Matt Koperniak is Director of Bands at Riverwatch Middle School in Suwanee, Georgia. Under his direction since 2008, the Riverwatch Band Program has grown from 130 students to a current membership of 600+ students in grades 6-8. The Riverwatch Band Program was the 2016 National Blue Ribbon Middle School Program of Excellence recipient from the National Band Association. Recent performances by the Riverwatch
Symphonic Band include the Midwest Clinic, National Band Association/CBDNA Southern Division Conference, Music for All National Concert Festival, GMEA In-Service Conference, University of Alabama Honor Band, Southeastern United States Band Clinic, University of Georgia Midfest, and “Strike up the Band” on WABE 90.1, National Public Radio. The Riverwatch Band Program was a 2017 recipient of the
Sudler Cup, awarded by the John Phillip Sousa Foundation.
Dr. Koperniak currently serves as State Band Chair for the Georgia Music Educators Association. He serves Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia as National Executive Committeeman-at- Large and Chair of the Commission on standards, and received the national Volunteer of the Year award in 2013. He has served the National Band Association as a member of the Alfred Young Band Composition Contest committee, and has received the NBA Citation of Excellence on multiple occasions. He has been published in Music Educators Journal, International Trombone Association Journal, and Tempo! (New Jersey MEA magazine), and he has presented music education research at the NAfME national research conference, University of Illinois, and Gettysburg College. Dr. Koperniak was the 2012 Teacher of the Year for Riverwatch Middle School, and he was elected to membership in Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity in 2014. He is a 2017
recipient of the UGA Alumni Association’s 40 under 40 award.
Dr. Koperniak received degrees in Music Education from the University of Georgia and Boston University. While at UGA, he served as Drum Major and Band Captain of the Redcoat Marching Band. Prior to his arrival at Riverwatch, previous teaching positions include Jefferson High School and Norcross High School, as well as serving as Music Director of the Classic City Community Band in Athens, GA.