Roland Bowks

(This is Ron’s bio that was used for his recent induction into the Aquinas H.S. Wall of Fame.)

Roland Bowks is the proud adopted son of deceased parents Booker and Cleo Bowks.

His education includes Immaculate Conception and St. Lucy’s grammar schools, Aquinas Institute high school, Rochester Institute of Technology (BS) and the Simon School of the University of Rochester (MS in Manufacturing and Operations Research).

He entered the U.S. Marine Corps in 1967 and was in the top 1% in his graduating class. He served in Vietnam and voluntarily returned after his unit was overrun and several fellow marines died in combat. Upon returning stateside, he served out his enlistment at the Marine Air Wing in Cherry Point, N.C.

Roland’s work experience began as a ‘mail and messenger person’ at Eastman Kodak Company and ended as manager of Kodacolor Acetate Film. In between those 36 years, he worked in Materials Management, Purchasing, Safety, and was a supervisor for Single Use Cameras.

Ron’s musical career started as a soloist in 4th grade and continued as drum major of the state championship Aquinas band. During his career he has been awarded numerous state and national championships both as a performer and a leader, and served with distinction as a member of the United States Marine Corps band.

He has taught several local high school marching bands and drum and bugle corps and held the position of drum major for many units.

Ron is a former adjudicator for both the New York State School Music Association and for the Rochester Broadway Theater League.

Ron has directed many community theater and high school musicals and was honored to return to Aquinas as an interim band director.

In addition to being a Literacy Volunteer, he formerly served at the Open Door Mission and as a Jefferson Middle school mentor tutoring students in math, science.

He continues his musical career by conducting the Kodak concert band (performing over 500 free concerts throughout the community since 1980), leading the Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, the Gateswingers Big Band, Papa Joe’s Crawfish Stew Dixieland band and performing with salsa band Grupo Calle Uno and his own jazz combo.

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