2020 Conference Presenters

Sey Ahn

Sey Ahn. A 2015 fellow of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, Sey Ahn is currently the Director of Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble at Illinois Wesleyan University. Ahn has served as the Guest Conductor in Residence at Diamond Bar High School for over ten years, whose Symphony Orchestra has won numerous national accolades. Ahn is a frequent Evaluator and Clinician at the annual Music for All Festival held in Indianapolis. She has also been the Assistant Conductor of the Music for All Honor Orchestra of America since 2012. Ahn previously held the position of Music Director and Professor of Conducting at the University of California Santa Barbara. Ahn has worked extensively with young musicians in many youth orchestras around the country. She has been invited as a guest conductor of All-State Festivals in states such as Missouri, Louisiana, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Tennessee, Iowa, and Kentucky. Ahn has led orchestral performances in Walt Disney Concert Hall and Royce Hall in Los Angeles, Benedict Music Tent in Aspen, Hilbert Theater in Indianapolis and Alice Tully Hall in New York.

Sey Ahn earned a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Northwestern University, where she studied piano with Alan Chow and James Giles, and started her conducting studies with Victor Yampolsky. She earned two Master of Music degrees, in piano and orchestral conducting, from the University of Southern California, where she studied piano with Norman Krieger, and conducting with Larry Livingston, She earned a Doctorate in orchestral conducting at the University of Kentucky, where she studied with John Nardolillo, and served as Assistant Conductor to the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and University of Kentucky Opera Theatre.

Image of Brett Babineaux

Brett Babineaux is currently in his 23rd year of teaching instrumental music. He received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (formerly USL). Currently in his 14th year of teaching at Broussard Middle School, he has held similar positions at Lafayette High School, Seventh Ward Elementary, Henry Elementary, and New Iberia Senior High School. In 2016, his band proudly performed in Hawaii for the 75th Pearl Harbor Anniversary. He also adjudicates various marching band contests and concert band assessments throughout south Louisiana. Mr. Babineaux’s bands have consistently received superior ratings on all levels of assessment.

Mr. Babineaux currently serves as the President-Elect of the Louisiana Music Educators Association (LMEA) and Past-President of the Louisiana Music Adjudicators Association (LMAA) as well as a charter member of this organization. He also serves as co-chair for the SLBDA District III Honor Band auditions and conference. His professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, the Louisiana Music Educators Association, the Southwest Louisiana Band Directors Association, and Phi Beta Mu.

He and his wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents of 3 adorable girls; Emma, Anna, and Amelia.

Image of Brian Balmages

Brian Balmages is an award-winning composer and conductor whose music has been performed throughout the world with commissions ranging from elementary schools to professional ensembles including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Miami Symphony Orchestra, Boston Brass, University of Miami Wind Ensemble and others. World premieres have included prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. His music was also performed as part of the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service, which was attended by both President Obama and Vice President Biden. He is a recipient of the prestigious A. Austin Harding Award from the American School Band Directors Association and in 2016 was awarded the James Madison University Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Visual and Performing Arts (the first year the award was given). In the same year, he was commissioned by his other alma mater, the University of Miami, to compose music for the inauguration of the institution’s 6th president, Dr. Julio Frenk.

As a conductor, Mr. Balmages enjoys regular engagements with all-state bands and orchestras as well as university, professional, regional and international ensembles. Notable conducting appearances have included the Midwest Clinic, Western International Band Clinic, College Band Directors Eastern Conference, American School Band Directors Association National Conference and others. Additional conducting appearances have included the Kennedy Center and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall as well as engagements in Australia, Canada and Italy. He received his bachelor’s degree in music from James Madison University and his master’s degree from the University of Miami in Florida. Currently, he is Director of Instrumental Publications for The FJH Music Company and Assistant Director of Bands and Orchestras at Towson University.

Image of Matt Barusch

Matt Barusch serves as State Advocacy Engagement Manager for the National Association for Music Education. In his role, Matt serves as a consulting and support resource for federated state associations, coordinating with state leaders and the Advocacy Leadership Force to advance supportive, state-level music education policy.

Prior to joining NAfME, Matt most recently served as Director of Government Relations for the National Court Reporters Association. Matt also served as Legislative Associate for state government affairs firm Stateside Associates, conducting state-level legislative analysis. Additionally, Matt gained political experience through positions with the Arizona State Senate, and the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as volunteering for a congressional campaign in 2009. He holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh and a Master’s in Public Administration from Arizona State University.

Image of Dr. Dale Bazan

Dr. Dale Bazan is Assistant Professor of Music Education and Coordinator of Music Education for University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he oversees the music teaching program. He holds a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor Music Education from the University of Manitoba (Canada), Masters of Music from University of Northern Iowa (with concentrations in jazz saxophone and music education), and Ph.D. in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University.

Prior to assuming his position at UL Lafayette, he was a music education professor at University of Alaska – Anchorage. Dr. Bazan was previously Associate Professor of Practice in Music Education at University of Nebraska – Lincoln from 2007-2017. At UNL he was the instrumental music education specialist, and part of an internationally renowned team of music education professors who prepared music teachers for schools and graduate music education studies.

Dr. Bazan was an English/Language Arts/Drama teacher in Canada for 5 years and 5-12 Instrumental Music Teacher in Canada and the USA through 11 years. His ensembles have succeeded and received commendations at every level.

Dr. Bazan continues to serve as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music Education and Course Designer for the Kent State University and University of Florida Online Masters of Music Education programs. In the music education research world, he is (or has been) an Editorial Board Member and Reviewer for Contributions to Music Education, and the Journal of Music and Dance, Urban Education, and Middle Grades Research Journal. He has published in such journals as The Bulletin of the Council of Research in Music Education, Contributions to Music Education, Visions of Research in Music Education, and Canadian Winds.

Dr. Bazan has presented throughout the world at international, national, state, and local conferences on his teaching and research interests. His interests include instrumental music education, foundations of teaching, creative process, recruiting/retaining music students, popular musicianship, and social justice. He has also been an active performer in jazz, rock, and classical venues on saxophone, guitar, and bass guitar and has conducted jazz bands, rock bands, wind bands, and musicals throughout North America.

Image of Ryan Benoit

Ryan Benoit is in his fifteenth year as a band director, the last thirteen at Denham Springs Junior High School in Denham Springs, Louisiana. He received his bachelor’s degree in music education from the LSU School of Music. He’s been an active marching percussion instructor, arranger, and judge. His professional affiliations include NAfME, LMEA, & Livingston Parish Band Directors Association where he serves as the current Vice-President.

He currently resides in Denham Springs with his wife Allison and three sons Colin (17), Liam (9), Gavin (8).

Image of Colonel John Bourgeois

Colonel John R. Bourgeois.  Director Emeritus Colonel John R. Bourgeois, USMC (Ret.), was the 25th Director of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. His acclaimed career spanned nine presidential administrations, from Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower to Bill Clinton.

A native of Louisiana, Bourgeois is a graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans. He joined the Marine Corps in 1956 and entered “The President’s Own” as a French hornist and arranger in 1958. Named Director of the Marine Band in 1979, Bourgeois was promoted to colonel in June 1983. He retired from active duty July 11, 1996.

Under Bourgeois’ leadership, the Marine Band presented its first overseas performances in history, traveling to the Netherlands in 1985 where “The President’s Own” performed with the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy. In February 1990, Bourgeois led the Marine Band on an historic 18-day concert tour of the former Soviet Union as part of the first U.S.-U.S.S.R. Armed Forces band exchange. He also directed the Marine Band on 16 nationwide tours, bringing the music of “The President’s Own” to the American people.

Bourgeois is past president of the American Bandmasters Association, chairman of the board and past president of the National Band Association, president of the John Philip Sousa Foundation, and the American vice president of the International Military Music Society. He has served on the boards of directors for the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles and the Association of Concert Bands. As Director of the Marine Band, Bourgeois was Music Director of Washington, D.C.’s prestigious Gridiron Club. He is a member of the Military Order of the Carabao, the Alfalfa Club, and the College Band Director’s National Association.

Since retiring from the Marine Band, Bourgeois has been actively involved in music as a guest conductor, has published new editions of classic band compositions, and is a visiting professor in a chair endowed in his name at Loyola University in New Orleans.

Image of Marcus Broadhead

Dr. Marcus L. Broadhead has been an educator for over 20 years. Having started his career as an English teacher in Long Island, New York, he has had the privilege to work with students from the seventh grade through college prior to going into educational administration. He currently serves as the principal of Bennett’s Mill Middle school in Fayette County Schools. When he is not performing his primary responsibilities as Principal, Dr. Broadhead volunteers his time to speak on various educational topics for educators as well as speak to youth on making positive choices, goal setting, and facing obstacles. For him, being an educator encompasses more than a title but holds the weight of the responsibility to truly educate and be a resource to all with whom he comes in contact.

Image of Scott Casagrande

Scott J. Casagrande has been Director of Bands at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, IL since 1999. He was previously Director of Bands at Plainfield High School in Plainfield, IL and Stephen Decatur High School in Decatur, IL. A native of Fairfax County, VA, Mr. Casagrande received his B.S. and M.S. in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Ensembles under Mr. Casagrande’s direction have been selected to perform at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic (concert and jazz), 19 of the last 20 Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festivals (Honor Band three times) and four National Concert Band Festivals. His bands have been consistent winners in all marching and jazz contests including the Governor’s Cup and Field Show Champion at the University of Illinois Marching Festival (45+ bands), Grand Champion at Jazz in the Meadows (90+ bands) and Honor Band at the Purdue Jazz Festival (90+ bands). In 2007, the John Hersey band program was awarded the prestigious Sudler Flag of Honor from the John Philip Sousa Foundation. His ensembles have performed at the French Reeds Festival in the French Riviera, in the Chicago Jazz Festival, at Chicago’s Jazz Showcase, at Orchestra Hall in the Chicago Symphony Center (three times) and at Carnegie Hall in NYC (two times).  This winter the John Hersey Symphonic Band was selected to perform at the College Band Directors National Association North Central Division Conference.

Mr. Casagrande has received 20 Citation of Excellence Awards from the National Band Association, and he has been recognized by Former President Barack Obama, the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, the Illinois Senate, School District 214, Plainfield HS, Stephen Decatur HS, Illinois Chapter of Phi Beta Mu Band Fraternity (2016-2017 Bandmaster of the Year), Quinlan and Fabish Music and Bob Rogers Travel. Mr. Casagrande has the privilege of currently serving the National Band Association as President and has served the NBA as 2nd Vice-President, First Vice-President, High School Representative (twice) and as a member of the Revelli Composition Contest Committee. In 2004, he was one of three conductors in the United States chosen to participate in the NBA International Conducting Symposium in Rome, Italy, conducting the Italian National Army Band. He serves Music for All/Bands of America as a Music Education Consultant and he has served three terms as the Illinois Music Education Association District 7 Jazz Representative. Mr. Casagrande was inducted into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association in 2009. He has been published in The Instrumentalist and the National Band Association Journal.

Students in the John Hersey program are very active in IMEA All-District and All-State bands and most Hersey band graduates continue to perform in their college ensembles and beyond.  Mr. Casagrande lives in Arlington Heights with his wife, Janice and daughters Mary and Julia.

Image of Kurt Cereske

Kurt Cereske, Ph.D. Fine Arts Music Education, ABD, is the Elementary Music and Choral Coordinator for Lubbock Independent School District and an adjunct professor of elementary music education at Wayland Baptist University. He also teaches pedagogy in the Kodály Association of Southern California Music Education Institute, the Portland State University Kodály Certification Workshop, and the West Texas Kodály Initiative. He is the Kodály Studies Director for the National Children’s Chorus (Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.) and is an Associate Conductor and Musicianship instructor for the West Texas Children’s Chorus. Kurt has given professional presentations at both regional and national conferences and for music educator workshops across the country, as well as conducting honor choirs at the regional, state, and national level.

He is an experienced music educator, specializing in early childhood and elementary music education, children’s and youth choral music, Kodály pedagogy and musicianship training. Kurt earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Dr. Martin Luther College and a Master of Music Education from Michigan State University and his Kodály certification from KASC Summer Music Institute. Mr. Cereske is in his final stages of the PhD. program in Fine Arts, Music Education, at Texas Tech University.

Image of Joshua Cheney

Dr. Joshua Cheney, a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, is the Assistant Professor of Choral Music at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. At Lee he directs the Choral Union and the Men’s Chorale. Joshua is also responsible for teaching conducting, choral rehearsal techniques, and choral literature as well as the management of the graduate choral conducting program. Joshua performs with Coro Vocati, a professional choral ensemble based in Atlanta, Georgia. Previous appointments include the Assistant Director of Music and Worship at the First United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Choral Music Educator at John M Morehead High School in Eden, North Carolina, and Choral Music Educator at Harnett Central Middle School in Angier, North Carolina. Joshua holds the BA in Music Education from Campbell University, the MM in Choral Conducting and Church Music from Mercer University, and the DMA in Choral Conducting from Louisiana State University. He and his wife Rebekah reside in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Image of Ayesha Chetty

Ayesha Casie Chetty is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cincinnati. A qualitative scholar, her research interests lie at the intersection of race, gender, and bodies with a current emphasis on culture and music. She received her LLM in socio-legal studies from the University of Kent at Canterbury (UK) in 2012, and her LLB from the University of London (2009).

Ayesha’s dissertation explores questions of racial minority opera singers’ embodied identities in the context of this predominantly white cultural institution. She teaches undergraduate courses on Gender, Inequality, Music in Society, and Introduction to Sociology. Ayesha is a member of a number of professional sociological associations and serves on the student advisory board of Social Problems.

Image of Dr. Deborah Confredo

Dr. Deborah Confredo is Professor and Director of the Online MM in Music Education at Temple University. Founder of Temple’s Night Owls Campus/ Community Band and past conductor of the Philadelphia All-City High School Band, her specialties include instrumental rehearsal techniques and teaching methods, assessment, research, music psychology and perception, conducting, wind band literature, community bands, and informal music learning.

She has co-authored the texts The Complete Woodwind Instructor: A Guidebook for the Music Educator and Lessons in Performance (FJH), and is editor of Superior Bands in Sixteen Weeks, and Chorales and Rhythmic Etudes for Superior Bands. She is lead author for the FJH publication Measures of Success®, a multi-level band method for beginning and intermediate instrumentalists. She developed and is featured in the Measures of Success® Video Practice Buddy Series, an online video tutorial program for developing band musicians. She works in partnership with the bands of ANBIMA Piemonte in Italy towards the continued development of band musicians in schools and communities. Her numerous academic articles are published in journals such as the Journal for Research in Music Education, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education (CRME), Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, Journal for Music Teacher Education, Journal of Music Therapy, Music Educators Journal, Journal of Band Research, The Instrumentalist, and Contributions to Music Education, as well as in several state music education journals. A past editor of the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Confredo has also served multiple terms as an editorial board member for that journal as well as the Journal of Research in Music Education. She is currently an editorial board member for the Journal of Band Research. She serves NAfME as chair of the Executive Committee of the Society for Research in Music Education and was program chair for the 2018 NAfME Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference.

Dr. Confredo is in demand as conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and lecturer. Tau Beta Sigma and the Illinois Music Educators Association have honored her for distinguished service to music and music education. Mansfield University (PA) has recognized her as a distinguished alumnus. She is recipient of the Pennsylvania State University College of Arts and Architecture Distinguished Alumni Award, the Florida State University Faculty Citation for Graduate Alumni Award, and the Temple University Outstanding Faculty Service Award. Confredo plays saxophone in the Lafayette (LA) Concert Band.

Image of James Crumb

James Arthur Crumb Jr. is a Product of Birmingham City Schools. Crumb was introduced to music and the saxophone at Norwood Elementary and continued playing at Phillips High School. While in high school, he developed a desire to someday lead his own band program. Crumb attended Alabama A&M University and University of Alabama, Birmingham, where he earned a BS Degree in Music Education.

Crumb’s career in music education started at Carver High School, where he held the position of Director of Bands from 2000-2005. His bands consistently earned superior ratings at the district, state, and national level. The Carver High School Marching Rams won the National High Stepping Marching Championship in 2003, the Symphonic Band performed at the 2004 AMEA conference, and the Jazz Band received Band of Distinction at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Festival 2002, 2003, and 2004.

Crumb continued his successful career at Minor High School, where he served as assistant band director, 2005-2013, and Director of Bands, 2013-2018. His bands continued to earn superior ratings consistently at the district, state and national level. Minor’s Marching Band won three consecutive National High Stepping Marching Championships, 2013-2015. The Jazz Band has received Band of Distinction at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Festival 2010 thru 2015. The Jazz Band performed at the National Association for the Study and Performance of African-American Music Conference in 2013. Crumb is currently serving as the Fine Arts Consultant for the Birmingham City School’s System where his goals and aspirations are to assist with all fine arts programs to reach a level of continuous superior performances.

Crumb has served as a Clinician and Honor Band conductor throughout the Southeast Region. He served as the Alabama All-State Bronze Jazz Band clinician in 2015 and jazz clinician at the 2017 Alabama Band Masters Association Summer Conference. Crumb is also an accomplished jazz musician as the featured artist in the N’Fusion Jazz Quartet and has been nominated as Alabama’s Male Jazz Musician of the year 2017 & 2018. He is married to Desiré Taylor and has two beautiful daughters, Jazmin Alexis and Nadia Corinne.

Image of Shannon Barrett Crumlish

Shannon Barrett Crumlish teaches general music at Carencro Heights Elementary School, serving students in grades Pre-K through 5. In addition to her role as her building’s music teacher, she also serves as a member of the Lafayette Parish School System’s Teacher Advisory Panel and regularly facilitates professional development sessions in her school district. A sought-after clinician, Ms. Crumlish is passionate about the power of music to foster empathy and understanding. She believes an essential part of being a teacher is advocating for the needs of students while treating students and their families with unconditional regard for their dignity. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in music education and subject matter education from Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, where she studied music composition with Denis DiBlasio, and a Master’s degree in music theory and composition from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she studied with Dr. Quincy C. Hilliard. Ms. Crumlish will begin studying towards her Doctor of Education in K-12 Educational Leadership at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the Fall of 2020.

Image of Dr. Mitchell Davis

Dr. Mitchell Davis is Assistant Professor of Music Education at Northwestern State University.  Dr. Davis teaches introduction to music education, teaching methods, and repertoire for school bands courses.  He holds degrees in music education from the University of Maryland (B.M.), Kent State University (M.M.), and Temple University (Ph.D.).  Dr. Davis is an instrumental music education specialist.  His research interests include educational equity, creative thinking, student-centered music learning, process-oriented curricula, and life-long music making.  Dr. Davis taught for 9 years in the Prince George’s County public school system in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC.  While there, he taught elementary, middle, and high school band and orchestra, including concert bands, jazz bands, pep bands, marching bands, pit orchestras, string orchestras, and symphony orchestras.  Dr. Davis has received honors from Prince George’s County Public Schools and the Maryland State House of Delegates for excellence in teaching.  Dr. Davis also has spent considerable time working with community-based ensembles.  He was a conductor of the Temple University Night Owls Campus/ Community Band and the Temple Preparatory Wind Ensemble.  Additionally, he is the co-founder and Conductor Emeritus of the Category 5 Wind Ensemble.  Dr. Davis has presented practitioner sessions and research at a number of conferences, including those held by the National Association for Music Education and the Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania music educators associations.  Dr. Davis is a member of the National Association for Music Education and the Louisiana Music Educators Association.  Dr. Davis is an active clinician for school bands and orchestras.  In addition to teaching, Dr. Davis is a freelance bassoonist and contrabassoonist.

Image of Dr. Trey Davis

Dr. Trey Davis is the Associate Director of Choral Studies at Louisiana State University. Winner of the Julius Herford Dissertation Prize for outstanding research in choral music, his writing has been described as “exceptional for it its level of details, insight, contextual grasp and elegance.” Dr. Davis has presented at state, regional, and national American Choral Directors Association conferences, for music educators associations throughout the nation, and for international conferences of the College Music Society. He was selected as a featured presenter for the World Symposium on Choral Music in Auckland, New Zealand in July 2020. Dr. Davis is the founder and conductor of the professional choir Red Shift, which has performed by invitation for the College Music Society National Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia and for the ACDA Louisiana and Southern Region Conferences. He has served as chorus master for numerous operatic productions with Opéra Louisiane and the Varna International Music Academy in Varna, Bulgaria. Active as a guest artist and vocalist, he frequently conducts All-State and festival honor choirs. Dr. Davis completed graduate studies in choral conducting at Texas Tech University and Westminster Choir College of Rider University and holds a degree in music education from Pepperdine University.

Image of Nick Doshier

Nick Doshier is a PhD candidate at Florida State University where he studies music research, music education, and wind conducting. Previously he taught band in Austin, TX for three years and holds degrees in Music and Human Learning from The University of Texas at Austin and in Wind Conducting from Louisiana State University. While in Louisiana, Nick enjoyed working with the wonderful band students and teachers of the greater Baton Rouge area. His professional affiliations include the Louisiana Music Educators Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Florida Music Educators Association, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Mu Phi Epsilon.

Image of Denise Eaton

Denise Eaton is a music educator of  thirty-four years, twenty-nine at the High School level and five as an adjunct professor at the collegiate level.  Choirs under her direction have performed at four TMEA conventions and 1 SWACDA convention.  Chamber choirs under her direction have won the prestigious American Classic Madrigal Festival an unprecedented six times.   Denise has been the Choral Editor for Carl Fischer Music Publication, LLC and BriLee Music Company since 2011.

An active clinician and conductor, Ms. Eaton spends time in choir rooms throughout the state of Texas as a clinician and has conducted over thirty Texas Region Choirs. On the national level she has conducted regional or All-State choirs in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee.  Known for her innovative teaching styles, Mrs. Eaton has presented over fifty workshops in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Missouri and Iowa.  Denise is proud to be a Past-President of TMEA.

Ms. Eaton is the co-author of six sight reading books: SMART (Sight Reading Made Accessible Readable and Teachable), SMART Minor, published by Alliance Music. Additionally, she has collaborated on InSight Singing, Insight Singing for Fixed DO, STEPS  (Steps to Enhance Performance/Reading Skills), and STEPS for Fixed DO all published by Carl Fischer. 

Image of First Lady Donna Edwards

Donna Edwards.  Family, faith and helping others are the core values that Louisiana First Lady Donna Hutto Edwards uses to guide her life. She and Gov. John Bel Edwards, Louisiana’s 56th governor, have been proudly serving the people of Louisiana since 2016. Drawing upon her experience and knowledge as a former public school music teacher, she is excited to use her platform to make a difference for kids, families and educators, raise awareness about important issues and connect communities with needed resources and support.

As first lady, Donna has created the Louisiana First Foundation, which has a three-fold focus: developing programs that center around educating the “whole child” through Teach MAM (Music, Art and Movement), fighting against human trafficking and building a supportive network to help foster children and parents with government, non-profits, businesses and faith based organizations through Louisiana Fosters. She has also started Virtual Visits with the First Lady, which enables her to interact with students in every corner of the state and encourage reading.

Serving as first lady is an honor and an incredible experience, but without a doubt, her happiest job is being a wife and mother of her and John Bel’s three children – Samantha and son-in-law Jonathan, Sarah Ellen and John Miller.

Image of Chiho Feindler

Chiho Okuizumi Feindler. Distinguished as a prominent thought leader in public music education, Chiho Okuizumi Feindler is the Senior Director of Programs and Policy for the award-winning Save The Music Foundation (STM).  Chiho is responsible for designing and overseeing the implementation of STM’s national programs aimed at ensuring equity and access to comprehensive music education in America’s public schools.  Chiho has presented at numerous state and national educator conferences, including at the National Council on the Arts/National Endowment for the Arts Meeting, SXSW Edu, KIPP Summits, Arts Education Partnership National Summit, and National Association of Elementary School Principals Conference.  She was a recipient of 2017 Casio Leadership in Music Education Award; and currently serves on the Arts Education Impact Group, National Association for Music Education’s Policy Roundtable, Grantmakers for Education’s Arts Impact Group, and Arts Education Partnership’s Equity Working Group.  Originally from Japan, Chiho holds Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Therapy with emphasis in Special Education and Psychology from Augsburg University (MN); and Master of Arts degree in Euphonium Performance from Montclair State University (NJ).  Prior to her work with Save The Music Foundation, Chiho was a Director of Education and Community Engagement at New Jersey Symphony Orchestra where she was responsible for the Symphony’s education and outreach programs, reaching over 900,000 residents in New Jersey.

Dr. Gregory Fuller

Dr. Gregory Fuller. In his tenth year as Director of Choral Activities at the University of Southern Mississippi, Gregory Fuller conducts the Southern Chorale and the Hattiesburg Choral Union, teaches graduate conducting courses, chairs the Conducting Division and supervises its master’s and doctoral candidates, and is a member of the School of Music Executive Committee. Since joining the faculty in 2000, he has presided over growth that has more than doubled the number of vocal/choral majors at Southern Miss.

Previously, professor Fuller taught at The University of Missouri in Columbia and Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has appeared in more than twenty states as a clinician and conductor and has performed at nine conventions of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Dr. Fuller has led over sixty concert or study tours, including twenty-eight trips to three continents.

Dr. Fuller is an active conductor in orchestral and wind settings. He has also helped prepare orchestral choruses for more than forty important performances, including presentations with the St. Louis Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Sioux City Symphony, Mississippi Symphony, and the Orchestras and Wind Ensembles at the University of Missouri and the University of Southern Mississippi. 

As director of community choruses, Fuller was the primary conductor of the Choral Union in Columbia, at the University of Missouri, a group that premiered “Phroheta Lucis”, by John Cheetham.  In Sioux City, he expanded the resources, membership, and audience of the Siouxland Master Chorale, culminating in several tours and a short residency in Yamanashi City, Japan. Under Fuller, the Choral Union at Southern Miss partnered with the Mississippi Arts Commission and the Mississippi Symphony in 2007 to present regional performances honoring important Mississippi composer, William Grant Still. Fuller has recently been appointed to conduct the Meistersingers of Hattiesburg.

Dr. Fuller’s sacred music career was inspired by his father, James Fuller, who fostered music education and choral excellence in churches.  As a continuing advocate for those values, Gregory Fuller organized the first Southern Hymn Festival in 2008.  He has been the chorus master at the First Methodist Church in Gulfport and is now the conductor of the Sanctuary Choir at Parkway Heights United Methodist Church in Hattiesburg.

Gregory Fuller earned a bachelors degree in Cello and Voice from Oklahoma Baptist University.  He completed masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Missouri.  Among his significant mentors and teachers are James Fuller, Duncan Couch, James Woodward, Michael Cox, Michael Budds, John Cheetham, and Carolyn Hamlin.

Image of Ronnie Gleason

Ronnie Gleason is in his twenty seventh year of teaching instrumental music and is currently the Director of Bands at Kaplan High School in Kaplan, Louisiana. Mr. Gleason received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1993. Prior to teaching at Kaplan High School, Mr. Gleason was most recently the Associate Director of Bands at Lafayette High School from 2006-2015.

Throughout his teaching career Mr. Gleason’s bands have consistently received superior ratings in marching, concert, and jazz festivals at local, state, and national events. In 2008 and 2011 Mr. Gleason’s band performed at the National Concert Band and Orchestra Festival held at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and in 2013 his Lafayette High School Symphonic band was selected to perform at the National Concert Band Festival held in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Mr. Gleason has performed with many ensembles over the years including the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Acadian Wind Symphony, and the Skyliners Big Band.  His professional affiliations include Phi Beta Mu, National Association for Music Education, Louisiana Music Educators Association, which he currently serves as the Band Division Chairman, Southwestern Louisiana Band Directors Association and Phi Mu Alpha.

Image of Molly Goforth

Molly Goforth is an active chamber and orchestral musician based in Lafayette, Louisiana. Ms. Goforth is the principal cellist of the Baton Rouge Symphony, a member of the Acadiana Symphony and cello faculty at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She maintains an active pre-college private studio where she works with students ages one and up.

As an educator Ms. Goforth has a diverse background that includes time spent working in the public school system as a high school orchestra teacher, in the Scrollworks El Sistema program as a private teacher, as a studio teacher in college and as a private lesson instructor.  She has received Suzuki cello training through Book 7 and regularly adapts this training for students of all ages.  Her private students are regularly accepted into the Louisiana All-State Orchestra, the LPSS Gifted & Talented program, Acadiana Symphony Youth Orchestra, UL-Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, and are employed by various churches and other organizations as gigging musicians.

As a performer Ms. Goforth presents regular solo recitals and chamber music recitals at UL Lafayette and around the state of Louisiana.  Recent events include performances of the Brahms Double Concerto for Violin & Cello at UL Lafayette as well as a chamber music recital with Yvgeny Kutik in Baton Rouge.  During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Ms. Goforth has regularly appeared as a soloist and chamber musician for the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra’s and Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra’s online performance series.

Ms. Goforth has a Master’s degree in cello performance from DePaul University in Chicago, a BM from the University of Louisville and has registered Suzuki Teacher Training through Cello Book 7. Ms. Goforth has studied privately with Stephen Balderston, Alan Harris, Darrett Adkins, Craig Hultgren, Alice Ann O’Neill and Paul York.

Image of Gerald Guilbeaux

Gerald J. Guilbeaux is the founding conductor of the Acadian Wind Symphony and has been the Conductor of the Lafayette Concert Band since 1993. Under his direction, the Lafayette Concert Band became the 1999 recipient of the Sudler Silver Scroll, an international award recognizing excellence in adult community bands, administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation.

He has earned a national reputation as an advocate for the adult community music movement and is Past-President of the national Association of Concert Bands. He has twice been awarded the Citation of Excellence by the National Band Association and received the Diploma of the Order of Merit by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. He serves on the Selection Committee for the Sudler Silver Scroll and is Vice-President/Treasurer for John Philip Sousa Foundation while serving  as the administrator and assistant conductor of the Foundation’s National Community Band. He is an associate member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and served as a member of the Board of Directors of ABA.

Image of Dr Melissa Gustafson-Hinds

Dr. Melissa Gustafson-Hinds is in her thirteenth year as Director of Bands O’Fallon Township High School in O’Fallon, Illinois. In addition to her teaching duties, Dr. Gustafson-Hinds serves as Music Department Chair at OTHS and most recently served as the District VI Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA) President.

Under her direction, the OTHS Marching Panthers have been consistent Bands of America (BOA) Regional and Super Regional finalists, Grand National Semi-Finalists, and a Grand National Finalist in 2018. In 2015, the band marched in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena (and an upcoming appearance now in 2022) and in 2018 the band marched in the Hollywood Christmas Parade in Hollywood, CA. The concert ensembles performed at Carnegie Hall in May 2014, and the Wind Ensemble has performed at the Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival, the National Concert Band Festival, and the ILMEA State Convention. O’Fallon Township has been honored with the NBA Program of Excellence Blue Ribbon Award and two Music For All Advocacy Awards.

Melissa Gustafson-Hinds is originally from Monmouth, Illinois. She attended Illinois State University, earning a bachelor’s in music education, graduating with University Honors. Melissa earned her Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2000, an educational leadership endorsement from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and her Doctorate Degree in Teaching and Learning, with an emphasis in music, from the University of Missouri St. Louis in 2010.

Melissa is married to Evan Hinds, who is a music arranger, drill writer, and music adjudicator and additionally, serves as the Music Director for the Marching Panthers. Together they have a daughter named Evelyn who is 5 years old.

Image of Dr. Rachel Harris

Dr. Rachel M. Harris is a free-lance opera director based in Baton Rouge, LA. She began her directing career in 1997 working with Boston University and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. She is a Resident Director for Heartland Opera Theatre, and a Guest Artist Stage Director for The Varna International Opera Academy; Southeastern Louisiana University; as well as a former Guest Artist Director for the University of Utah, Logan. Her free-lance credits include: Opéra Louisiane; University of Missouri, Kansas City; Loyola University; Druid City Opera Workshop; Raven Summer Opera, Sam Houston State, and Louisiana State University. Dr. Harris holds a DMA from Louisiana State University, a BM in Vocal Performance from Fredonia State University and a MM in Opera from Binghamton University in conjunction with the Tri-Cities Opera Artist Residence Training Program.

Image of Keith Hart

Keith Hart, BA, NBCT is a National Board Certified master educator and music director, consultant, musician, mentor and clinician. Before assuming his current position as Director of Bands at Lusher Charter School in New Orleans, Mr. Hart founded and served as Music Director for KIPP Believe College Prep Middle School in New Orleans where he has designed an interdisciplinary curriculum that integrates reading techniques and strategies into the study and performance of music. 

Currently, Mr. Hart is co-leading professional development throughout the greater New Orleans area as a clinician, training enrichment teachers region wi de. He also serves the community as the Director of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s Saturday Music Program, as an adjudicator for many large ensemble assessments, as a mentor teacher for the Loyola School of Music and ARISE Charter school network, and private lesson instructor for the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA).

Some of his most recent achievements include; the KIPP National “Excellence in Teaching Award”; “Band Director of the Year” District VI of the Louisiana Music Educators Association for three years; “Exemplary Music Program” from Festival Disney and he has recently been inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, an International Honor Society in Education; the lead Band Director, Mr. Lecour, in HBO’s hit series, “TREME,” and was a finalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award.

Image of Lee Hicks

Lee Hicks is in his 19th year as the Director of Bands at Fontainebleau High School, a program that includes an almost 200-member marching band, three concert bands, two jazz bands, a color guard, and a winter guard program.

Notable performances by the Fontainebleau Jazz Ensemble One include the prestigious Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in 2010 and 2019, the Jazz Education Network International Conference in 2011 and 2020, the French Quarter Festival in 2015, and the Swing Central Jazz High School Big Band Competition in 2008, 2010, 2015, and 2016.

FHS’s marching band has consistently receive superior ratings at marching festivals and competitions, including ranking in the Top 5 at the Louisiana Showcase of Marching Bands for 13 years. They have also provided numerous half-time performances for the New Orleans Saints, and won many First Place awards in Mardi Gras parade band contests.

The concert bands consistently receive superior ratings and sweepstakes awards at LMEA assessments and have participated in several invitational concert band festivals where they have performed for internationally known wind ensemble composers such as Phillip Sparke, Mark Camphouse, James Curnow, and Andrew Boysen.

Mr. Hicks has performed professionally throughout the Gulf South region, including performances with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Saenger Theater Broadway Orchestra, the JPAS Broadway Pit Orchestra, the Crescent River Orchestra, the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra, the Pat Barberot Orchestra, the Tulane Summer Lyric Theater Orchestra, the John Mahoney Big Band, and other brass, soul, funk, rock and Latin bands, and a long list of celebrities. He has recorded for Six Flags Entertainment, The National D-Day Museum, several New Orleans musicians and composers, The John Mahoney Big Band, and the jazz vocal group Five by Design.

Mr. Hicks belongs to the Louisiana Music Educators Association, serving as the Jazz Division Chair, the National Association for Music Education, the Jazz Education Network, and is a board member for the Louisiana Association for Jazz Education. He is married to Becky Brenner Hicks, band director at Lake Harbor Middle School and a professional bass player. They have performed many gigs together, but agree their most important gig is raising their two amazing and wonderful sons, Kenton and Carson.

Image of Rebecca Holmes

Rebecca Holmes is currently serving as the middle school music teacher at Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy in Kenner, LA. Her instructional focus includes initiating a 5th-8th grade general music curriculum and developing middle school instrumental music learning opportunities in band and orchestra. In her immediately previous role, she served as Master Teacher- Music for St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools where she was responsible for implementing district music content and curriculum, designing instructional coaching activities, and facilitating professional development for arts and enrichment teachers. Ms. Holmes’ efforts promoted the restoration and expansion of student music experiences in a district which was absent such opportunities for nineteen years.

In her eighteen year career, she has worked as a music educator in several districts in and around the New Orleans area. Her teaching opportunities have included instruction of traditional elementary general music, keyboard, ukulele, guitar, modern band, choir, and orchestral strings. Rebecca is a Fellow with Louisiana A+ Schools, a network through which she facilitates professional development of arts integration at schools throughout the state of Louisiana. She was humbled to receive a Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award in 2019. Ms. Holmes is a contributing member of the orchestra curriculum unit team for a project exploring the use of digitized primary resources conducted by the Library of Congress with NAfME. Ms. Holmes attended Loyola University New Orleans, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education. She is a cellist who performs regularly using the instrument’s versatility to explore a variety of genres.

Image of Dr. Adam Hudlow

Dr. Adam Hudlow began serving as Assistant Professor of Music Theory at Northwestern State University in the fall of 2016. There, he serves as the coordinator of  the music theory and aural skills area, and he teaches music theory, aural skills, form and analysis, and arranging at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He also serves as the staff music arranger for the Spirit of Northwestern marching band. Before accepting his current position, he served as an Adjunct Instructor of Music theory at NSU from 2013-2016. He holds a Ph.D. in music theory from Louisiana State University, where he served as graduate teaching fellow in music theory from 2009-2012. While earning his MM from the University of Houston, he taught music theory and aural skills as a graduate teaching assistant from 2008-2009.

Image of Dr. Charles Jackson

Dr. Charles R. Jackson is starting his 42nd year as a music educator. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Music at Kennesaw State University (KSU) in Kennesaw, GA. In addition to supervising student teachers at KSU, he teaches all Woodwind and Brass Techniques courses for all Music Education majors. Dr. Jackson currently serves as the conductor of the Cobb New Horizons Symphonic Band, a 94-member adult community band based in Cobb County, GA. Before his appointment at KSU, Dr. Jackson served 34 years as Director of Bands at the high school and middle school levels in Cobb County, GA. He is sought nationally as a band and trumpet clinician, guest conductor for honor bands, and adjudicator.

Dr. Jackson’s collegiate music studies began in 1969 at the Miami-Dade Junior College, Miami, FL. He completed degrees at the University of Southern Mississippi (B.M.Ed.); the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (M.M.); Georgia State University (Ed.S); and the Shenandoah Conservatory (D.M.A). Dr. Jackson is a principal author for Teaching Music Through Performance in Middle School Band published by GIA, a contributing author for the InTune Magazine, and author of The Band Directors’ Book of Secrets published through Barnhouse Publishing.

He has presented sessions for the Music for All Summer Symposium at Ball State University; the Western Carolina University Summer Symposium; Spirit Camp at Jacksonville State University; the Summer Band Director Symposium at Kennesaw State University; the Art of Teaching Music Summit in Atlanta, GA; and the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago.

Honors awarded to Dr. Jackson include Nationally Registered Music Educator (MENC); Nationally Certified Music Educator (MENC); Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers (1991,1996, 2002, 2003, 2006); Teacher of the Year, Garrett Middle School (1997-98). Teacher of the Year, Dodgen Middle School (2004-2005). In the spring of 2013, he was one of 217 music educators selected as a quarterfinalist for the Music Educator Award conferred by the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. In 2019, he received the Olin G. Parker Leadership Award presented by the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia International Musicians Fraternity.

Dr. Jackson served the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) as Chairman for District 12, overseeing all public and private schools in Cobb and Douglas counties and served two years on the State Board of Directors for GMEA. The State of Georgia recognized Dr. Jackson with a Congressional Proclamation as a Georgia STAR teacher. He and his wife, Jane, have four children and live in Acworth, GA.

Image of Eric Jimenez

Eric Jimenez, Assistant Director of Bands/Adjunct Instructor at Prairie View A&M University, has revitalized several band programs throughout the Houston Independent School District. His programs at Sharpstown MS, Hamilton MS, Waltrip HS, Davis HS, & Heights HS Jimenez’ band programs increased both student participation and instrument inventory, as well as earned Division I and “Best in Class” ratings at UIL and numerous other festivals.

He is the recipient of Hamilton Middle School’s Teacher of the Year award in 2012, LULAC – League of United Latin American Citizens- Educator of the Year in 2015, a recipient of the Grammy Educational Award for his work at Davis HS in 2015 and Prairie View A&M’s top 40 under 40 in 2016. He is an active clinician, mentor, and consultant for arts educational programs within the Houston area and across Texas.

Eric is a 2009 graduate of Prairie View A&M University and earned his and his Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Lamar University in 2014. He is currently a Doctoral Music Education Student at the University of Houston Moores School of Music. His professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), Texas Bandmasters Association (TBA), Texas Jazz Educators Association (TJEA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity and honorary member Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity.

Image of Allyson Jones

Allyssa Jones (M.M., Northern Illinois University) is an award-winning musician and educator whose career spans 25 years on stage and in the classroom. A choral educator and presenter, Jones leads sessions on creative leadership, music and literacy, and culturally responsive teaching. Her work as Boston Public Schools’ Program Director for Performing Arts (2012-2017) garnered board seats within national music advocacy organizations, including the NAfME Innovations Council. A Surdna Fellow, her artistic credits include national performances, recordings, and original compositions for theatre and film. Her company, Jones Creative & Consulting, develops music projects that support dialogue, collaboration, and innovation across communities.

Image of Chris Kaatz

Chris Kaatz serves as Assistant Director of Bands at Stephen F. Austin State University where he conducts the Symphonic Band and Roarin’ Buzzsaws Pep Band, is Associate Director of the Lumberjack Marching Band, and teaches instrumental conducting. He holds degrees from Northwestern University, UMKC, and Michigan State University and his primary teachers are Steven Davis and Dr. Mallory Thompson.

image of Michael Kamphuis

Michael Kamphuis is currently the Managing Director of the Division of Education at Conn-Selmer, Inc., an Elkhart, Indiana based musical instrument manufacturer. In this role, he leads a team with the mission to create opportunities for the music industry and music education to work collaboratively in support of music education worldwide.

Since entering the music industry in 2001 with the G. Leblanc Corporation, Michael has held many different positions, primarily in sales and marketing, including Accessories Product Manager, Product Manager (Flutes), Director of Marketing (Brass), and Sr. Director of Product Marketing (all band and orchestra categories) at Conn-Selmer, Inc.

Actively involved in music advocacy, Michael was appointed to the steering committee of the Indiana Arts Education Network in 2016. In addition, he is also a delegate for the National Association of Music Merchants, representing Indiana and Michigan to lobby in support of music education at the annual “Fly-In” in Washington D.C. The efforts of the NAMM Fly-In helped pass the Every Student Succeeds Act bill in December 2015. In 2016, Michael also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Elkhart Jazz Festival and the Distinguished Service Award from the Historically Black Colleges and Universities National Band Directors Consortium. In 2018 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement from the University of Wisconsin at Parkside. Michael resides in Schoolcraft, Michigan with his wife Sarah and two daughters, Sadie and Norah.

Image of Jo Kirk

Jo Kirk, nationally known Kodály and early childhood music educator, holds a master’s in music education from the University of Akron, her Kodály Music Education Certificate from Silver Lake College, and has completed early childhood studies at Hartt School of Music and Westminster Choir College. Her teaching experience spans from “little ones” to Kodály graduate level adults at Nebraska Wesleyan, Colorado State, Wichita State, Morehead, and California State Universities.  Kirk is founder of WeJoySing, Inc. which provides early childhood music and movement-based learning programs for children and their families. She is the author of Hal Leonard’s PreK Essential Elements Music Class lessons and curriculum (EEMusicClass.com). Kirk maintains an active conference and public speaking schedule and has authored “A Kodaly Approach,” Spotlight on Early Childhood Music Education: Selected Articles from State MEA Journals, published by The National Association for Music Education, 2000, and “Super Food for Developing Brains,” Southwestern Musician. February 2020, published by Texas Music Educators Association, and has authored Lullabies to Circle Games-An Early Childhood Music and Movement Curriculum.

Image of Dr. Aaron Knodle

Dr. Aaron Knodle is Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education and Director of Choral Activities at Louisiana Tech University where he conducts the Chamber Singers and University Concert Choir, and teaches conducting and choral music education.

His research interests include historical performance practice (especially related to the music of J.S. Bach), models for collaborative teaching in the choral setting, and staging concert works. He believes that musicological research should yield practical results and focuses his own academic work on investigating some of the issues that impact current organizations and performances. He has explored the notated and actual sounding range demands of alto voices at each of Bach’s professional positions and developed a recommendation for the engagement of either countertenors, mezzo-sopranos, or contraltos as the ideal alto voice in current performances of Bach’s vocal music. He is currently exploring the staging of concert works and the academic debates surrounding which works should be staged, in what way, and whether this practice engages a broader audience. He is also currently partnering with a sociologist on a project that explores some of the structural dynamics of choral ensembles to analyze and understand relationships within an increasingly diverse membership.

Previously, Knodle was Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities and Voice at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, where he conducted a variety of choirs and vocal ensembles and taught conducting, musical theatre, and voice. Other positions have included Assistant Conductor of the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music Chamber Choir, a graduate-level choral ensemble, assistant conductor for the Salisbury Singers of Worcester, MA, and high school choir director in South Dakota.

An experienced organist with a specialization in liturgical music, Knodle has served as choir director and/or organist at churches in Ohio, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. He holds a BA in music education and organ from Luther College, an MSM in choral conducting from Boston University, and a DMA in choral conducting from the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, and the American Guild of Organists.

Image of Tim Lautzenheiser

Tim Lautzenheiser began his teaching career at Northern Michigan University. He then moved to the University of Missouri, and from there to New Mexico State University. During that time, Tim developed highly acclaimed groups in both instrumental and vocal music.

Following his tenure in the college band directing world, he spent three years with McCormick’s Enterprises working as Executive Director of Bands of America. In 1981, Tim created Attitude Concepts for Today, Inc., an organization designed to manage the many requests for teacher inservice workshops, student leadership seminars, and convention speaking engagements focusing on the area of effective leadership training. After thirty-plus years of clinic presentations, some three million students have experienced one of his popular sessions.

Tim presently serves as Vice President of Education for Conn-Selmer, Inc. He is a nationally recognized voice touting the importance of arts education for every child.

His books, produced by G.I.A. Publications, Inc., continue to be bestsellers in the educational community. He is also co-author of popular band method, Essential Elements, as well as the Senior Educational Consultant for Hal Leonard, Inc. Tim is also the Senior Educational Advisor for Music for All, and NAMM (The National Association of Music Merchants).

He holds degrees from Ball State University and the University of Alabama; in 1995 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the VanderCook College of Music. He continues to teach as an adjunct faculty member at: Ball State University, Indiana-Purdue/Ft. Wayne University, and Butler University. In addition, he is a member of the Midwest Clinic Board of Directors and the Western International Band Clinic/American Band College Board of Directors. He is presently the Chair of the National Association for Music Education Music Honor Society (Tri-M).

Image of Sherrie Maricle

Sherrie Maricle.  From the drum set Sherrie leads The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, her quintet FIVE PLAY and co-leads the 3Divas. From Carnegie Hall, she performs with The New York Pops and is music director and drummer for Broadway star Maurice Hines. Sherrie is also a busy freelance performer and a published composer/ arranger.

With her bands, Sherrie has performed at many of the world’s most acclaimed music venues and festivals, including Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl, and Jazz Festivals in Germany, Switzerland, France, Portugal, Ireland, England, Croatia, Japan, Vietnam and Israel and beyond. Additionally, DIVA was featured at the 2017 NEA Jazz Master’s Awards Ceremony, on the soundtrack for the NBC-Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular; on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, on TCM’s televised broadcast of the 25th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center and NHK Japan’s New York Jazz. The band also co-stars in the award-winning documentary film The Girls in the Band.

Sherrie has received several awards and honors which include a 2014 Ovation award for “Best Music Direction” in Tappin Through Life; the 2009 Mary Lou Williams-Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award, a 2013 State Department grant for FIVE PLAY to tour Vietnam, The Kennedy Center Alliance Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Arts, a Doctoral Fellowship from New York University, the New York City Music Educator’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education and was twice selected New York University “Music Teacher of the Year.”

As an educator, Sherrie runs a private drum set and percussion studio. She is a clinician for Yamaha Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Aquarian Drum Heads, and Vic Firth Drum Sticks. She has been guest conductor, soloist, and adjudicator for collegiate and high school jazz and All-State festivals. Sherrie created and directs Musical Magic for The Ronald McDonald House  New York. She also teaches drum set at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA.

After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1985 from Binghamton University Sherrie moved to New York City and attended New York University, completing a Master of Arts in Jazz Performance in 1986 and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Jazz Performance/Composition in 2000.

The DIVA Jazz Orchestra’s latest recording DIVA & The Boys (MCG Jazz, 2020) enjoyed 3 weeks at #1 on the Jazz Charts. In 2020 the 3D Jazz Trio released I Love to See You Smile (DIVA Jazz) and Christmas in 3D; And in 2019 FIVE PLAY released “LIVE” at The Firehouse Stage (DIVA Jazz).

Image of Gary Markam

Gary Markham retired as the Supervisor of Music for the Cobb County School District in 2013 and previously spent 25 years as a band director in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and the Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax County, Virginia. His programs consistently received superior ratings. In 1992, the Robinson Band received the Sudler Flag of Honor. Among his many personal awards, Markham has received the John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Order of Merit. Markham has been inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Honorary Bandmasters Fraternity in both Pennsylvania and in Virginia and has also been inducted into the Bands of America (BOA) Hall of Fame.

Markham works internationally as a clinician, guest conductor, adjudicator, and consultant. He currently serves on several Metro Atlanta Arts Boards, the BOA Advisory Board, the Drum Corps International (DCI) Rules and Systems Taskforce, and the Advisory Committee for the MidWest Clinic. He is the Chief Judge for BOA, Senior Education Consultant for Music for All and Judge Education Director for DCI. Markham received his B.S. degree from Mansfield State University, M. Ed. degree from Penn State University, and did Ph. D (ABD) study in conducting and music supervision at George Mason University.

Image of Jeffrey Mathews

Jeffrey C. Mathews, DMA.  After receiving his Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State University in 1990, Dr. Mathews taught high school band for seven years in the public schools of Louisiana and Texas. Dr. Mathews’ received the Master of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas, where he served as a Teaching Fellow. He continued his studies with Thomas Fraschillo at the University of Southern Mississippi where he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in conducting pedagogy. He has been on the faculty of Northwestern State University since 1998 where he is the Director of Bands and an Associate Professor of Music. He has served as Assistant Director of Bands, Director of Athletic Bands, Director of Student Activities and Organizations, and Associate Director of Bands while at Northwestern State. He has taught Band, Marching Band Techniques, Music Theory, Conducting, and Music Education. His research has been published by the Journal of Band Research and he has presented clinics at the Louisiana Music Educators Association Convention and the Texas Music Educators Association Convention. He is also a regular guest conductor with the Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra in the United Kingdom. Dr. Mathews served for 15 years as the Commander and Conductor of the Texas Air National Guard Band. He led this band on a tour of the Czech Republic during the summer of 1999 and to Afghanistan and Iraq in 2007. In 2011, he was appointed Chief, Air National Guard Bands. In this capacity, he advises, directs policy, and provides budgets for all the Air National Guard Bands in the United States.

Image of Justin McLean

Justin McLean is currently the Percussion Director/Assistant Director of Bands at Hightower HS and Lake Olympia MS Band in Fort Bend ISD.

Prior to his appointment at Hightower he was the Percussion Director/Associate Director of Bands at Heights High School and former director of bands at Hamilton Middle School. During his time there he has received superior UIL ratings at both middle and high school, developed region band students, and a quality indoor percussion ensemble.

Mr. McLean is a Texas native raised in Rosenberg, Texas a humble community right outside of Houston. Justin’s love of music began at an earlier age and was heavily influenced in church through both gospel and secular artists/musicians. His ambitions propelled him to strive for excellence not only in his personal aspirations, but also in his academic/professional life.

He received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Prairie View A&M University in 2011 and has had the pleasure of educating and training young musicians as a band director and percussion instructor for the past 9 years in HISD and now Fort Bend ISD. He is also a devoted music director and student minister in his local church and   is currently pursuing an Masters Divinity degree through Reformed Theological Seminary.

Image of Ginny Medina-Hamilton

Ginny Medina-Hamilton. After almost twenty years as a vocal music teacher for all levels, Mrs. Hamilton moved into school administration in 2015. She has served as an assistant principal and later as the Director of Gifted, Talented, and Arts Education for St. Charles Parish Public Schools. Presently, she is the principal at her Alma Mater, Vandebilt Catholic High School in Houma, Louisiana. Mrs. Hamilton is excited to serve as the chairperson for the Louisiana Advocacy Leadership Force and to represent LMEA for NAfME’s Advocacy Leadership Force.

Image of John Mlynczak

John Mlynczak has an extensive range of experiences in music education and technology.  Currently he is Managing Director of Noteflight, a Hal Leonard company, Past-President of the Technology Institute of Music Educators (TI:ME), and teaches online graduate courses at VanderCook College. John also serves as Advocacy Chair of the Massachusetts Music Educator’s Association and on the NAMM SupportMusic Coalition and the NAfME Advocacy Leadership Force.  Mr. Mlynczak is a Google Level 2 Certified Educator and a frequent clinician on education technology and music advocacy, and provides professional development to schools and districts across the country. 

​Previously, John served as Director of Education for PreSonus Audio, where he developed curriculum, products, and marketing strategies for music education technology.  This work is all available on musiced.presonus.com.

As an educator Mr. Mlynczak taught general music, band, choir, marching band, and music technology.  He started the first music technology course in Louisiana  and wrote the state curriculum for an official approved course. From 2011- 2013 John served as Chairman of the Creative Arts Assessment Committee in Louisiana and provided model assessment for the creative arts. 

As a performer John currently plays first trumpet in the MetWinds in Boston and has enjoyed a long career of performing in symphony orchestras, pit orchestras, and top 40 bands. 

John Mlynczak earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and Masters degrees in both Music Performance and Education Leadership from Louisiana State University. ​

Image of Robert B Morrison

Robert B. Morrison has a long history as a supporter of music and arts education and is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading researchers and advocates for arts education. Mr. Morrison is the founder and CEO of Quadrant Research, the nation’s preeminent arts education data analytics and market research firm. His leadership in research, public policy, and advocacy efforts have led to significant advancements in access to music and arts education programs in America. Mr. Morrison also serves as the Director of Arts Ed NJ. Through his work, New Jersey has emerged as the leading state for arts education in the country.

Mr. Morrison has a deep body of research and policy work and is recognized as a pioneer in statewide arts education status and condition research. In California, his report, The Sound of Silence: The Unprecedented Decline of Music Education in California Public Schools (2004), was one of the catalysts for a $1 billion reinvestment into music and arts education in public schools. In New Jersey, he was the managing partner for the groundbreaking New Jersey Arts Education Census Project, completing the first statewide census for arts education in every school building. As director of the groundbreaking national Arts Education Data Project, he has led similar research projects in Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. These efforts have directly impacted millions of students.

In arts education policy, Mr. Morrison worked with the Governor of Arkansas to mandate music and arts programs for every child attending public school in the state – a policy later replicated by Louisiana. In New Jersey, he worked with the Commissioner of Education to include the arts in the state’s mandatory accountability system leading the state to become the first in the nation to include arts education as part of annual school reporting in 2014.

Before founding Quadrant Research, Mr. Morrison was the founder, and is current Chairman Emeritus, of Music for All. He helped develop and served as the CEO of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, the organization responsible for donating more than $25 million of musical instruments to restore more than 1,200 music programs. Previously, Mr. Morrison was a senior executive for the NAMM – International Music Products Association. As the Executive Director of its American Music Conference, he worked with the late Michael Kamen and Richard Dreyfus to create the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

Mr. Morrison was a founding member of the National Coalition for Music Education and has been recognized for his continuing work with leading national arts organizations to promote the development and implementation of the National Standards for Arts Education. He has also served as the Data Task Force co-chair for State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education and as a member of the boards of the National Creativity Network, Music for All, ArtPride New Jersey, and the New Jersey School Boards Association. He previously served as Chairman of the Board of MakeMusic, Inc. and is a member of the Board of Trustees for both the Berklee College of Music and Little Kids Rock.

Mr. Morrison’s advocacy work has earned him both a Prime-Time EMMY and a Peabody Award. He received an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York for his work nationally to advance music and arts education for all children. Mr. Morrison received the Motherland Award,  the highest honor from the American Red Cross (ARC), for developing the nationwide public service campaign after the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Image of Gabe Musella

Gabe Musella serves as UIL Assistant Music Director in Austin, Texas. His bands earned UIL Sweepstakes Awards in eight different Varsity and Non-Varsity categories, performed at The Midwest Clinic and MFA National Concert Festival, and placed as finalists in TMEA Honor Band and at the UIL State Marching Contest. While at Spring HS, the band program was designated a Grammy Signature School and a Houston Symphony Orchestra Residency School and was featured in The Instrumentalist. Spring Band ensembles earned five invitations to perform at The Midwest Clinic between 2008 and 2016. The United States Air Force Band recently premiered “A Thousand Hearts to Give” at the 73rd Annual Midwest Clinic, and the UTEP Symphonic Band premiered “Ciudad de Paz”, dedicated to the victims of the August 2019 shooting in El Paso.

Gabe has received the Meritorious Achievement Award from The Texas Bandmasters Association, the Specs Excellence in Music Education Award from The Houston Symphony Orchestra, and he is a 2019 inductee into the American Bandmasters Association. He holds a BM in Composition and a MM in Conducting, both from Texas Tech University, where he studied with James Sudduth. He holds memberships in TMEA, TBA, TMAA, Phi Beta Mu, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Music Education. Gabe has been on the staff of the Texas Tech Band and Orchestra Camp since 1985. He and his wife Alice are very proud of their son Alex, who recently earned a graduate degree.

Image of Greg Oden

Greg A. Oden is the Music Coordinator for the Ouachita Parish School System. A 30-year educator, his main teaching responsibilities are as the Director of Choral Activities at West Monroe High School. The choral program at West Monroe High School includes around 300 singers and in the 9th through 12th grades.

Mr. Oden has conducted choirs in many of the great cathedrals of the world including St. Peter’s (Rome), St. Marks (Venice), St. Francis Basilica (Assisi), Notre Dame (Paris), St. Paul’s (London), and Salzburg Dom (Salzburg). Also, members of the West Monroe Choral program have performed at Carnegie Hall five times with world-renowned conductors John Rutter and Eric Whitacre. He made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut in March of 2016.

A graduate of the Northeast Louisiana University, Mr. Oden has served on the LA-ACDA Board of Directors, President of the North Louisiana Chapter of NATS, District 1 Choral Directors Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.  He has served LMEA as District 1 Director and is currently the LMEA Vocal Chairman. He is married to Kristen Anderson Oden and is the father of two children, Blake and Morgan. 

Image of Jeanne Reynolds

Jeanne W. Reynolds is the Pre K-12 Performing Arts Specialist for Pinellas County Schools.  Mrs. Reynolds’ education includes piano performance studies at Boston University, a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Florida State University, a Master of Arts Degree from the University of South Florida and an Educational Leadership Certificate. Prior to her work as a performing arts supervisor, Mrs. Reynolds taught chorus, keyboard, general music and musical theatre in Pinellas County and Bay County Schools. In addition to her work in the K-12 setting, Mrs. Reynolds has also taught classes as an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida.

Mrs. Reynolds has presented sessions at local, state and national organizations, including the National Association for Music Education and Americans for the Arts. Her topics have included curriculum development, assessment, cross curricular connections, leadership and arts education advocacy.

In Pinellas County, Mrs. Reynolds sits on various boards such as the Florida Orchestra Education Committee, and the Clearwater Arts Alliance Education Task Force. Mrs. Reynolds is also a very active member and founding member of the Pinellas Arts for a Complete Education coalition. She also served as the chairperson for the National Association for Music Education’s IN-ovations council. Currently, she serves on the National Association for Music Education Program Leaders Council.

Mrs. Reynolds has received the FMEA Leadership Award and the National Society of Arts and Letters Annual Community Award, the Ruth Eckerd Hall Shining Star Award and a distinguished alumni award from the USF School of the Arts. Additionally, Mrs. Reynolds has received the Outstanding Arts Administrator for the Florida Association of Theatre Educators, the Educator Friend of the Arts Award from the Pinellas County Arts Council, the Pinellas County Music Educators Association Administrator of the Year and the Florida Theatre Conference Advocate Award. Mrs. Reynolds has served as the president of the Florida Music Supervision Association, the president of the Florida School Music Association, and the President of the Florida Music Educators Association. In 2014, Mrs. Reynolds was inducted in the FMEA Hall of Fame.

Mrs. Reynolds has served FMEA in a variety of capacities including her current role as government relations chair. Mrs. Reynolds also served as the first emerging leaders chair. While President-elect of FMEA, Mrs. Reynolds worked with other FMEA leaders to create the FMEA Summer Institute. The Institute is an inspiring multi-day seminar. The participants address ways to transform music education and change perceptions in order to make music education relevant and accessible to all Florida students.

Image of Kelsey Scheuerman

Kelsey Scheuerman is the music specialist at William B. Travis Elementary in Baytown, Texas. She is proud to serve over nine hundred students in Kindergarten through 5th grades and has developed special seasonal programs specifically for Life Skills and Pre-K. In addition to general music classes, Scheuerman also directs two choirs, two percussion ensembles, a folk dance group and a ukulele ensemble. She strives to incorporate literature and folk dance into each lesson, while also focusing on multicultural music and socio-emotional learning techniques. Her presentation, “Multicultural Celebrations in the Elementary Music Classroom” will send elementary teachers home with tools to incorporate books, dances and songs from a variety of celebrations from Oktoberfest to Mardi Gras and beyond!

Scheuerman is a proud graduate of Kansas State University and holds certifications in Mariachi education and World Music Drumming. In addition to her day job, she is also the Director of Music at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Galveston, Texas and oversees and directs six ensembles. Kelsey is a member of NAfME, TMEA, TCDA, and P.E.O.

Image of Payton Smith, Nashville artistPayton Smith. One of the most interesting and challenging years we all have faced, the tone of 2020 rings true for this twenty-year old artist from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana. This was the moment that Payton Smith would launch from a foundation that started building before, as he puts it, “reach the gas pedal of Dad’s truck.” Starting when he was gifted his first guitar and wrote his first song at only 10 years old, Payton was born to create. The life this rising star brings to the genre is a hybrid of his influences – every bit as much a fan of Pearl Jam and John Mayer as he is Clint Black, George Strait and certain that his peers have equally varied musical tastes. With his It Started With A Song series Payton has covered some of the artists who have indirectly shaped his sound and showmanship. In January, the nimble self-taught guitarist rocked the Big Machine Label Group CRS luncheon between Florida Georgia Line and Lady A and that same week Payton made his Grand Ole Opry debut in front of a packed house as Superstar member Chris Young introduced him ahead of a rare two standing ovations. Right on cue as buzz resonated around these accomplishments, Payton was invited to join Chris’ 2020 This Town Ain’t Big Enough World Tour, though the pandemic ultimately paused the 100+ dates. Payton’s disappointment in the lost opportunities has evolved into gratitude for the time he has gained to become better artistically and personally. Layering vivid imagery over propelling tones and amassing over 30 million streams worldwide, Payton co-wrote his debut single “Like I Knew You Would” and others on his self-titled EP (Big Machine Records). Honoring the genre’s traditions while moving the sound forward, the CMT 2020 Listen Up artist plays every part on each track just like his favorite guitar slingers across the sonic landscape. He will premiere a music video “What It Meant To Lose You” next month. As Taste of Country noted his “raw talent, authenticity and strong work ethic are bound to bring him country music success for many, many years” as one of 2020’s Hottest Country Artists Under 25, this will undoubtedly continue to be a breakout year for Payton. For the latest information and more, visit paytonsmithmusic.com/.

Image of Susan Smith

Susan L. Smith is Director of Bands at the Saint James School in Montgomery, AL. Smith received her Bachelor’s of Music Education from James Madison University and taught in the Virginia public schools after graduating. Her responsibilities included the direction of elementary and secondary instrumental music programs, as well as teaching other arts-related courses. Her ensembles consistently received superior ratings from the Virginia Band and Orchestra Director Association festivals during her tenure.

After receiving her Master’s Degree of Music Education from Troy State University, she taught as an Adjunct Professor of Music and served as the Executive Director of the Southeastern United States Concert Band Clinic and Honor Bands. In addition, she coordinated the visual program for the Sound of South Marching Band. Her professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, Alabama Music Educators Association, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Alpha Iota, and the National Band Association.

Image of James Square

James Ivan Square retired from “active duty” as Director of Bands at Ponchatoula High School. His 32 year career included teaching posts, ranging from Beginning Band through College/University levels. Mr. Square continues to be active in many aspects of music education as clinician, mentor, narrator, conductor, adjudicator, and performer. In recent years, he has become active as a stage performer in his local theater company.  James currently works in semi-retirement on the Ponchatoula Junior High campus as a classroom interventionist and mentor teacher. He devotes his “spare time” advocating for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and for a STEAM curriculum, which emphasizes the ARTS (performing and visual) as an essential component of a well-rounded education.

Image of David Starnes

David Starnes joined the School of Music at Western Carolina University in the summer of 2011 as Assistant Professor/Director of Athletic Bands. He directs the “Pride of the Mountains Marching Band,” the Symphonic Band, and the Concert Band. Starnes graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1988, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. Prior to coming to Western Carolina, Starnes was the founding Director of Bands at Kennesaw Mountain High School in Kennesaw, Georgia, where he served for 11 years.

Starnes is sought out nationally and internationally as an adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor, and creative designer. He serves as an adjudicator for several state, national, and international organizations. In 2013, he joined the staff of Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps and currently serves as the Design Staff Coordinator for the corps. Starnes has served as an Educational Consultant at Music for All since 2005 and was appointed program director for the “Honor Band of America,” which appeared in the Tournament of Roses® Parade in Pasadena, California in 2005, 2009, 2013, and 2017.

Image of Doug Stone

Doug Stone has worked as a touring musician, primarily with jazz trumpet legend Maynard Ferguson and his band, the Big Bop Nouveau, the “world-jazz” group Panoramic, and others. His has performed throughout the United States as well as Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and Canada. At Northern Illinois University, Stone had the opportunity to perform with Frank Foster, Benny Golson, Frank Wess, Jimmy Heath, Rufus Reid, Larry Ridley, and Carl Allen. As a member of the Birch Creek Academy Band, he performed with Dennis Mackrel, Harold Jones, Derrick Gardner, Tanya Darby, Reggie Thomas, and Clay Jenkins. While in Chicago, he worked as a freelance saxophonist and woodwind player, teacher, composer, and arranger.

Mr. Stone can be heard on recordings by the Sam Craine Quartet, Dave Hoffman Sextet, NIU Jazz Ensemble and Jazztet, Jazz Arranging Syndicate, Birch Creek Academy Big Band, Ed Breazeale Group, Ji Young Lee Quartet, Stuart Mindeman Group, Ian Torres Big Band, John Burnett Orchestra, Panoramic, Quintopus, Rick Holland Little Big Band, Rich Thompson Quartet and Trio, Westview Project, John Nyerges Quintet, Bob DiBaudo ensemble, Eric Schmitz Sextet, and the Tom Marko ensemble. Stone has four recordings to his credit as a co-bandleader: Doug Stone/Josiah Williams “The Early Riser”, Stone/Ziemba Duo “In the Zone”, Nick Fryer/Doug Stone “Quartet”, and The Stone/Bratt Big Band “SBBB.” Stone is also a published arranger and composer (Kendor Music). His compositions and arrangements have been performed by professional, university, and high school jazz ensembles throughout the United States.

In 2009 Mr. Stone moved to Rochester, New York to pursue a double master’s degree in jazz performance and music education at the Eastman School of Music. While there, he performed with the Dave Rivello Ensemble, the Westview Project, Gap Mangione Big Band, Quintopus, the John Nyerges Duo and Quartet, Jeff Campbell, Rich Thompson, and other talented local jazz artists. Stone also worked with several noteworthy musicians including George Caldwell, Bobby Militello, Harold Danko, Gene Bertoncini, Bill Dobbins, Mark Ferber, Ike Sturm, Charles Pillow, Allen Vizzutti, and the Mambo Kings.

Since 2009, Mr. Stone has taught at the Eastman Community Music School, served as chair of the ECMS jazz department, and directed the prestigious Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra. In 2012 Mr. Stone accepted a position as teacher and director of jazz ensembles at the Rochester School of the Arts in Rochester, New York. In the summers, Mr. Stone has taught at the Eastman Summer Jazz Studies Program and the Birch Creek Jazz Camp.

Mr. Stone has held teaching positions at The State University of New York at Brockport, the Northern Illinois University Community School of the Arts in DeKalb, IL, and he worked as private saxophone, jazz, and small group instructor at St. Charles North High School in St. Charles, IL.

Mr. Stone looks forward to his new role as Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Louisiana State University.

Image of Frank Ticheli

Frank Ticheli’s music has been described as being “optimistic and thoughtful” (Los Angeles Times), “lean and muscular” (New York Times), “brilliantly effective” (Miami Herald) and “powerful, deeply felt crafted with impressive flair and an ear for striking instrumental colors” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel).  Ticheli (b. 1958) joined the faculty of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music in 1991, where he is Professor of Composition.  From 1991 to 1998, Ticheli was Composer in Residence of the Pacific Symphony.

Frank Ticheli’s orchestral works have received considerable recognition in the U.S. and Europe. Orchestral performances have come from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Dallas Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, the radio orchestras of Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Saarbruecken, and Austria, and the orchestras of Austin, Bridgeport, Charlotte, Colorado, Haddonfield, Harrisburg, Hong Kong, Jacksonville, Lansing, Long Island, Louisville, Lubbock, Memphis, Nashville, Omaha, Phoenix, Portland, Richmond, San Antonio, San Jose, Wichita Falls, and others. His clarinet concerto was recently recorded by the Nashville Symphony on the Naxos label with soloist James Zimmermann.

Ticheli is well known for his works for concert band, many of which have become standards in the repertoire. In addition to composing, he has appeared as guest conductor of his music at Carnegie Hall, at many American universities and music festivals, and in cities throughout the world, including Schladming (Austria), Beijing and Shanghai, London and Manchester, Singapore, Rome, Sydney, and numerous cities in Japan.

 Frank Ticheli is the recipient of a 2012 “Arts and Letters Award” from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, his third award from that prestigious organization. His Symphony No. 2 was named winner of the 2006 NBA/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest. Other awards include the Walter Beeler Memorial Prize and First Prize awards in the Texas Sesquicentennial Orchestral Composition Competition, Britten-on-the-Bay Choral Composition Contest, and Virginia CBDNA Symposium for New Band Music.

 In 2018, Ticheli received the University of Michigan Alumni Society’s highest honor, the Hall of Fame Award, in recognition for his career as a composer. He was also awarded national honorary membership to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, “bestowed to individuals who have significantly contributed to the cause of music in America,” and the A. Austin Harding Award by the American School Band Directors Association, “given to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the school band movement in America.” At USC, he has received the Virginia Ramo Award for excellence in teaching, and the Dean’s Award for Professional Achievement.

 Frank Ticheli received his doctoral and masters degrees in composition from The University of Michigan. His works are published by Manhattan Beach, Southern, Hinshaw, and Encore Music, and are recorded on the labels of Albany, Chandos, Clarion, Equilibrium, Klavier, Koch International, Mark, Naxos, and Reference.

Image of Paulette Tomlinson

Paulette Tomlinson is the Fine Arts Director at Nacogdoches ISD in East Texas where she guides the curriculum and instruction of all K-12 fine arts programs. Prior to this appointment, she taught band for ten years in South Carolina, Florida, and Texas. Ms. Tomlinson holds an MME from Florida State University and a BM from Furman University. NISD is honored to be a 2020 NAMM Best Community for Music Education.

Image of Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner

Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner is currently Director of Bands, Professor of Music, and co-Artistic Director of Rote Hund Muzik at the Hodgson School of Music, University of Georgia. She conducts the Hodgson Wind Ensemble, leads the MM and DMA programs in conducting, and oversees the entire band program including the 400+ member Redcoat Marching Band. She is sponsored by Conn-Selmer.

Before her appointment at UG, Cynthia was Director of Wind Ensembles at Cornell University. She began her career teaching choral music, computers (in French), and physical education in Switzerland. Upon her return to Canada, she taught middle and high school band.

Cynthia was born in a small rural town in Ontario, Canada and fell in love with music-making at a young age. The first in her family to attend university, she received her B.Mus and B.Ed from Queen’s University. She completed her Masters in Music Education and Conducting at the University of Victoria, British Columbia and her DMA at Eastman School of Music. Touring with her ensembles inspired her master’s thesis, focusing on the musical and personal transformations that occur on tours.

At Eastman, Cynthia received the teaching award in conducting. She received the National Leadership in Education Award (Canada), the Excellence in Education Award (Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation), and the Marion Drysdale Leadership Award (OSSTF). She also received the Donald A. Reick Memorial Award for research with wearable technologies and music pedagogy, multiple awards from the UGA career center, and the American Prize for innovative programming with wind bands.

Cynthia continues to actively promote and perform commissions by today’s leading and emerging composers around the world. While at Cornell University, her ensemble was invited to perform at the College Band Directors National Association’s Eastern Division Conference in 2007 and 2012. The Hodgson Wind Ensemble performed at GMEA in 2015 and CBDNA National in Kansas City in 2017. In 2008, the Merrill Presidential Scholars at Cornell recognized Cynthia as an outstanding educator, and in 2009, she was awarded the Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellowship.

In 2006, Cynthia led the Cornell Wind Ensemble on biennial performing and service tours to Costa Rica that included performances, conducting masterclasses with Costa Rican teachers, instrument master classes for Costa Rican musicians, and the donation of over 250 instruments to music schools across the country. She led the Hodgson Wind Ensemble to Panama in January 2016 to teach, perform, and donate instruments.

Cynthia has guest conducted bands and orchestras at several universities and conservatories as well as state honor bands in the United States and abroad. She has presented her research with teaching and technology, innovative rehearsal techniques, and service-learning and music performance at numerous conferences nationally and internationally. She is published in such journals as Interdisciplinary Humanities, International Journal of the Humanities, Music Educators Journal, NAfME “Teaching Music,” NewMusicUSA.org, Journal of the World Association of Bands and Ensembles, Fanfare Magazine, and Canadian Winds and has recorded CDs with the Innova and Albany labels. Cynthia’s most recent research involves the intersection of wind ensemble music with hip-hop.

Cynthia has served as a board member with WASBE and is an active member of CBDNA, Conductor’s Guild, College Music Society, Humanities Education and Research Association, the National Association for Music Education, the National Band Association, and the American Bandmasters Association. She currently serves on the board of the Western International Band Clinic (WIBC) and faculty at WIBC University. She is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and a National Arts Associate member of Sigma Alpha Iota.

Image of Scotty Walker

Scotty Walker is in his twenty eighth year of teaching instrumental music at Lafayette High School. During his tenure at Lafayette High School, the Symphonic Winds have performed on some of the most prestigious concert stages in the world, including Carnegie Hall in New York City. The band has received the National Band Association’s “Citation of Excellence” award for performing in the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival,  the All South Conductors Conference and the CBDNA southern division conference in Jacksonville, Florida. In 2015 the band received the Blue Ribbon National High School Award for Excellence sponsored by the National Band Association. The Marching Band has marched in the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Mr. Walker has received the “Excellence in Education” award given by the Acadian Arts Council,  and honored by receiving the Louisiana Outstanding Bandmaster Award in 2002, 2009 and 2019 by the Phi Beta Mu honorary music fraternity. In 2011, Mr. Walker was inducted into Bandworld’s “Legion of Honor,” sponsored by the John Philip Sousa Foundation and was inducted into the American Bandmasters Association in 2017.  In 2019 Mr. Walker was inducted into the Louisiana Music Educators Association Hall of Fame. His professional affiliations include the Louisiana Association of Educators, National Association for Music Education, National Band Association, Southwest Louisiana Band Directors Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Phi Beta Mu. He currently serves as President of the Louisiana Music Educators Association. He has been married to his wife Blanche for 33 years.

Image of Eric Wilson

Eric Wilson, Professor of Ensembles and Conducting, has been Director of Bands at Baylor University since 2006. He provides administrative leadership for all aspects of the band program, conducts the Wind Ensemble, and teaches and oversees the undergraduate and graduate conducting curriculum. Additionally, he has supervised student teachers and served as Chair of the Ensemble Division. Dr. Wilson is a former president of the Big 12 Band Directors Association and a Past-President of the CBDNA Southwestern Division. He has been elected into the American Bandmasters Association and the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, and honored as Outstanding Professor for Tenured Teaching by Baylor University in 2014.

Dr. Wilson is in demand as a conducting clinician, adjudicator, and performing artist. As a conductor, he has directed numerous regional honor bands and conducted his own groups at conventions including the Texas Music Educators Association, College Band Directors National Association, American Bandmasters Association, and The Midwest Clinic. He was a featured contributor in the 2015 Meredith Music publication, Rehearsing the Band, Volume 2. Prior to joining the Baylor faculty, he served twelve years on the faculty of Abilene Christian University. Dr. Wilson holds both a Doctor of Musical Arts degree (wind band conducting) and a Master of Music degree (saxophone performance) from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Abilene Christian University. Prior to his university appointments, Dr. Wilson taught in the Texas public school system. In addition to his performing opportunities as conductor, clinician, and saxophonist, Dr. Wilson enjoys spending time with his wife, Lynette, and their children: Blake and his wife, Bailey; Meredith and her husband, Brandon; Luke; and Caleb.

Julie Yu-Oppenheim

Dr. Julie Yu-Oppenheim is Co-Director of Choral Studies at Kansas State University, where she is part of a team that oversees seven choral ensembles and teaches undergraduate and graduate choral conducting. 

She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the University of Central Oklahoma, Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Oklahoma State University, and the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from the University of North Texas. Before joining the Kansas State faculty, she taught at Norman North High School in Norman, Oklahoma and San José State University.

She has given presentations and her choirs have performed for conferences of the Kansas Music Educators Association, Missouri Music Educators Association, Oklahoma Choral Directors Association, the American Choral Directors Association and the European Music Educators Association. She is the Southwest American Choral Directors Association President and a 2018 ACDA-ICEP Conducting Fellow (to Kenya).