Mr. Joe Santanello: Up next at the helm of the North Penn Marching Knights


North Penn High School’s newest band directer Mr. Joe Santanello

TOWAMENCIN – New to the building and already at the helm of the North Penn Marching Knights, Joe Santanello joins the North Penn School District after guiding the marching band at Quakertown for a decade.  

Being the marching band director at Quakertown High School for ten years, the lead in the high school musical, and drum major for his high school marching band, leadership is not one of Mr. Santanello’s weaknesses.

“I’ve not been shy, you know, I like performing. I don’t mind being the center of attention. That’s a big part of it; if you’re gonna stand in front of a marching band that has a hundred kids in it, or you’re gonna be on stage teaching, you have to enjoy the spotlight,” said Santanello.

Being a teacher and marching band director gives Santanello the opportunity to teach. In his high school days, the drum major position allowed Santanello to give his insights to younger kids in the marching band.

“I could help teach the younger members what it’s like to be in marching band. I could teach them how to march better, how to play better, and what was our expectation of behavior,” said Santanello. 

The commander in chief of the marching band also has its added benefits. In Santanello’s mind, it gives him the opportunity to teach everybody, and to shape the direction of the organization for many years to come.

When Santanello is not here leading his students, he is involved in many other musical activities. 

“In addition to teaching music a lot, I still perform regularly. I’m a French horn player; I play in a band called Liberty Wind Symphony, which is down in West Chester, and I direct a community band in Quakertown,” said Santanello.

In Santanello’s high school days, he was involved in many clubs. He played in the jazz band, performed in concerts, and sang in the men’s choir. Santanello enjoyed playing baseball as well.

“Because I was doing choir, band, and orchestra, jazz and marching band, and the musical, I didn’t really have time for all that other stuff. It didn’t leave me much time. During marching band season, we were spending seventy to seventy-five hours a week at school, so it was like a full-time job plus a bunch of extra school work,” explained Santanello 

Santanello continued on his academic and musical career at West Chester University. At West Chester, Santanello was in the marching band, orchestra, wind ensemble, chamber winds, and chorus. 

“Just like high school, it was pretty much all music all the time in college,” concluded Santanello.