Dr. Ed Cannava was a public school music educator for 32 years. His career began in Cotopaxi, Colorado, where he taught kindergarten through twelfth grades. Dr. Cannava then came to Littleton Public Schools, and was the instrumental music director at Euclid Junior High School for nine years, prior to his appointment as Arapahoe High School’s Director of Bands. He served in that capacity for 22 years, until his retirement in May of 2009. Dr. Cannava received his music education degrees from the University of Colorado, culminating with his Ph.D. in 1994. His dissertation is titled, Professionally Guided Instrument Selection as a Factor of Beginning Band Retention.
Dr. Cannava has had ensembles perform in numerous invitational performances over his career including: nine feature performances by his junior and senior high concert, jazz and chamber ensembles at the Colorado Music Educators Association Clinic/Conferences; a feature CMEA Clinic/Conference performance by the Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars; seventeen appearances by the Teens of Dixie, the Arapahoe HS Dry Creek Dixie Dawgs, and the Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars at the Sacramento Music Festival; five performances at the Montreux, Switzerland International Jazz Festival; performances at the Milan, Umbria & Assisi Jazz Festivals in Italy; concert tours to jazz clubs in New Orleans and New York City, the nationally televised Disney World Easter Parade; NBC’s “Today Show”; the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; two Carnegie Hall Concerts; the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade; the American School Band Directors Association National Convention; the New Year’s Eve Vienna, Austria Parade; the London New Year’s Day Parade; and the London Central Westminster Hall – International Choral Festival Finale Concert.
Under Dr. Cannava’s direction, the Arapahoe Band Program received the Colorado Bandmasters Association Exemplary Award for achieving excellence in concert, marching, jazz and chamber music for eleven consecutive years. Arapahoe High School was recognized as a Grammy Signature School two times. They were also Grammy nominees on three other occasions. Five National Downbeat Outstanding Music Awards were given to Arapahoe’s Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and traditional jazz combo. Several Superior with Distinction Awards were achieved by the Arapahoe Wind Ensemble at the CBA State Concert Band Festivals. Arapahoe’s Jazz Bands and Combo received many superior ratings at various Colorado jazz festivals on a consistent basis. The Arapahoe HS Warrior Marching Band was twice named the Colorado State Champion Runner-up Band . They also bronze medaled two other times and were a six time state finalist. Each year numerous Arapahoe Band musicians were selected to All State Jazz Band, All State Orchestra, the University of Colorado Honor Band, and All State Band.
His peers elected Dr. Cannava as the CBA Metro Denver Representative, and the District One Representative for the Colorado Music Educators Association, for a two year term. He served as the CBA Marching Band Qualifying Sites Liaison for numerous years. Dr. Cannava was the State Chair of the Colorado Chapter of the American School Band Directors Association for six years. He also served two terms as National Secretary for ASBDA. Dr. Cannava was the ASBDA National President for the 2006-07 school year. For the following two years he served as Past President on the ASBDA Executive Board. Dr. Cannava’s students chose him to appear many times in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. He received an NBA Citation of Excellence Award, the Centennial Walmart Teacher of the Year Award, the Denver Jazz Club’s Harney Peterson Jazz Excellence Award, and in 2009 was only the 5th person in 40 years to receive the Mel and Geraldine Flesher-Hinton Excellence in Jazz Award. Dr. Cannava has been nominated to the Colorado Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame in 2009, 2013 and 2015. He also received the Phi Beta Mu-Colorado Chapter’s 2010 Outstanding Bandmaster Award, and in 2017 was inducted into the Colorado Music Educators Association Hall of Fame. Dr. Cannava currently serves on the Executive Board for the Denver Jazz Club. For the past eight years he has been the director of the Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars who perform at various professional jazz festivals. Dr. Cannava is in his sixth year as Executive Secretary for the Colorado Bandmasters Association.
From 2010 until 2014, he was an affiliate member of the Metropolitan State University of Denver Music Education Faculty, where Dr. Cannava also assisted with the conducting of the concert bands. He continues to assist with the MSU-Denver Symphonic Band on occasion. Dr. Cannava is currently in his fourth year as Director of Bands at Regis University. The University of Colorado, University of Northern Colorado, and VanderCook College of Music have had Dr. Cannava as a guest presenter for their music education classes. In addition he has served on the faculty of the Conn-Selmer Institute at Notre Dame University. Since 1983 Dr. Cannava has written numerous articles for Bandworld, The Instrumentalist, the Jazz Educators Journal, and School Band and Orchestra Magazine. He served as The Instrumentalist’s Consulting and Contributing Editor for numerous years. Dr. Cannava presented his instrument selection research at the CMEA Clinic/Conference and the Music Educators National Conference Convention. He is a proud member of Phi Beta Mu, ASBDA, CBA, CMEA, NBA, JEN, CIMA, and NAfME. Dr. Cannava is active as a guest clinician, conductor, adjudicator and consultant. He has adjudicated and/or guest conducted in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Oklahoma, Nevada, Washington and Tennessee.
Dr. Cannava resides in Centennial, Colorado with his wife, Pat (retired 2nd grade elementary teacher). He has two daughters who are both teachers (Angela – science teacher in Denver, and Tricia – elementary music teacher in Everett, Washington).