S-DMS Band Staff & Lessons



812 576-3500 ext 12131

Perry A. Ralenkotter began his teaching career in 1988 at McCleskey Middle School in Cobb County, Georgia. This school fed into Lassiter, Sprayberry and Pope High Schools. 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, Explorer 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 has also been awarded a Superior With Distinction four times at ISSMA Concert Festival most recently in 2015, 2013, 2009 and 2003. The Advanced Band is the only second year ensemble in Group I to achieve this.  On January 14, 2006 the S-DMS Advanced Band performed at the Indiana Music Educators Conference in Indianapolis. Mr. Ralenkotter is a director of middle school bands at the Stephen Collins Foster summer music camp at Eastern Kentucky University. It is the third longest running summer music camp in the nation. He has been featured twice as School Band and Orchestra’s 50 directors who make a difference.

Mr. Ralenkotter is active as a clinician and adjudicator in the region and is a founder of the St. Leon All Star Band. In December of 2005 he was invited to present at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic to discuss recruiting beginning band students. He presented again in 2011 to discuss the impact of NCLB and budget cuts on the arts. Mr. Ralenkotter is a Yamaha clinician where he works with school systems and music programs on recruiting, retention and support for the arts. Copies of his Midwest materials can be found here and here.

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, the then 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 has pursued a D.M.A. at Boston University. Mr. Ralenkotter enjoys distance running and triathlon. He is a member of NEA, ISSMA, Phi Mu Alpha, and USAT.

He is married to Beverly and has four children, Matthew,  Andrew, Lea and Ian. They reside in Union, Kentucky.


216 407-4194

Laura Sabo is a classically trained musician who has crossed to the dark side of improvised music and never wants to go back, except occasionally when she gets to perform with wonderful ensembles such as the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and Concert:Nova. She fell in love with music as a child when she would sneak into the basement after dinner to spend hours listening to old records.  Her impatience chose saxophone as her first instrument in fourth grade simply because the line for flute was too long.  Although she was reduced to tears when her private lesson teacher forced her to switch to clarinet, it has proven a fateful match.

Her teachers have included members of the Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.  She has received degrees in music from the Ohio State University, Cleveland Institute of Music, and one day very soon she will receive her doctorate from the College Conservatory of Music at UC.  Still, she is consistently lured away from the classical world by the expressive, soulful wailing made by gypsy and folk clarinetists of Turkey and Eastern Europe, and finds her truest musical self playing original gypsy jazz with the Marmalade Brigade, Cajun and Dixieland with Lagniappe, trance/belly dance with Mayan Ruins, bass clarinet with Strange Creature, and early music with the Noyse Merchants.  She maintains a changeling/amphibious lifestyle between the airy heights of a trained classical musician and the watery depths of expressive improvisation.


She is also the organizer/impresario for Classical Revolution Cincinnati and teaches private lessons all around the Cincinnati area.


Elaine Bergman  

Elaine received her Bachelors in Music from Wheaton College in 1983
and her Masters in Flute Performance from Miami University in 1990. She is beginning her 10th year as flute instructor at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana where she also coaches the flute choir and orchestral woodwind sectionals. Elaine maintains a large private flute studio and is an active perfomer. Her students have won numerous awards over the years, including several concerto competitions. She gives solo recitals and does freelance work with local harpists and musicians at churches, weddings and special events.

C) 513-353-2948
H) 812-623-3380


317 902-3184

Emily Toth

Emily is currently finishing her Masters’s degree in Horn Performance at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.  She studies primarily with Professor Randy Gardner, and has received additional instruction from Dwayne Dugger and Elizabeth Freimuth of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. She lives in Cincinnati where she is a freelance musician and private horn instructor, teaching also in the Milford Exempted Village School District.
Before living in Cincinnati, Emily completed her Bachelor’s of Music degree at Butler University of Indianapolis, Indiana. There she studied with Dr. Gail Lewis.  She was a featured soloist and principal horn with the Butler University Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, and was also a finalist for the School of Music’s annual Concerto Competition. During her studies at Butler University, Emily had the privilege of playing under esteemed guest conductors H. Robert Reynolds, Commander Allen Beck, and Colonel Brian Shelbourne. Emily also was principal horn of the 2008 Indiana Music Educators’ Association (IMEA) Intercollegiate Wind Ensemble.  She has also traveled with the Butler University Wind Ensemble on their 2008 European Tour, giving concerts and performances in the Czech Republic, Austria, and Luxembourg.  In Indianapolis, Emily was an active educator, teaching privately through the Butler Community Arts School and in the surrounding metro area. She also fulfilled the role of president of the University’s Music Education National Conference (MENC) chapter in 2008.
During her studies at the College-Conservatory of Music, Emily has performed with the Philharmonia and Concert Orchestras, Wind Symphony, Brass Choir, and the “Espirt de Cor” Horn Choir.  In the summer of 2012 she was selected as a CCM Scholar musician in the CCM Spoleto Music Festival located in Spoleto, Italy. She has also played with the Richmond (IN) Symphony Orchestra.