2023 Conference University Performances

Loyola University Chorale

Performing at the LMEA Conference on Friday, November 17, 2023 at 1:00 PM, Premier II and III

Dr. Meg Frazier

Francisco M. Gonzalez M.D. Distinguished Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities
Loyola University New Orleans

Dr. Meg Frazier is Francisco M. Gonzalez M.D. Distinguished Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Loyola University New Orleans, where she conducts Chorale and Chamber Singers and teaches Conducting and Choral Conducting. Dr. Frazier has served Loyola as Director of the School of Music and Theatre Arts (2016-2021) and Associate Dean of the College of Music and Fine Arts (2021-2022). She also serves as Artistic Director/Conductor of the NOVA Chorale, a New Orleans-based community choral organization. Dr. Frazier’s choirs have sung at state and regional conferences of ACDA and NAfME and have toured in the U.S., Great Britain, France, Italy, and Austria. Dr. Frazier is a frequent guest clinician, adjudicator, and honor choir conductor and has conducted 15 all-state choirs in 11 states. Dr. Frazier especially enjoys preparing choirs for professional engagements; she is an annual choir contractor for the Louisiana Philharmonic and recently provided choirs for Andrea Bocelli and The Eagles.

Dr. Frazier is honored to present the Chorale and Chamber Singers at this year’s conference. Please do contact her with questions about the Loyola choral/vocal program or our application and audition process (mfrazier@loyno.edu).

Loyola University Symphony Orchestra

Performing at the LMEA Conference on Friday, November 17, 2023 at 6:00 PM, Premier II and III

Dr. Jean Montès

Director of Orchestral Studies, Loyola University New Orleans

Dr. Jean Montès is the Director of Orchestral Studies and Coordinator of Strings at Loyola University New Orleans where he conducts orchestral ensembles and teaches conducting and string pedagogy courses for music education majors. An accomplished conductor, educator, clinician, lecturer, and performer, he is passionate about challenging and stimulating audiences and musicians alike. In addition to his responsibilities at Loyola University, Montès is the Music Director of The Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestras (GNOYO) where conducts the Symphony Orchestra they performed locally, at Carnegie Hall and toured France.

Montès has held orchestral leadership positions at Virginia Commonwealth University, St. Ambrose University, the University of Iowa, and with the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra, the Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia, and the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies. Montès holds degrees from Duquesne University, Akron University and the University of Iowa where he earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts.

A musician and conductor who enthusiastically promote music of all world cultures, Dr. Montès is in constant demand as a conductor, clinician, judge and lecturer with orchestras and schools at all levels throughout the country and internationally. His unique approach to repertoire selection and rehearsal techniques enables him to connect, to be effective and admired by audiences and musicians of all ages. Other appearances include guest conducting the West Coast Symphony Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, The Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra, the NAfME All-National Honor Symphony Orchestra, Several All-State Orchestras, giving clinics and adjudicating in France, Russia, Haiti, Las Vegas and at the Midwest Clinic and performances operas such as Mozart’s The Magic Flute with the VCU Opera Theatre. He enjoys collaborating with organizations representing the full spectrum of the arts.

Dr. Montès and his wife, Sarah, reside in New Orleans with their sons, Jaz Léonard and Soley Mica both of whom Montès considers to be his proudest achievements. In his spare time, Montès enjoys playing chamber music with friends, cooking and sports such as soccer, squash, badminton, biking and ping-pong. Dr. Montès can be contacted at jmontes@loyno.edu or by calling 504-865-2167.

University of New Orleans Jazz Ensemble

Jazz Ensemble - UNO

Performing at the LMEA Conference on Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 6:00 PM, Premier II and III

Brian Seeger playing guitarBrian Seeger

Director of the UNO Jazz Ensemble
Coca-Cola Endowed Chair in Jazz Studies
University of New Orleans

Brian Seeger is the Coca-Cola Endowed Chair in Jazz Studies at the University of New Orleans. Along with being one of New Orleans most admired jazz educators, Seeger is also a producer, composer and much-in-demand guitarist. His recording and bandmember credits include Davell Crawford, Stanton Moore, Karrin Allyson, the Organic Trio and Aaron Neville; he has performed live with Randy Brecker, Nicholas Payton and Peter Erskine. Seeger has toured extensively in the United States and abroad, sharing his music with audiences in over 20 countries including Bolivia, Brazil, Finland, India, Kazakhstan, Morocco and Turkey. 

Seeger holds an MM from the University of New Orleans, where he studied with Ellis Marsalis and Harold Batiste, and has a BM, summa cum laude, from the Berklee College of Music where his teachers included Gary Burton and Hal Crook. Seeger is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Producer and Engineering wing and is an artist endorser for Mesa Boogie amplifiers, Gibson guitars and D’Addario strings.

Combined Forces of the 41st and 156th Army National Guard Bands

Performing at the LMEA Conference on Sunday, November 19, 2023 at 8:00 AM, Premier II and III

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Wade A. Furniss

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Wade A. Furniss curently serves as the Director of the Youth Challenge Program located at the Louisiana National Guard Training Center – Pineville and the Commander of “Louisiana’s Own” 156th Army Band in Bossier City, Louisiana. He has been with the Youth Challenge Program since 2011 and has served as the Deputy Director and Director. He has been with the 156th Army Band since 1989 and has been the Commander of the band since 2007.

Chief Furniss graduated from Parkway High School in Bossier City. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Northwestern State University. Chief Furniss taught in the public school system for over 15 years teaching at Marksville High School, DeRidder High School, Merryville High School, and Tioga High School. Many of his bands earned superior ratings both at the district, state, and national levels.

Chief Furniss enlisted in the Louisiana National Guard in December 1989. He attended the Warrant Officer Candidate School at Ft. Rucker, Class 06-11, in June 2006. He attended Band Master Warrant Officer Basic Course at U.S. Army School of Music in April of 2007 and was commissioned as Chief Warrant Officer 2 in June of 2008. Chief Furniss was mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn in January 2010 and served as the Officer in Charge for the Joint Visitors Bureau at Camp Victory in Iraq.

Under Chief Furniss’ direction, the 156th Army Band has performed many missions within the state, across the United States, and abroad. The band has played at the U.S.S. Missouri at Pearl Harbor, the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Belize and played for the U.S. Ambassador’s 4th of July Celebration in Port-au-Prince, Haiti just to name a few.

Chief Furniss’ military education includes the Action Officers Development Course, Commanders Safety Course, Band Master Warrant Officer Advanced Course, Company Commander Pre-Command Course, Warrant Officer Intermediate Level Education Course, and the Warrant Officer Senior Service Education Course.

Chief Furniss resides in Pineville, Louisiana. He is married to the former Crystal Conn and is the father of three children: Keelan, Easton, and Colbin.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Casey Kirk

CW3 Casey Kirk is in his 13th year as the Commander for the 41st Army Band of the Mississippi National Guard. CW3 Kirk enlisted in April of 2007 into the unit as a specialist before obtaining the rank of sergeant, when he was selected to attend Warrant Officer Candidate School and become the commander of the 41st Army Band.

CW3 Kirk is a graduate of Mississippi College, where he obtained his Bachelors of Music Education degree and studied under Dr. Craig Young, and obtained his Master’s of Music degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he was a graduate assistant under Dr. Thomas Fraschillo and Dr. John Wooten. He has been admitted to the graduate school at Liberty University where he will begin his Doctorate of Music Education in the fall of 2024.

CW3 Kirk is currently the Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. He is in his 20th year of teaching, having spent 12 of those years teaching in secondary schools in Virginia and Mississippi. Under his direction, his bands consistently achieved superior ratings in both marching and concert band.

CW3 Kirk is a graduate of the US Army’s Basic Combat Training, Warrior Leadership Course, Warrant Officer Candidate School and the Army School of Music’s Basic Music Course, Warrant Officer Basic and Advanced Course. He has been awarded the Mississippi Medal of Efficiency, the Mississippi Longevity Award, the Mississippi Emergency Services Award, the Armed Forces Reserve Commendation Award, the Army Commendation Award, and the Meritorious Service Medal.

McNeese State University Wind Symphony

picture of McNeese State University Wind Symphony

Performing at the LMEA Conference on Sunday, November 19, 2023 at 7:00 PM, Premier II and III

Dr. Timothy Pardue, Director Bands at McNeeseDr. Timothy Pardue

Director of Bands
McNeese State University

Dr. Timothy Pardue is the Director of Bands in the W.A. and Dorothy Hanna Department of Performing Arts at McNeese State University where he conducts the Wind Symphony, Pride of McNeese Marching Band, assists the Courtside Cowboys Basketball Pep Band, and teaches music education and conducting courses.

He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in wind conducting from the University of Oklahoma, a Master of Music degree in wind conducting from the University of Arkansas, and Bachelor of Music Education degree from the Louisiana Tech University.

Pardue is an active arranger and clinician. He has arranged for The Pride of McNeese, The Pride of Oklahoma, and University of Arkansas Razorback Marching Band. He has conducted honor bands and adjudicated throughout the gulf south region. Pardue has presented his research on flexible scoring as a means to provide quality repertoire to small band programs with limited instrumentation.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies, Pardue taught middle and high school bands in St. James Parish at Lutcher High School and Gramercy Elementary and in Plaquemines Parish at South Plaquemines High School. He holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society, Tau Beta Sigma, and Kappa Kappa Psi.