Mr. Craig Elwood is a native of Cicero, NY. Craig began his musical career in 3rd grade starting on the trumpet with Ms Jean Holly. In the fifth grade he performed a solo with the Cicero Grade School mixed choir. In middle school he attended the Gillette Road Middle School where he continued his lessons with his father Ray Elwood and Assistant Director Paul DiPastena. In seventh grade he began studying with Syracuse Symphony principal trumpeter George Coble and continued with him through college. Mr. Elwood began participating in NYSSMA Solo Festival in grade 6 with a duet with classmate Craig LaBarge. He continued each year following that on solos with his evaluations ranging from Level IV – 28 to Conference All State VI – 99. At Gillette Road and Cicero high school he participated in every musical activity in and outside of school. Some highlights of his music career include his participation in All-County, Area All-State and Conference All-State performing ensembles. Mr. Elwood was the trumpet soloist for the 1980 Cicero “Golden Eagles” field band. During his junior and senior years he was selected to perform in the Syracuse Symphony Youth Orchestra, a very high honor. Other honors include the John Philip Sousa Band award presented to him by his high school band director Mr. Robert Codner. Mr. Elwood was accepted into the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam to pursue a career in music.
Mr. Elwood went to the Crane School to study music education. Mr. Elwood studied Trumpet with Dr. Gordon Mathie, Dr. Michael Tunnell, Everett McCurdie, John Schorge and Dr. John Ellis. While studying to become a teacher he performed in the schools premier ensembles. These ensembles included Opera Orchestra, Crane Chorus, Crane Trumpet Ensemble, Crane Percussion Ensemble, Crane Symphony Orchestra and Crane Wind Ensemble. The wind ensemble was under the direction of Mr. Anthony Maiello one of the top conductors in the band world today. Mr. Elwood graduated from Crane cum laude with a Bachelor of Music Education.
After graduation, Mr. Elwood accepted a teaching position with the Central Square School System as Elementary Band Director. Starting at Central Square Elementary and Hastings – Mallory Elementary school in 1985 he has taught at all levels. Along with Mr. Richard Patri, Mr. Elwood was responsible for starting an All District Elementary Band in the 80’s. Mr. Elwood encouraged his students attend NYSSMA solo festivals and prepared students for OCMEA All County festivals. While teaching band during the day he was busy working with the Central Square Marching Redmen Field Band and the CNS Northstars Field Band. One year he helped out a third band the Jordan Elbridge Marching Eagles.
Mr. Elwood entered into his Masters program at Syracuse University in 1989. As Graduate Assistant he took part in writing the drill part for the marching band. Mr. Elwood’s drill was seen on national TV at the 1990 “Hall of Fame Bowl” in Florida. Being awarded a full scholarship as Marching Band Graduate Assistant Mr. Elwood finished his Master of Trumpet Performance Degree in one year and returned to Central Square.
In 1990 he moved to the Millard Hawk Junior High School with Mrs. Joyce Lindsley and Paul V. Moore Senior High School with Richard Cripps. While at Millard Hawk he started the Millard Hawk Parade Band and began the tradition of attending the Darien Lake Pageant of Bands on Memorial Day Weekend.
While at P. V. Moore in the early 90’s the cuts hit the Marching Program and the “Marching Redmen” program came to a halt. Mr. Elwood helped the Oswego Marching Bucaneers as a Drumline Instructor as well as becoming the director of the Central Square “Winter Guard” program. Winning a Mid-york Colorguard circuit title in 1991 and a Federation of Contests Judges in 1992 Mr. Elwood was very fortunate to work with great students and instructors. Mr. Elwood began his series of volunteering for office and responsibility. He served as Mid York Colorguard circuit president from 1992-1994 and ran the Mid-York Colorguard Circuit Championship Show in 2000.
The Return of the “Marching Redmen” happened in 1994 with the music of the Lion King. Mr. Elwood started the Marching Program back up and was the Drum Major for the Exhibition at Jordan Elbridge. The pattern was now set for many years to follow. Marching Band, Winterguard, Parade Band afterschool and Lessons, Brass Quintet, Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, Middle School Band, Elementary Band During the Day. Mr. Elwood gave up the Winterguard in the1998 School Year choosing to concentrate on Field Band as Director and Drill Writer. In the early 2000’s he and Mr. John Bird began working on starting up the Central Square Winter Percussion program. Mr. Elwood ran the NYSPC Championship Show for 3 consecutive years.
In 2002 Mr. Elwood began his term a NYSFBC President. He has been a part of this group since then and today serves as Championship Show Coordinator.
Even with a full time band directors career he still performs on his trumpet. He has performed with the Finger Lakes Brass, Brass Lite Quintet, SU Brass, Central Winds, Rhythm-airs, The Island Band and performs in local churches in the Central New York area. Mr. Elwood has been a featured trumpet soloist with the APW Wind Ensemble, Shinning Brass Band and SU Brass Ensemble.
Mr. Elwood serves or has served on the Board of Directors for the Central Winds, SU Brass, NYSFBC, Mid-York Colorguard Circuit, OCMEA, NYSSMA, The Island Band and is currently the show coordinator for the NYSFBC Championship Show. Mr. Elwood also judges concert band and marching band competitions.
The last decade of teaching he dedicated his career to developing a chamber ensemble program at Central Square. Arranging for small ensembles became a passion and every concert featured numerous groups performing his arrangements. His final concert highlighted some of the finest ensembles to date.
In 2018 Mr. Elwood retired after 32 years of teaching. Mr. Elwood and his wife Jeanette reside in Clay at this time. During his spare time Mr. Elwood’s enjoys golfing, woodworking and traveling.
In 2019 Craig was awarded the distinction of being inducted into the Central Square School District’s Hall of Fame for the Visual and Performing Arts. Thank you to all involved, it was an exciting evening.