Jacob Polancich is the director of bands and music department teacher leader at Arrowhead Union High School where he conducts the Wind Ensemble, concert bands, Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band and teaches Music Theory. Prior to his appointment at Arrowhead, he served as director of bands at Rockridge High School in Taylor Ridge, Illinois. He also served as a graduate assistant with the University Bands at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and assistant conductor of the UWM Youth Wind Ensembles and MYSO Wind Ensemble. An advocate for commissioning projects and new music, Mr. Polancich has initiated and conducted AHS ensembles in commission/consortium projects with composers Michael Markowski, Carl Holmquist, John Mackey, Clint Needham, James Grant, Fred Sturm, and Keane Southard. Under his baton, the AHS Wind Ensemble was selected to perform at the National Band Association Wisconsin Chapter convention (2011, 2016) and the Wisconsin Music Educators Conference (2014). Mr. Polancich also conducted the student pit orchestra for the Arrowhead’s 2015 musical production of Cinderella. He was also honored as one of four 2016-2017 Arrowhead Teachers of the Year. He has led successful performance travel opportunities for Arrowhead students to Washington D.C., Orlando/Disney, Toronto, Chicago, New York City, Ireland, and several destinations throughout the Midwest.
He holds a Master of Music (M.M.) degree in wind conducting from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Music Education from Augustana College (Rock Island, IL). In 2008, Mr. Polancich was selected as one of three conductors to participate in the National Band Association’s Young Conductor/Composer Project. He has received four Citations of Excellence from the National Band Association. He is also an accomplished bassoonist and percussionist, having performed in a variety of ensembles throughout the United States, Canada, England, and the Republic of China. He has most recently performed and collaborated with the Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy, Vivre Musicale (professional chamber music), the Meisel QuArtet and Montauk Project (drums-saxophone duo). He can be heard on their albums Synergy (2011), Stayin' the Course (2014), Volume I (2015), Monster (2017), and Walking Into a Room (2018). Mr. Polancich is an endorser/artist for Dream Cymbals and Pork Pie Drums.
He holds active membership in the National Association for Music Education, National Band Association, Wisconsin Music Educators Association, Percussive Arts Society, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia men's music fraternity. He has presented sessions at the National Band Association Wisconsin Chapter Convention and the Wisconsin State Music Conference. He continues to serve as an adjudicator, performer, and guest conductor for various festivals and concerts.