Mr. Ralenkotter is the director of bands at Sunman-Dearborn Middle School in St. Leon, Indiana. He began his career in 1988 teaching in Cobb County, Georgia. In 1991, he began his career at S-DMS with 140 students. Within four years, the program had grown to 445 students in grades six through eight. The Advanced, Concert, Discovery and Jazz bands at S-DMS have consistently received superior ratings at the Indiana State School Music Association festival and at other local festivals.
The Advanced Band was also awarded a Superior With Distinction at the ISSMA Concert Festival in 2009. This was the second time the advanced band received this recognition. Mr. Ralenkotter is an active clinician and adjudicator in the region and is a founder of the St. Leon All Star Band. In December of 2005, Mr. Ralenkotter was invited to present at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic to discuss recruiting beginning band students. In 2006, the S-DMS Advanced Band performed at the Indiana Music Educators Conference in Indianapolis.
Mr. Ralenkotter has taught four seasons at the Stephen Collins Foster summer music camp at Eastern Kentucky University, which is one of the longest running summer music camps in the nation. He has also been featured twice as School Band and Orchestra's "50 Directors Who Make a Difference".
Mr. Ralenkotter is a native of Florence, Kentucky. He attended the University of Kentucky where he studied trumpet under the direction of Vincent DiMartino. Mr. Ralenkotter completed his student teaching with Dr. J. Steven Moore, who was the director of bands at Lafayette High School in Lexington, Kentucky. He completed a Master of Music in Music Education degree at the University of Kentucky in 2003. He is currently pursuing a D.M.A. at Boston University. He has two sons, Andrew (20) and Matthew (16) and resides in Union, KY with his wife Beverly and his family. Mr. Ralenkotter enjoys distance running and triathlons. He is a member of IMEA, NEA, Phi Mu Alpha, and USAT. Mr. Ralenkotter is a Yamaha clinician, where he works with school systems and music programs on recruiting, retention and support for the arts.