The Conn-Selmer Institute faculty on stage.

Conn-Selmer Institute Faculty

Meet our Conn-Selmer Institute Faculty

Learn about our world-class faculty who are certain to share priceless information in the most engaging and inspirational fashion. All the Conn-Selmer Institute clinicians are headliner's in the music world. Be encouraged to reach-out to your colleagues and staff. You will quickly realize the time between the classes is equally as valuable as the treasury-of-knowledge shared in each presentation.

  Conn-Selmer Institute Faculty


Dr. Matthew Arau

Chair of the Music Education Department
Lawrence University

Dr. Matthew R. Arau is an Assistant Professor of Music, Chair of the Music Education Department and Associate Director of Bands at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin.  

Arau has presented clinics on student leadership at clinics, conventions and schools around the country. He has guest conducted honor bands and honor jazz bands of all levels, and he is an active concert band, jazz band and marching band adjudicator. 

Prior to teaching college, Arau taught band in the public schools for 15 years. From 2005-2012, was Director of Bands at Loveland, Colorado’s Loveland High School, a program known for itschampionships and creation of the Leadership Symposium. Arau began his teaching career as the Director of Bands at Walt Clark Middle School in Colorado. 

Arau has served on the staff of the Western International Band Clinic since 2004 and was on the staff of the American Band College from 2004-2011. Arau received his DMA in Conducting and Literature from the University of Colorado Boulder and his Masters of Science in Music from the American Band College at Southern Oregon University. He graduated magna cum laude from University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Music in K-12 Instrumental Music Education, Music Performance (Classical) and Music Performance with an emphasis in Jazz Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Government with teaching certification in Political Science.

Portrait of Jim Catalano

Jim Catalano

Percussion Artist and Clinician

Jim earned a BS in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Jim was Graduate Assistant Band Director at The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, earning his Masters in 1977.

Catalano taught music at the middle, high school and community college level. Jim started his music industry career in 1978 with Premier and has been on the leading edge of percussion instrument development, sales, education and marketing for Ludwig / Musser since 1983. In addition he has served on the board of directors of the Percussive Arts Society from 1999-2002 and received the 1998 PAS President's Industry Award. Jim was also the recipient of the 2010 Midwest Music Industry Award.

Catalano currently performs with the Elkhart Municipal Band in Indiana. Jim has recorded several CDs with “The “Keystone Wind Ensemble”. He plays drums with “Truth in Jazz”, “Jazz Assemblage” big bands in Indiana, vibes with his own jazz group “VibeNation” and conducts recreational percussion workshops. As an active percussion clinician Jim has recently been featured at the 2001, 2006 & 2012 Midwest Band Clinic, Pennsylvania MEA – 2005, Texas MEA – 2009 & 2014, American Band College in Ashland, OR – 2003, 2006 & 2013 and Conn-Selmer Institute from 1998 – 2014.

Educational clinician Erin Cole.

Erin Cole

Band Director
Tapp Middle School

Erin Cole has been the band director at Tapp Middle School in Cobb County, Georgia since 1995. Under her leadership, the Tapp Band honors include being selected to perform at the 58thannual Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois in December of 2004. The band has been a featured performing group at the University of Georgia Middle School Band Festival in 2015, 2008, 2003, and 1999. Additionally, the Flute and Percussion Ensemble have performed at the Georgia Music Educators Conference in Savannah, Georgia. The Tapp Band was also selected for the National Adjudicators Invitational Dixie Classic Festival in 2006 where they received all superior ratings. The Tapp Band continually receives superior ratings each year at the District 12 large group performance evaluation.

Ms. Cole has commissioned four pieces of music for the Tapp Band in the past 12 years. In 1999, Robert W. Smith wrote "The Great Locomotive Chase," in 2002, Frank Ticheli wrote "Simple Gifts - Four Shaker Songs;" and in 2004, Samuel R. Hazo composed “Ascend” for the Tapp M.S. Symphonic Band’s performance at The Midwest Clinic. Most recently, Ms. Cole and the Tapp Middle School Band was part of a consortium of directors to commission the Eric Whitacre piece “The Seal Lullaby.”

Erin Cole earned her bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Georgia in 1995. While at the University of Georgia, she played cello, flute, and piccolo in the University Symphony Orchestra, chamber groups, Symphonic and Concert Bands, and the Redcoat Marching Band. She studied cello with Christopher Rex, David Starkweather, and Alice Williams; and studied flute with Ronald Waln and Martha Lynn Volman.

Ms. Cole's professional affiliations include Phi Beta Mu, Sigma Alpha Iota, National Band Association, and the Georgia Music Educators Association.

Erin has written articles for The Instrumentalist magazine and has been a contributing editor for the publication. She has also served as a clinician for the Music for All Summer Symposium and Conn Selmer Institute (CSI). She has also presented clinics at the Midwest Clinic and several state conventions. In 2007, 2010, and 2014 Erin has written chapters for the popular GIA publication series Teaching Music Through Performance. Ms. Cole is also currently a contributing editor for Hal Leonard’s Essential Elements method book and interactive website team.

Ms. Cole has served as a guest conductor for numerous honor and all state bands, has taught several years at the "Encore" Music Camp, and is the founder and administrator of the Cobb County Summer Band Camp. She was awarded the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence in 2015, 2008 and 2003; and is also the middle school band conductor for the newly formed Conn-Selmer Youth Band of Atlanta. Ms. Cole is very active in the McEachern High School Band program where she has been on staff with the marching band for the past 19 years as the flute instructor and conducts flute sectionals with Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Bands.


Dr. Heather Cook
People Developer

Dr. Heather Cook is an engaging motivational speaker in the field of leadership development and community engagement. Her niche is finding ways for organizations with a core responsibility (such as teaching music) to incorporate advocacy and engagement in a manageable way. She has the uncanny ability to help people create excellence through change, and even enjoy the process!

Dr. Cook recently published a self-help book, You're Welcome Mama, which hit the Amazon charts as a Hot New Release in five categories and Bestseller in the Continuing Education category.

She was recognized as a Forty Under 40 in Business recipient in 2013 and received a Stellar Speaker designation from CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education) in 2013.

Her current work experience includes the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the City of Kingsport, and she is leading a new initiative to brand the region in which she lives.

She received her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and was the first graduate of the prestigious Roan Scholars Leadership Program. She earned a BBA in Marketing and an MBA from ETSU.

She completed a certificate in Nonprofit Executive Management and Fundraising Management from Indiana University and a certificate in Women's Leadership from Cornell.

Dr. Cook is very active in her community. She serves on the Roan Scholar Leadership Program Steering Committee at ETSU, is a member of the Rotary Club of Kingsport, and served on the Kingsport Regional Planning Commission. She and her husband, Lafe (Director of Bands at Dobyns-Bennett High School) have a daughter and reside in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Educational clinician Paula Crider portrait.

Dr. Paula Crider

Professor Emerita
University of Texas Austin

Following a distinguished 33-year teaching career, Professor Paula A. Crider continues to share her passion for making music through an active schedule as guest conductor, lecturer, clinician and adjudicator. She has enjoyed engagements in 47 states, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Singapore, Italy, Germany, Spain, Hong Kong and Australia. Professor Crider has taught in the public schools at all levels, and holds the unique distinction of having been the first female in the state of Texas to serve as director of bands at a class 5-A high school. Her Crockett High School Bands in Austin, Texas enjoyed both state and national recognition for musical excellence on the concert stage, and were twice named Texas 5A State Marching Champions.

A tenured Full Professor at The University of Texas, Crider conducted the Symphony Band, and was Director of the acclaimed University of Texas Longhorn Band. During her 17 year tenure, she was twice accorded the “Eyes of Texas” Award for distinguished teaching. She continues to serve as visiting guest professor at universities throughout the country. She has written numerous articles for The Instrumentalist, The Band Directorʼs Guide, the National Band Association Journal, and has published manuals for Brass Techniques, Marching Band Methods and Instrumental Conducting. She is co-author for the Hal Leonard “Masterwork Studies” series, and author of The Composerʼs Legacy, Conductors on Conducting for Wind Band published by GIA.

Professor Crider has presented professional teacher seminars throughout the United States, and has served as Chief Adjudicator for the London New Year’s Day Parade. She is the coordinator for the National Band Association Young Conductor/Mentor Program, is an Educational Consultant for Conn-Selmer, Inc., and serves on the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Board of Directors. Crider is a Past President of the National Band Association, and the American Bandmasterʼs Association. Awards and honors include the Tau Beta Sigma/Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Award, the Sudler Legion of Merit, The Women Band Directorʼs International Rose, The Grainger Society Medal, the National Band Association AWAPA Award, 2004 Texas Bandmaster of the Year, Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame, and the Midwest Medal of Honor. In 2013, she was honored with a Doctor of Music Education Honoris Causa from the Vandercook School of Music. She was inducted into both the Women Band Directors International and the National Band Association Hall of Fame, and in 2015 was elected to the Phi Beta Mu International Hall of Fame.


Dr. Antonio Garcia

Director of Jazz Studies
Virginia Commonwealth University

Antonio J. García is a Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. An alumnus of the Eastman School of Music and of Loyola University of the South, he has received commissions for jazz, symphonic, chamber, and solo works—instrumental and vocal.

A Bach/Selmer trombone clinician, Mr. García has freelanced as trombonist, bass trombonist, and pianist, is a Research Faculty member at The University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), the Associate Jazz Editor of the International Trombone Association Journal, and a Network Expert (for Improvisation Materials) for the Jazz Education Network. His newest book, Jazz Improvisation: Practical Approaches to Grading (Meredith Music), explores avenues for creating structures that correspond to course objectives. His Cutting the Changes: Jazz Improvisation via Key Centers(Kjos Music) offers musicians of all ages the opportunity to improvise over standard tunes using just their major scales. He is Co-Editor and Contributing Author of Teaching Jazz: A Course of Study (NAfME) and authored a chapter within The Jazzer’s Cookbook (Meredith Music).

A member of the board of The Midwest Clinic, Mr. García previously served as Coordinator of Combos and directed the Vocal Jazz Ensemble at Northwestern University. Formerly the Coordinator of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University, where he received the 1992 “Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching” award and was nominated for 1992 CASE “U.S. Professor of the Year” (one of 434 nationwide). He was the recipient of the VCU School of the Arts' 2015 Faculty Award of Excellence for his teaching, research, and service.

Portrait of Soo Han.

Soo Han

Instructor and Doctoral Conducting Assistant
Michigan State University

SOO HAN is currently an instructor and doctoral conducting assistant at Michigan State University, a member of the Board of Directors of the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, a contributing editor for Hal Leonard’s Essential Elements for Strings, a D’Addario Orchestral Strings Artist, and the former Director of Orchestras & Department Chair of the Performing Arts Department at Carmel High in Carmel, IN. 

Orchestras under his leadership experienced a great deal of success including 9 Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) State Championship and being named Grand Champions at the National Orchestra Cup at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.

He has collaborated with numerous artists, groups, and conductors such as Lynn Harrell, David Kim, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He has produced multiple recordings of complete symphonies with the CHS Symphony Orchestra, has commissioned and premiered several works for strings and full orchestras.

He is a frequent guest conductor of international, all-state, regional, and festival orchestras, and has presented string teacher clinics and workshops throughout the country. In 2015, he was the featured presenter and conductor at the Australian Strings Teachers Association Conference and the Maryborough Music Conference (Queensland, Australia).

He is the past-president of the Indiana American String Teachers Association and the chapter was awarded the ‘Most Improved Chapter’ during his time as president. He is a graduate of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and holds his Master’s degree from Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in orchestral conducting from Michigan State University.   

Portrait of Timothy Holtan

Col. Timothy J. Holtan
Colonel (Retired)
U.S. Army

Col. Timothy J. Holtan retired in 2017 as the senior military musician in the Department of Defense. Col. Holtan’s final command was as the 10th Leader and Commander of The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” He holds the distinction of being the only officer to command all three of the Army’s premier bands, which include the U.S. Army Field Band and the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point. 

Col. Holtan’s ensembles have been seen on many nationally televised broadcasts and diverse stages such as the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, DAR Constitution Hall, Mormon Tabernacle, Myerson Symphony Center, and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, as well as for the 2017 Presidential Inaugural Concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Under his leadership and after a 44-year absence, the West Point Band reestablished a partnership with the New York Philharmonic, which resulted in five Lincoln Center joint concert performances. Col. Holtan also led the West Point Band in the Emmy-nominated “Marina at West Point” PBS television production that has reached over 180 million viewers.

Col. Holtan is a graduate of Bismarck (ND) High School and is a former school music educator in Montana. A clinician for Conn-Selmer, Inc. and Artistic Director of the newly formed professional wind band The Maryland Winds, he is a strong advocate for music education and is in demand as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator. Col. Holtan has presented concerts and clinics in all 50 states, Canada, Japan, the U.S. Virgin Islands and across Europe.


Lynne Jackson
Assistant Professor of Music Education
Southern Methodist University

Lynne Jackson is currently in her 46th year as a music educator. She has degrees from the University of Michigan and Vandercook College of Music. Jackson is an adjunct assistant professor of music education at Southern Methodist University and also teaches at Berkner High School in Richardson, Texas.

After beginning her career in southwestern Michigan, Jackson moved to Texas and spent 26 years teaching in Richardson as a member of the J.J. Pearce staff. In 1983, Jackson was selected as a Richardson ISD Teacher of the Year. In 1995, the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded Jackson a grant to study Mozart in Vienna, Austria and Prague, Czech Republic. Since that time, Ms. Jackson has traveled and taught extensively throughout Europe, Asia, South America and Canada. For the past six years, Jackson has also established a relationship with the state of Singapore where she has worked closely with music educators and students on two separate occasions.

In 2010, Jackson was awarded the Meritorious Achievement Award by the Texas Bandmaster’s Association. In addition to her membership in the Texas Bandmasters Association, Jackson’s professional affiliations include Phi Beta Mu and the Texas Music Educators Association. Lynne is the founder of Young Educator Seminars, YES, which offers continuing professional development to North Texas music educators and she also serves on the board of the Lone Star Wind Orchestra. Lynne is widely known throughout Texas as a clinician and mentor to young students and teachers.


Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser

Vice President Education
Conn-Selmer, Inc.

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).


Dr. Mark Laycock
Professor of Music
Wichita State University

Dr. Mark Laycock is a Professor of Music at Wichita State University, where he holds the Ann Walenta Faculty of Distinction Endowed Professorship. He has been recognized with the WSU Excellence in Creative Activity Award and the College of Fine Arts Excellence in Teaching Award. He serves as Director of Orchestras and Coordinator of Strings. WSU Symphony Orchestra appearances under his direction include international tours to Spain and Canada, a concert at Carnegie Hall, and multiple invited performances at Kansas Music Educators Association In-Service Workshops. Dr. Laycock is a member of the Board of Directors of the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic; he serves as Chair of Orchestra Activities. He is Conductor of the Wichita Youth Symphony and Director of the Wichita Youth Orchestras Program.

His work as guest conductor, clinician, or adjudicator spans 30 states. He has conducted all-state, region, and district orchestras throughout the country. He has served the National Orchestra Festival as adjudicator and clinician, and in 2019 will complete a two-year term as chair of the event. His appearances with professional ensembles include the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Wichita Grand Opera, and Opera Kansas, as well as orchestras in Slovakia and Canada. Dr. Laycock has presented clinic sessions for numerous state education conferences, as well as the American String Teachers Association National Conference, the Northwest and Northeast Division Conventions of the National Association for Music Education, and the Midwest Clinic. In May 2016, he presented professional development sessions for instrumental music educators in Brisbane, Australia, returning that September to conduct the Sir Charles Mackerras String Orchestra of the Queensland State Honours Ensemble Program. He was a Keynote Presenter for the Australian Strings Association 2018 National Conference in Perth. From 2013-2015, Dr. Laycock was an invited music education panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, evaluating grant applications from institutions throughout the country.

He served as Director of Orchestras and Instrumental Music at Chapman University in Orange, California, where he led invited performances for the California Music Educators Association and at Disneyland. He was also Principal Conductor of the Irvine (CA) Classical Players, leading the youth orchestra on concert tours to Italy (2006) and France (2008). From 1998-2003, Dr. Laycock served as Director of Orchestral Activities at Iowa State University and was Music Director of the Central Iowa Symphony. Under his leadership, the ISU Symphony Orchestra performed at the North Central Division Convention of the Music Educators National Association and collaborated with such artists as bass-baritone Simon Estes and pianist-composer Marvin Hamlisch. He earned a Doctor of Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Laycock holds a Master of Music degree in instrumental conducting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music history and literature from the University of Southern California. An experienced educator, he was an instructor of strings and orchestra at the middle and high school levels in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Portrait of Larry Livingston

Larry Livingston

Chair, Department of Conducting
USC Thornton School of Music 

Larry Livingston has appeared with the Houston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series at the Festival de Musique in France, the Stockholm Wind Orchestra, the Leopoldinum Orchestra in Poland, the Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra in Rumania, and the Pan Pacific Festival Orchestras in Sydney. As the lead jurist for the Besancon International Conducting Competition in France and the Winnipeg Symphony International Conducting Symposium, Maestro Livingston is also the Music Director of the Festival Orchestra at Idyllwild Arts.

Since 2004, Mr. Livingston has served as guest conductor at the College Band Directors National Conference in Alice Tully Hall, led All-State Ensembles across the United States, including Texas where he appeared for a record ninth time. From 2004 to 2012 Mr. Livingston was Music Director of Thornton School Orchestras (USC). In 2012-16, Maestro Livingston will conduct the All-State Ensembles of Arizona, New Mexico, Kentucky, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Iowa, Tennessee, Texas, and California, as well as the Katowice Academy Orchestra in Poland.

Mr. Livingston has held positions as Vice President of the New England Conservatory of Music, Dean of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and Dean of the USC Thornton School of Music, where he is currently Chair of the Conducting Department. Mr. Livingston leads the national educational quest, ALL IN, and heads the Education Committee of the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium.

In 2013, Mr. Livingston appeared in the “Lights Out” episode of Glee and was featured as a mentor in the USA Cable Network Television series, “The Moment.”


Gary Markham

Retired Fine Arts Administrator
Cobb County School District

Mr. Markham is currently Retired Supervisor of Instrumental Music for the Cobb County School District in Marietta, GA. He is the former Director of Bands at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax County, Virginia. He has over four decades of experience in music education, and serves internationally as clinician, guest conductor, adjudicator, and consultant. The Cobb County Music program has been named one of the “BEST Communities for Music Education in America, 11 times.

Mr. Markham received his B. S. degree from Mansfield State University, M. Ed. degree from Penn State University, and studied for Ph. D (ABD) in conducting and music supervision at George Mason University with Tony Maiello and Arnald Gabriel. His leadership experience includes membership on several state and national music education executive boards including the Midwest Clinic Advisory Committee. He is currently the Senior Education Consultant and Chief Judge for Bands of America, Executive Director of the Music Administration Collaborative, Judge Education Director for Drum Corps International, and an author of “Band Expressions” published by Alfred Music. He is a 1992 recipient of the John Philip Sousa Foundation's "Sudler Order of Merit" and the Robinson Symphonic Band is the 1992 recipient of the "Sudler Flag of Honor.”

In 2006, Mr. Markham was presented with the Georgia Music Educators Administrative Leadership award and was inducted into the Bands of America “Hall of Fame.” In 2007, Mr. Markham received the DCI & Coltrin & Associates “Excellence in Music Education Award.” In 2009, MENC presented the first “Excellence in Marching Music Education” to Mr. Markham for serving as chairman of the Blue Ribbon Commission for writing National Standards and a lifetime devoted to marching music excellence.


Dr. Charles T. Menghini

VanderCook College of Music

Charles T. Menghini is President, Professor of Music and Director of Bands at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to his appointment as President in August of 2004, Charlie served as Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Bands. He began his teaching at VanderCook College in 1994 and his teaching has included conducting, organization and administration, curriculum and supervision, brass methods and rehearsal techniques classes. 

Charlie brought with his appointment to VanderCook 18 years of successful high school band experience in Missouri and Kansas. Bands under his direction received consistent Division I ratings in regional, state and national music festivals, performed at various state music educator conventions and performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade, Orange Bowl Parade, Bands of America International Festival and the XV Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Originally from Iron Mountain, Michigan, Menghini attended Northern Michigan University and the University of Missouri – Columbia where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. He also holds a Master degree in Education from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and a Doctorate of Arts in Wind Conducting from the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music where he studied with Gary Hill. In addition to Hill, Menghini recognizes Tim Lautzenheiser and Gary Green as being most-influential teachers in his growth and development.

Charles Menghini writes for numerous professional journals and magazines including the “Instrumentalist” where he serves as a member of the Board of Advisors. He is also co-author of the Essential Elements Band Method, published by the Hal Leonard Corporation.

Charlie frequently serves as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and has actively worked with over 350 school and community ensembles from 20 states as well as Canada, Japan, Southeast Asia and Australia. He has conducted all –state ensembles in Wisconsin, North Dakota, Georgia, South Carolina, Nebraska, New York, Virginia, and Minnesota, and has presented numerous clinics at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago and state and regional music educators in-services throughout the world.

Menghini is a Lowell Mason Fellow and is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, National Association for Music Education, and Phi Beta Mu. He was inducted into the Alpha Psi Chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda National Honor Society for Music - the highest honor a conservatory faculty can bestow on a student in recognition of outstanding musicianship and scholarly achievement, and is an honorary member of the Xi Kappa (VanderCook College) Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Charlie is an educational consultant for the Hal Leonard Corporation of Milwaukee, WI, Conn-Selmer of Elkhart, IN and is an educational member of the Music Achievement Council of the NAMM Foundation. An active performer, Charlie played lead trumpet in the Kansas City Chiefs Professional Football Band for fifteen seasons.


Col. Thomas Palmatier
Colonel (Retired)
The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own"

Colonel Thomas Palmatier culminated a distinguished military career spanning more than 37 years as the Leader and Commander of The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” the largest military music unit in the United States and was the senior musician in the U.S. Armed Forces. He is now able to dedicate his efforts to music education and to maximize the success of arts organizations as a clinician, guest conductor, and consultant.

Previously he commanded the Musical Ambassadors of the Army, The U.S. Army Field Band, being the first Officer to command both of the Army’s top premier bands. Other postings included the founding Commandant (dean equivalent) of the U.S. Army School of Music, Commander and Conductor of the U.S. Army Europe Band and Chorus, Commander and Conductor of The U.S. Continental Army Band, and Associate Bandmaster of The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” where he directed The U.S. ArmyHerald Trumpets and The Army Brass Band.

His United States performances have spanned all 50 states and included concerts in the John F. Kennedy Center, Constitution Hall, and Strathmore Music Center in the Washington, D.C. area, the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, and Bass Hall in Fort Worth. He has appeared in 52 countries and performances have included concerts in the Rudolfinium in Prague, the Beijing Concert Hall, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, and a rare performance inside the Kremlin.

Colonel Palmatier is an active clinician, guest conductor, and consultant on organizational structures and leadership around the world. He was founding Music Director of the Virginia International Tattoo, Producer/Director of the Rochester International Tattoo, and led the Dominion Brass Band to the Honors Division championship of the North American Brass Band Association. He is currently Director of Symphonic and Jazz Bands at the Czech Youth Music Camp and a Director of Bands at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

His academic credentials include a Doctor of Music degree (Honorary) from the State University of New York, a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College, a Master of Fine Arts degree in Music Education from Truman State University, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the State University of New York at Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. He also received that institution’s Minerva Award for lifetime professional achievement. His advanced leadership training at the U.S. Army War College and Command & General Staff College and professional experience have made him an expert on leadership and management of arts organizations.

Colonel Palmatier has received numerous awards and recognitions. Military awards include the Army Distinguished Service Medal, three awards of the Legion of Merit, and seven Meritorious Service Medals. He was the first Army Music Officer to earn both Parachutist and Air Assault badges and earned the right to wear a Combat Service Identification Badge for service in El Salvador and Iraq. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Bandmasters Association and the John Phillip Sousa Foundation, as well as an Honorary Life Member and Past President of the North American Brass Band Association. He was named a Distinguished Member of the Regiment and received a Superior Lifetime Achievement Award from The Adjutant General’s Corps Regimental Association.


Jonathan Pugh

Jonathan Pugh has been a Conn-Selmer trumpet and cornet recording artist and clinician since 1982. After graduation he was sought after by legendary jazz saxophonist Don Lanphere. Under Lanphere’s guidance he ultimately became his featured soloist for 30 years. He has recorded multiple solo albums as the Jon Pugh quartet and as the featured soloist on many Lanphere recordings for Origin and Hep Jazz Records. He now has the honor of performing on a Custom BACH STRADAVARIUS 184XL Gold Cornet created especially for him.


Dr. Catherine Rand
Director of Bands
University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Catherine Rand is the Director of Bands at the University of Southern Mississippi where she conducts the Wind Ensemble, teaches graduate wind conducting, and guides all facets of the University of Southern Mississippi’s comprehensive band program. Prior to her appointment at The University of Southern Mississippi, she served as the Director of Bands at Florida International University and the University of South Carolina Aiken. 

Dr. Rand received her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Tampa, Master of Music in conducting from the University of South Florida, and Doctor of Musical Arts in wind conducting from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. Prior to her collegiate teaching career, she taught band and orchestra in the Florida public school system for 15 years.

Active in scholarly and creative endeavors, Dr. Rand has presented numerous workshops to music educators on festival preparation, rehearsal techniques, meaningful conducting gestures, and building curriculum for band programs. She has conducted numerous honor bands and All-State ensembles including working with the Third Marine Aircraft Wind Band and their conductors in San Diego, California. Dr. Rand was a founding member of the Creative Music Project, which promotes student-based musical creativity by providing improvisation and composition activities accompanied by technology-based, multi-disciplinary methodology. She is published in volume 5 of “A Composer’s Insight: Thoughts, Analysis and Commentary on Contemporary Masterpieces for Wind Band,” and in the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band Series, distributed by GIA Publications. 

Dr. Rand has served as assistant producer for several commercial recordings by the NAXOS record label. Her first compact disc on the NAXOS label with the University of Southern Mississippi Wind Ensemble has an anticipated release in December 2017.
In addition to the numerous local, regional, and national events in which her ensembles have performed, most recently The University of Southern Mississippi’s Wind Ensemble, under her direction, has been chosen to perform at the Southern Regional of CBDNA in Tampa Florida in February 2018.

Dr. Rand is a strong advocate for new music. She has helped to commission new works for wind ensemble and chamber winds and premiered numerous works by contemporary composers including Joseph Schwanter, David Maslanka, Luigi Zaninelli, Paul Dooley, Anthony Barfield, and Steve Danyew.

Dr. Rand maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and guest lecturer throughout the United States and abroad. Her professional affiliations include the College Band Director’s National Association, Women Band Director’s International, National Band Association, College Music Society, Mississippi Band Master’s Association, Florida Band Master’s Association, Kappa Kappa Psi and the Music Educators National Conference.

Portrait of Richard Saucedo

Richard Saucedo

Director of Bands, Emeritus
Carmel High School

Richard L. Saucedo is currently Director of Bands, Emeritus after retiring from the William H. Duke Center for the Performing Arts at Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana. During his 31-year tenure, Carmel bands received numerous state and national honors in the areas of concert band, jazz band and marching band. The CHS Wind Symphony performed at the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival three times (1992, 1999, and 2004) and was named the Indiana State Champion Concert Band most recently in 2013. The group also performed at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago during December of 2005. The Carmel Marching Greyhounds have finished in the top ten at the Bands of America Grand National Championship for the past 15 years and were named BOA National Champions in the fall of 2005 and again in 2012. The Indiana Bandmasters Association named Mr. Saucedo Indiana’s “Bandmaster of the Year” for 1998-99, and the Indiana Music Educators Association named him the “Outstanding Music Educator” in the state of Indiana for 2010. HALFTIME, SCHOOL BAND AND ORCHESTRA and BRASSWIND/WOODWIND Magazines have highlighted his accomplishments in recent articles. Mr. Saucedo was inducted into the Music for All Hall of Fame in March of 2015.

Mr. Saucedo is a freelance arranger and composer, having released over 300 marching band arrangements, concert band and orchestral works as well as many choral compositions. He is currently on the writing staff for the Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation. His concert band works have been performed all over the world by middle school and high school bands as well as by college and university groups. He is a member of the Conn-Selmer Division of Education and currently serves as assistant chief judge for Bands of America Marching Band Competitions.

Portrait of Michael Sweeney

Michael Sweeney

Hal Leonard Corporation

Michael Sweeney is currently Director of Band Publications for Hal Leonard Corporation in Milwaukee, WI one of the largest publishers of printed music in the world. Michael is directly responsible for the development, production, recording and marketing of new publications for school bands. In addition, he contributes as a composer and arranger in all instrumental areas, and is particularly known for his writing at the younger levels for concert band and jazz. Since joining the company in 1982, Hal Leonard has published over 500 of his compositions and arrangements.

Mr. Sweeney is a 1977 graduate of Indiana University (Bloomington), where he earned a bachelor's degree in music education and studied composition with Bernard Heiden, JohnEaton and Donald Erb. Prior to working for Hal Leonard he was a band director in Ohio and Indiana, working with successful concert, jazz and marching programs at all levels from elementary to high school.

A winner of multiple ASCAP awards, his Ancient Voices (1994) and Imperium (1992) are featured in the acclaimed Teaching Music Through Performance series by GIA Publications. Other works such as Black Forest Overture (1996), The Forge of Vulcan (1997), Distant Thunder of the Sacred Forest (2003) and Celtic Air & Dance (2007) have become staples in the repertoire for middle school bands. He has received commissions ranging from middle school and high school bands to the Eastman Wind Ensemble and Canadian Brass. His works appear on numerous statecontest lists and his music is regularly performed throughout the world. Michael is also in demand as a clinician and conductor for honor bands and festivals.

Michael resides in the Milwaukee area where he enjoys fishing and playing traditional Irish music.


Christopher Schroeder
Music Director
Cape Youth Orchestras

Boston-based musician and educator, Christopher Schroeder is a catalyst for social change through music. As an experienced conductor and trumpeter, he connects and inspires musicians of all ages to achieve their highest level of musicianship, while instilling character traits that transcend rehearsal and performance spaces. As a nationally recognized speaker, Schroeder works with educators and conductors on building classroom culture, refining rehearsal techniques, strategic program development and music and arts-infused curriculum design.

An active conductor and music educator, Schroeder is Music Director for the Cape Youth Orchestra on Cape Cod, MA; Director of Brass and Winds and Orchestra Director for Conservatory Lab Charter School’s El Sistema-inspired program in Boston, MA; Program Manager and Faculty for Longy School of Music of Bard College’s El Sistema Side by Side Orchestra in Cambridge, MA; National Teaching Faculty/Hi-Brass Specialist with the LA Phil and Longy School of Music of Bard College National “Take A Stand” Festival. 

Having begun his career as a performer at Walt Disney World, he seeks to create a synergy with audiences through entertaining and participatory programming. Schroeder has experienced the transformative power of project-based, music and arts-infused teaching models first-hand in his work with Conservatory Lab Charter School’s El Sistema program since its inception in 2010. Understanding the importance of regular and authentic music experiences for students, Schroeder works with music and arts organizations throughout the Northeast on collaborations in which his students and music professionals engage in side by side rehearsals and performances. As an active speaker and guest clinician, he has observed and taught in socially-conscious music programs across the United States, Europe and South America and leads professional development sessions for teachers and arts-leaders.

Dr. Frank Tracz

Professor of Music and Director of Bands
Kansas State University

Dr. Frank Tracz is Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Kansas State University. At K-State he coordinates undergraduate and graduate conducting activities, teaches classes in music education, and administers and guides all aspects of the K-State band program. 

Under his direction, the Wind Ensemble has performed at the Kansas Music Educators Association Conference, the MENC National Conference, A CBDNA regional Conference, as well as regional and international tours. During his tenure, the “Pride of Wildcat Land” Marching Band has enjoyed the privilege of traveling to nationally acclaimed bowl games in support of the University. Dr. Tracz received the Doctor of Philosophy (music education) from The Ohio State University, a Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The Ohio State University. Dr. Tracz has several years of experience teaching in the public schools of Ohio and Wisconsin. He has also served as Assistant Director of Bands at Syracuse University and Director of Bands at Morehead State University. He has served as an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor for all-state and honor bands across the nation, as well as in Canada and Singapore.

Dr. Tracz is on Faculty for the Conn-Selmer Institute (CSI), as well as a past member of the Music Education Journal Editorial Board and is a contributor to the series Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. His Honors include Stamey Award for Outstanding Teaching, Kansas Bandmasters Outstanding Director Award, named a Lowell Mason Fellow, Wildcat Pride Alumni Award, Paula Crider Outstanding Band Director Award and election to the Prestigious American Bandmasters Association. Dr. Tracz was also elected to the Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Fraternity in April 2015 for academic and scholarly achievements. This past December the Kansas State University Marching band was awarded the prestigious Sudler Trophy from the John Philip Sousa Foundation for excellence, contribution, and innovation in marching band. Most recently, Dr. Tracz was awarded the 2016 Professorial Performance Award for his outstanding achievements over a sustained period of time with the KSU Band program, and was recently inducted into the Conn-Selmer Institute Hall of Fame.

Frank Troyka

Retired Director of Bands
Berkner High School

Frank Troyka is the retired Director of Bands and Coordinator of Fine Arts at Berkner High School in Richardson, Texas. A teacher of over 30 years, Frank came to Berkner in May of 2006 following seven years as Director of Bands at Cypress Falls High School in Houston. Ensembles under his direction have been selected to perform at the Music For All National Festival; the Percussive Arts Society International Convention; and at the Midwest Clinic on two occasions with his symphonic band at Cypress Falls in 2004 and with the Berkner Band in 2011. Frank is an active lecturer and clinician, presenting annual student leadership workshops across Texas, throughout the United States, and internationally. He is a frequent presenter at faculty development workshops for public school music teachers as well as a guest lecturer and “hands-on” instructor for both students and teachers.

Frank is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta Mu International Bandmaster Fraternity, and a member of the National Association for Music Education. He is an Educational Consultant with Conn-Selmer, Inc.; the Director of Education for System Blue, the educational arm of the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps of Concord, California; and the coordinator of the Generation Next series of presentations for The Midwest Clinic. He was honored as the 2002-2003 Teacher of the Year at Cypress Falls High School and, while at Berkner High School, was one of fifteen recipients in the state of Texas to receive the 2010 UIL Sponsor Excellence Award. In 2014, Frank was honored by the Texas Bandmasters Association as a recipient of the Meritorious Achievement Award. In 2015, Frank was named to the International Board of Experts for the World Music Contest of Kerkrade, The Netherlands. In March of 2016, Frank was inducted into the Bands of America Hall of Fame.


Dr. David Vandewalker
Fine Arts Coordinator
Fulton County Schools

David W. Vandewalker is the Coordinator of Performing Arts for the Fulton County Schools supporting the music education and music therapy faculty who serve 96,000 students in Atlanta. David is the artistic director and conductor of the Metropolitan Atlanta Youth Wind Ensemble and associate director of the Tara Winds (Sudler Silver Scroll award-winning community band). Additionally, he served as the assistant director of bands at Georgia State University (2012-2016) and Director of Bands at Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Georgia (2000-2012). Dr. Vandewalker earned degrees at Baylor University, Central Michigan University, and Boston University where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Education.

A Conn-Selmer Artist/Educator, he has led concerts before esteemed audiences such as the CBDNA/NBA, Music for All National Concert Festival, and the Midwest Clinic. Marching Bands under his direction received honors including participation in the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade, 2009 & 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, ranked top-ten nationally by the 2013 College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), and Bands of America Grand National Finalist.

Dr. Vandewalker is a recipient of the Sudler Flag of Honor, nine-NBA Citation of Excellence Awards, three National Wind Band Honors Awards, is recognized in multiple editions of Who's Who Among American Teachers, and is an elected member of the American Bandmasters Association. David and his wife, Pamela, reside in Marietta where she is Minister of Creativity and Worship Programming at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church with over 900 children actively involved in music-making each week.


Mr. Alfred Watkins
Retired Director of Bands
Lassiter High School

Mr. Alfred Watkins was the Director of Bands at Lassiter since 1982 until his retirement in 2013. He is the current director of the Cobb Wind Symphony.

He has established a fine reputation as an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor throughout the United States. Under his leadership, the Lassiter Band has grown from its original 78 members to its present size of 350 music students. The program now includes five symphonic bands, two separate marching bands, a jazz band and numerous performing chamber ensembles.

Mr. Watkins, a native of Jackson, Georgia, received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Florida A&M University, with honors in 1976 where he was a conducting student of Dr. William P. Foster and Dr. Julian E. White. Prior to his arrival at Lassiter, he served for six years as Director of Bands at Murphy High School in the Atlanta Public School System. While at Murphy, his symphonic bands earned consistent superior ratings in Grade VI. As much a teacher as he is a musician, Mr. Watkins was named “Teacher of the Year” in 1978 and Star Teacher in 1982, 1983, 1989, 1994 and l997.

Under Mr. Watkins’ leadership, the Lassiter Marching Band has performed for the following: President Ronald Reagan (twice), 1984 World’s Fair, 1986 and 1995 King Orange Jamboree Parade, the 1988 Tournament of Roses Parade, and will perform in the 1997 Citrus Bowl Parade. The band was featured in the full length motion picture, “The Leader of the Band,” starring Steve Landesberg. The marching band placed 5th in the 1990 Bands of America Grand National Championships and third place in 1994. In the 1994 BOA National Championships, the band earned the Esprit de Corps Award and earned first place honors in Musical Performance.

The Lassiter Symphonic Band Program has also acquired a fine reputation of musical excellence while under Mr. Watkins’ direction. Previously organized into four symphonic bands, the program has entered 54 symphonic bands into district festival since the school’s inception in 1981. In March 1987, all four symphonic bands earned superior ratings in Grade III, IV, V, and VI. The upper two bands perform Grade VI Literature while bands three and four perform Grades IV and III, respectively. They have performed for the 1986 Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference, 1988 National Band Association Biennial Conference, and in concert symposiums on the campuses of the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Georgia, Florida State University and the University of South Carolina. In 1989, the Symphonic Band earned the prestigious Sudler Flag of Honor, presented by the John Philip Sousa Foundation and later that same year performed at the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic. The Symphonic Band received a second invitation to Mid-West in 1996 and performed at the inaugural Atlanta International Band and Orchestra Clinic that same year. Mr. Watkins is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity, Phi Beta Mu, National Band Association, Black Music Caucus, Music Educators National Conference and World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles. He is on the Band Selection Committee of the John Philip Sousa Foundation. In 1987, Mr. Watkins was inducted as a charter member into the Florida A&M Gallery of Distinguished Alumni. Mr. Watkins has served on the Educational Advisory Board of Bands of America. He currently serves as an adjudicator for Drum Corp International (DCI) and Bands of America. In 1996, Mr. Watkins was an Associate Director for the Atlanta Olympic Marching Band that performed in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta. He is married with two sons, Christopher and Jonathan.


Dean Westman
Performing Arts Department Chair and Orchestra Director
Avon High School

Dean Westman is the Performing Arts Department Chair and Orchestra Director at Avon High School in Avon, Indiana. He founded Avon’s orchestra program in 2007 with 40 6th graders and has expanded it to more than 700 students, grades 6-12. Under his direction, The Avon High School Symphony Orchestra placed 3rd at the 2014 and 2015 Indiana State School Music Association State Orchestra Finals. Westman also serves as program coordinator for the award-winning Avon High School Marching Black and Gold.

Prior to moving to Avon, Westman served as Educational Director for Music for All. He now serves on the Music for All Educational Steering Committee as well as the Avon Education Foundation Board.

Westman was previously Director of Bands at Stephen F. Austin High School in Sugar Land, Texas, where he co-conducted the award-winning SFA Symphony Orchestra. The SFA Band placed 5th and 4threspectively at the 2002 and 2004 Bands of America Grand National Championships.

Westman has taught the Tenrikyo Aimaichi Marching Band from Nagoya, Japan, and has served on the teaching staff for Bands of America Rose Parade Honor Band of America. He continues to present clinics throughout the United States and Japan. He is a proud member of the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, the American String Teacher’s Association and the Indiana State School Music Association.

Westman has been an active instructor and arranger in the drum corps activity for over 20 years. He served as Brass Caption Head for the Drum Corps International World Champion Cadets and brass arranger and instructor for the six-time Drum Corps International World Champion Santa Clara Vanguard. In 2011, he instructed the Yokohama Scouts to become the first Japanese Drum and Bugle Corps to ever perform at a DCI World Championship.

Westman is a native of Park Ridge, Illinois and a proud alumnus of the University of Illinois.