mike Knepper
Director of Bands
Musselman High School, WV


“Immediately, we were impressed with Alex’s musicianship, creativity, and enthusiasm. He is the consummate professional, he responds quickly to communication, meets deadlines, works to create the best product for his clients, and has the experience to provide guidance and suggestions. Our students love playing his music and as a director, I love seeing the growth in their playing. If you are looking for a new composer/arranger, Alex Thode is the way to go — you can’t go wrong.”

- Meg Beavers
Director of Bands
Licking Heights High School, OH


"I have worked with Alex Thode for [six] high school marching band commissions as well as two middle school concert band commissions [as of 2019]. I could not have been happier with all of his work. It is fresh, innovative, and unique. He has a passion for giving his clients what they are looking for. He works with every group as if the group was his own. The Cheney High School marching band has been taken to a new level of performance both musically and with visual opportunity with his compositions and arrangements. We do not plan on changing composers, ever, as far as I am concerned!"

Joshua Wisswell
Director of Bands
Cheney High School, WA


"Alex Thode's creativity is off-the-charts. His professionalism and willingness to please makes any band director's job easier, and allows the strengths of a particular ensemble to be highlighted extremely well. His integration of percussion with the wind score creates seamless transitions throughout his shows.  I am very proud to have Alex writing for our band."

- Tom Reifenberg
Director of Bands
Greendale High School, WI


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Equipment


EQUIPMENT

Equipment


EQUIPMENT

I sometimes get asked what equipment, gear and software I use to write and create my music, so here is a list of a lot of items that I use to make my music-making possible:

HARDWARE
- Apple iMac Retina 5K (Late 2015), Intel Quadcore i5, 3TB Fusion Drive, 16GB RAM, Mac OS 10.13.1 (High Sierra) -

- HP Pavilion 27Q 4K Display Monitor -

- Apple MacBook Pro w/ Retina Display (Late 2013), Intel Core i7, 500GB SSD, 16GB RAM, Mac OS 10.11.2 (El Capitan) -

- BOSE Companion 20 Speakers -

SOFTWARE
- Finale v.26 -
- Kontakt 5 -
- Logic Pro X -
- Vienna Ensemble -
- Vienna Symphonic Library Special Editions: Volumes 1, 2, and 4 -
- Fanfare by Sample Logic -
- Virtual Ensemble Trilogy by Sample Logic -
- Virtual Drumline 2.5 -

KEYBOARDS
- Yamaha DGX-650 Grand Digital Piano -