Charles Whitmer recently concluded teaching middle school band classes as a band director in Texas. He has been teaching music in the public schools from 1982 to the present with 30 of those years having been teaching middle school band in the Texas public schools as well as having taught 4 years as a general music teacher at the elementary level. He also formerly taught music for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) at the US Army's Camp Zama in Japan. He recently concluded teaching band for one year for the Santa Fe Public Schools in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is currently retired and is residing in Conroe, Texas.
He has a Bachelor of Music Degree in Education (1980) and a Master of Curriculum & Instruction (Music Education) Degree (1989) both from the University of Houston.
Mr. Whitmer recently completed a book for concert bands titled, "52 Hymns & Chorales For Winds", which is a collection of 52 traditional hymn arrangements for concert band which has now been published nationally by Wingert-Jones Publications (a Division of J.W. Pepper & Son, Inc.) as of Summer 2015.
Mr. Whitmer was also featured on an album produced locally as a solo soprano saxophonist on the album, "Psalms, Hymns, & Spiritual Songs" in 2009 produced by Mr. Dennis Mease of The Woodlands, Texas.
He currently has 612 traditional songs in print arranged for autoharp for which he is known internationally.
In 2008 he was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame. He is a current staff member of The Autoharp Quarterly as a sheet music editor and was also a long time staff member for i.a.d. Publications, a former international quarterly magazine for autoharp enthusiasts.
His use of traditional folk music in his band classes has been featured at two music education conferences: The 4th Conference on Narrative Inquiry in Music Education at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, FINLAND as well as at the New Directions in Music Education conference at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MICHIGAN. Both presentations were the results of the studies of Mr. Whitmer's use of traditional music teaching band in Texas by Canadian music education professors Dr. Kari K. Veblen of The University of Western Ontario and Dr. Janice Waldron of The University of Windsor, both located in Ontario, CANADA.
His workshops outside the public schools are primarily teaching autoharp classes. He also has taught workshops in Sacred Harp shape note singing, an American folk hymn tradition from where many of the chorales in this collection originated.
Programs for which he has taught autoharp and performed on stage (as well as some shape note folk hymn singing) include The Augusta Heritage Arts Workshops in West Virginia, The Ozark Folk Center in Arkansas, The Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering in Pennsylvania, The Willamette Valley Autoharp Gathering in Oregon, The California Traditional Music Society's Summer Solstice Festival in California, the Summer Stringalong in Wisconsin, the Winter Festival of Acoustic Music in Texas, The Little Rock Dulcimer Getaway in Arkansas, The Gateway Dulcimer Music Festival in Illinois, the California Autoharp Gathering in California, the Central Florida Dulcimer & Autoharp Festival in Florida, the Shizuoka Autoharp Gathering in Japan, the Capital Harpers Club in the Washington DC area as well as other festivals across the US and a few in Japan. (NOTE: The web address below is a temporary location to access free MP3 recordings of all of the songs in all of the sheet music packets.