David Betancourt has been the Director of Bands and Orchestra at Cerritos College in Norwalk, California since 1998. He is the conductor for the Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band, Pop/Rock Ensemble and facilitates the Cerritos College Drumline. Beyond performing as the showcase ensemble at various jazz and band festivals, the bands at Cerritos College take great pride in performing in countless civic events and participating in social outreach at hospitals and shelters. Dr. Betancourt facilitated the collaboration with the youth organization Impulse, which led to the addition of numerous courses as well as the development of a national reputation for Cerritos College in the Drum and Bugle Corps international circuit. He was chair of the music department from 2008-2011 and was the director of the California State University Wind Ensemble from 2008-2011. In addition, Dr. Betancourt was a supervisor for the Master of Arts in Teaching at the University of Southern California since the inception of the MAT program. Previous to his appointments in Southern California, Dr. Betancourt was Assistant Director of Bands at Northern Arizona University. He began his music education career as the Director of Instrumental Music of Hopedale Junior/Senior High School in Hopedale, Massachusetts.
Dr. Betancourt travels internationally as a creative and dynamic educational consultant to promote pedagogical excellence within multiple teaching and learning environments. His core mission is to engage, equip, and connect educators to create and integrate transformative learning experiences using evidence-based practices. He actively accomplishes this mission by fostering learning environments informed by research on teaching and learning, promoting the tools of teaching, advancing strategic learning initiatives, and facilitating practices that support an integrated educational experience. He is committed to excellence in teaching, learning and technology and to continually improve the quality of education by supporting teachers and encouraging reflective teaching practices. Dr. Betancourt supports innovative and interdisciplinary approaches when thinking about learning, teaching and technology and promotes initiatives that involve faculty from multiple disciplines and levels. His is committed to promoting life-long learning for students AND teachers.
Professor Betancourt is a strong advocate for the expansive education movement, experiential learning models, service learning, the habits of minds initiative, the growth mindset, and an overarching teaching philosophy that incorporates learning dispositions as central to the educational experience.
At Cerritos College, California, Professor Betancourt's primary responsibility as the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTX) Coordinator is to oversee and promote a comprehensive faculty center that provides scholarship, administration, teaching and learning, professional development, and technology resources and support through the organization of the multiple faculty resources currently on campus. Since 2012, he has developed an extensively vibrant program of professional learning opportunities for the entire college faculty. As a result, the CTX has become a resource for professional learning centers on university and community college campuses throughout the state. His activities in the CTX have gained notoriety with requests to present on professional learning topics at California Community Colleges Success Network events, the Professional and Organizational Development Network Conference (international), the California Community College Council for Staff and Organizational Development Conference, the Basic Skills Initiative Leadership Institute, the Lilly Conference, and numerous colleges. Under his leadership, the CTX was recently awarded the Outstanding Program Award from the California Community College Council for Staff Development.
Dr. Betancourt holds a DMA in music education from the University of Southern California, an MM in instrumental conducting from Northern Arizona University, and a BM in music education and performance from Berklee College of Music. He has arranged for wind band, jazz ensemble, marching band, latin, and pop genres. Dr. Betancourt is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Pi Kappa Lambda Honor Society, NAfME, CBDNA, CMEA, CBDA, ITG, CMS, SCSBOA, and the Immediate Past President of the Music Association of California Community Colleges (MACCC).
Dr. Betancourt was recognized as Outstanding Faculty in 2015 and Most Outstanding Faculty in 2016. His most recent accomplishments include selection as a mentor of the California Music Educators Association Mentorship Program, conductor of the middle school honor band for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, and conductor for the Kansas State Honor Band. He was also the guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator for the 36th Annual Dr. Lawrence R. Sutherland Wind Festival, presenter at the CMEA/CBDA state conference, and guest conductor for CSU Long Beach Wind Symphony and CSU Fresno Wind Symphony. Whether he is facilitating professional development, rehearsing his own ensembles, conducting an honor band, presenting at leadership or music conferences, or giving a keynote address, his passion for “teaching about life through music with positive forward momentum” is a central theme that is woven into his career and lifestyle.
Nevada Music Educators Association