December 13, 2021
MusicFirst, the digital education division of Wise Music Group, is adding to its leadership team with the hiring of Walt Straiton, the new Director of Academic and Institutional Partnerships.
Mr. Straiton, an industry veteran with a track record of leadership excellence in both the academic and business facets of music education, most recently served as an EducationalSupport Manager for Conn-Selmer, Inc. Prior to Conn-Selmer, he held various leadership positions within the educational division of YamahaCorporation of America. Mr. Straiton's career also includes a 26-year tenure as Director of Orchestras and Assistant Director of Marching Bands at Williamsport Area High School (PA), in addition to having been the instrumental music producer for Hershey Park, and Director of Orchestras at Messiah College (PA). He holds a Master's degree in Music Education from the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Millersville University of Pennsylvania.
On joining the MusicFirst team, he states: "I am both honored and excited to join MusicFirst, along with the Wise Music Group, in advancing the global cause of music education. I am especially excited for the opportunity to work alongside Dr. Jim Frankel, a long-time friend and colleague. I've both admired and respected his work for over two decades."
His sentiments are echoed by MusicFirst's Founder & Director, Dr. Jim Frankel: "We are very excited to welcome Walt to the MusicFirst team. He is a talented musician, conductor, and educator, and I have a huge amount of respect for him. I am confident that he will continue to raise the bar for the entire MusicFirst team."
As Director of Academic and Institutional Partnerships, he will directly manage the education management team to develop and implement growth strategies informed by his extensive knowledge of the music education landscape.