Mr. Tanner currently lives in Ashburn, Virginia teaching guitar courses at Loudoun Valley High School and Stone Bridge High School. He grew up in the Northern Virginia area, living in Vienna, Fairfax and Reston where he attended the Fairfax County Public Schools. His interest in music became apparent at a young age and he decided to pursue music as a career at the suggestion of a close friend and musical acquaintance.Mr. Tanner attended James Madison University where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Instrumental Music Education and began work at Loudoun Valley High School. After several years of building the music program, he began work at Shenandoah University on his Master’s of Music Education degree where he studied guitar under the direction of Glen Caluda and completed his music project focusing on music technology under the direction of David Cottrell. He has been an instrumental music teacher at Loudoun Valley High School since 1987, beginning the guitar program in 1990. His ensembles at Valley established a reputation for excellence throughout Northern Virginia and he was asked to become the first full time guitar instructor in the Loudoun County Public Schools, building the guitar programs at Loudoun Valley and Broad Run High Schools. His ensembles have performed for the LCPS School Board, America Online ceremonies, Dulles Town Center Arts Festival and numerous other festivals throughout the area. Mr. Tanner’s positive, humorous and upbeat teaching style has encouraged many students to further develop their love of guitar and move on to major in music. In addition to his work at Loudoun Valley and Broad Run, he has also instructed at Loudoun County, Freedom, and Stone Bridge High Schools.Mr. Tanner’s work with Loudoun County public schools includes serving as a leader or member of the Guitar Curriculum committee four times. He was responsible for music software selection and implementation when Loudoun initially integrated computers into the classroom. He has served as the chairman or host of the LCPS Guitar Festival many times and served as chairman of, or served as a member of the committees for organizing the festival for guitarists such as Andrew York, Perl and Gray duo, Canadian Guitar Quartet, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. He has served as a guitar clinician and music technology specialist for Loudoun County Schools teaching inservice courses covering topics such as positional or ensemble techniques for guitar, Sibelius, Cakewalk, Finale and Smart Music, as well as introductory MIDI sequencing for the classroom. Mr. Tanner has also served as an Adjunct Professor for Shenandoah University teaching music technology for the teacher.
As a guitarist early in his career, Mr. Tanner took his interest in composing and arranging and began to write works and studies for use in the classroom. At the suggestion of Glen McCarthy, former director of the Robinson Secondary School guitar program, he published his first major ensemble Divergent Rondo through Class Guitar Resources. After the success of Divergent Rondo, he reestablished his prior digital editing business Third Bear Music as Funky Bear Music, focusing on the publication of guitar works. In addition to his teaching and publishing, Mr. Tanner has held or maintains membership in VEA, NAfME (MENC), the Guitar Foundation of America, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.