NEBDI 2023 Program

NEBDI 2023 Program

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Session Descriptions
Reading Session Repertoire Lists
Clinician Biographies
Nearby Restaurants

Session Schedule & Descriptions

Schedule At-a-Glance

Thursday, July 13    

8:00–8:50AtriumRegistration / Get Acquainted / Continental Breakfast /
Visit Exhibits & Vendors
8:50–10:00MBRPlenary Session – A Conversation with Michael Markowski
10:15–11:45Session 1
MTVRecruitment & Retention Roundtable
Alyssa Comeau, Heidi Welch, Christian Terry, Elisa Saunders
NOCTeaching Emerging Music Literacy through Composition
(and other strategies for successful beginnings)
Bunny Saranita
LANStarting a Student on Bassoon: Overcoming Obstacles (I)
Janet Polk
KeeneLunch in Keene (or Lloyd’s Marketplace, in the Student Center)
ZDCNHBDA Executive Board Business Meeting & Luncheon
AtriumVisit Music Exhibits & Vendors
1:15–2:45Session 2
MTVThe Experiences of Female High School Band Directors
Amy Bovin
NOCHow to Create and Cultivate a Robust Horn Section (I)
Julia Cavagnaro
LANStarting a Student on Bassoon: Overcoming Obstacles (II)
Janet Polk
2:45–3:15AtriumCoffee & Tea Break / Visit Exhibits & Vendors
3:15–4:45Session 3
MTVThe Lives of Female Band Directors:
Stories Straight from the Source
Amy Bovin
NOCHow to Create and Cultivate a Robust Horn Section (II)
Julia Cavagnaro
LANDeveloping the Jazz Rhythm Section
Steve Cady
5:00–6:15KeeneDinner in Keene
Reading Session
6:30–8:00MBRGrade 1–2 Reading Session
Alyssa Comeau

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Friday, July 14

8:00–8:45AtriumContinental Breakfast / Visit Music Exhibits & Vendors
Reading Session
8:45–10:45MBRGrade 3–5 Reading Session: Selecting Quality Repertoire
Glen Adsit
11:00–12:00Session 1
MTVWhy Do I Teach Music?
J. Thomas Seddon
MBRPercussion Ensembles: Promoting Musicianship
James Walker
LANInstrument Repairs Refresher
Domenic Vecchi, Music & Arts
KeeneLunch in Keene (or Lloyd’s Marketplace, in the Student Center)
AtriumVisit Music Exhibits & Vendors
Reading Session
1:00–2:30MBRRising Composers Reading Session
J. Thomas Seddon & Michael Markowski
2:30–3:00AtriumTea Time / Visit Music Exhibits & Vendors
Featured Composer Reading Session
3:00–5:00MRBThe Music of Michael Markowski
Michael Markowski & J. Thomas Seddon
ZDCNEBDI Banquet & Awards Ceremony
KeeneOR dinner on own in Keene
7:00–8:45Directors’ Forums: Rebuilding & Recruiting (Post)-Covid &
Jazz Band Reading Session
MTVElementary/Middle School Directors’ Forum
Alyssa Comeau, facilitator
LANHigh School Directors’ Forum
Bunny Saranita, facilitator
MBRJazz Band Reading Session
Kenneth Clark
9:15–?Directors’ Get-Together
Margaritas Mexican Restaurant
77 Main Street, Keene, NH 03431

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Saturday, July 15

8:30–9:00AtriumContinental Breakfast & Socialize
9:00–10:30MBRConducting Lab
Glen Adsit & Edward Cumming
10:45–12:00MBRRehearsal Lab
Glen Adsit & Edward Cumming

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Session Descriptions

Plenary Session: A Conversation with Michael Markowski
Mabel Brown Room

Join in the conversation with our featured composer, Michael Markowski. As a composer becoming more and more known for his works in the band and wind ensemble realm, you might be surprised to learn that he actually has a background in film practices from Arizona State University. How, then, did he become a rising composer? What is his creative process like? How is he mentoring new and rising composers? What’s his favorite baseball team? This is your opportunity to ask!

Michael Markowski, composer


Recruitment & Retention Roundtable
Mountain View Room

A discussion of the issues of recruitment & retention in school band from several perspectives. The panelists, who represent a diverse range of experiences and levels (rapidly growing program, music teacher educator, early-career teacher, veteran teacher), will share their views, their success stories, obstacles to successful recruitment & retention, and give you ideas you can employ to enhance your programs’ membership.

Alyssa Comeau, Turners Falls (MA) School District; Heidi Welch, Castleton University; Christian Terry, Lebanon (NH) Middle School; Elisa Saunders, Pelham (NH) Memorial School


Teaching Emerging Music Literacy Through Composition (and other strategies for successful beginnings)
Night Owl Café

Reading and playing music notation feels “hard” for many young music students. When a teacher has larger group instruction or heterogenous instrument groupings with beginners, often in once/week instruction, meeting every student’s need for interventions or extensions can feel impossible. Come see how teaching and practicing music pitch and note reading can be engaging and methodical for all learners, while also opening the world of composition and creating to them. Bring your instrument— or better yet, a secondary or tertiary instrument to play!

Bunny Saranita, Merrimack (NH) High School


Starting a Student on Bassoon: Overcoming Obstacles I & II
Lantern Room

There are many reasons that starting a student on bassoon in your school is difficult. Often the problems are the same for educators; sometimes the problems are unique.  The first part of the session will be a discussion of the problems you face and possible solutions.  The second part of the clinic will focus on practical advice for providing a solid beginning for your student.

Janet Polk, Professor of Bassoon, University of New Hampshire


The Experiences of Female High School Band Directors
Mountain View Room

Led by Dr. Amy J. Bovin, this presentation is a combination of research findings from two different studies. The purpose of the first study was to investigate the phenomenology of the female high school band director (FHSBD). After gathering data from interviews with eight participants, Dr. Bovin identified nine themes and determined the essence of the FHSBD. The second study was a survey to collect quantitative data from a larger population. Current FHSBDs (n = 1026) in all 50 states and some U.S. Territories answered a questionnaire about their personal and professional lives. Various quantitative techniques were used to examine relationships between the numerical variables (n = 143). The results from Dr. Bovin’s survey study suggested females became HSBDs due to two factors, remained in their positions due to two factors, and considered leaving their positions due to four factors. The nine themes, the essence, and the factors will be revealed and discussed in this presentation.

Dr. Amy J. Bovin, Music Education Researcher


The Lives of Female Band Directors: Stories Straight from the Source
Mountain View Room

What’s your story? Led by Dr. Amy J. Bovin, this session will flip the norms of the standard panelist table so that the audience participants become the panelists. Dr. Bovin will begin the session with a brief presentation regarding previous studies on the topic of female band directors. Following the presentation, Dr. Bovin will open the floor to allow participants to share their own stories in a safe space, regardless of age or experience. Though focused on female-identifying band directors, all are welcome to join. The purpose of this session is for all to have the chance to share experiences, listen to others’ stories, lend advice, ask questions, and learn from their colleagues in a safe space so that participants will leave the session knowing not just how to best support each other in the profession, but how to support themselves as well. Discussion topics could include, but are not limited to past interactions with colleagues, administrators, parents, and students; becoming a mother and raising a family; experiences with being or having a mentor; stereotypes associated with females in leadership positions; personality traits needed to be a successful band director; and thoughts on how to dress for work, conferences, festivals, and concerts. Throughout the session, Dr. Bovin will share some of her own experiences and answer any questions pertaining to her research that may arise.

Dr. Amy J. Bovin, Music Education Researcher


How to Create and Cultivate a Robust Horn Section I & II
Night Owl Café

In this session, directors will learn methods to successfully recruit and foster French horn players at every level. We will address successful practices for starting a new player at different grade levels and traits to look for to find potentially strong performers from throughout the band. Also, Horn sections are often small and can leave a lot to be desired. This session will discuss how we can change the tide ensure individual players jell into a strong section.

Julia Cavagnaro


Developing the Jazz Rhythm Section
Lantern Room

The big band or jazz combo rhythm section plays a critical role in the feel, energy, and overall impact of your jazz ensembles. Yet their written parts offer the least information and helpful guidance of any section in the band. Further, by the nature of the instruments they play, your rhythm section players might be some of the least capable readers in your band. Perplexingly, that isn’t even the reason why the parts aren’t written out. Nevertheless, this format of organizing parts remains the preferred method and has been employed by every great band. This workshop explores the nature of the parts as they describe or fail to describe what each rhythm player needs to do to make the band groove and provides some tools to help band leaders identify and relay that information to their players.

Steve Cady, Director of Keene Jazz Orchestra & Keene State College Jazz Ensemble


Grade 1–2 Reading Session
Mabel Brown Room

Selecting repertoire at the beginning band and developing band levels can be a challenge, and it can be hard to know exactly “what’ll work.” Join Alyssa Comeau in a reading session of repertoire that spans tried-and-true titles & composers like Julie Giroux, Timothy Loest, and James Swearingen; as well as new and exciting repertoire from popular rising composers like Katahj Copley, Kelijah Dunton, Cait Nishimura, and Randall Standridge. You’re sure to find several pieces that are excellent for teaching skills and developing artistry in your musicians. Special thanks to Murphy Music Press, Musica Propria, and RSM for donating titles to the reading session.

Alyssa Comeau, Turners Falls (MA) School District


Grade 3–5 Reading Session: Selecting Quality Repertoire
Mabel Brown Room

Selecting quality repertoire. This is a big topic for band and wind ensemble directors, as the repertoire you choose is your curriculum. How can you know for sure whether a piece is of a high enough quality for your group? The answer might be different for everyone, so it’s nice to have a little help from time to time. Join Prof. Glen Adsit, Director of Bands at the Hartt School, in reading a carefully curated list of repertoire both new and classic. This reading session will explore grades 3–5 works for band by composers from diverse backgrounds, across a range of levels, and encompassing both new outstanding composers and some “old gems” that have (for whatever reason) fallen off peoples’ radar — but all pieces are most assuredly “quality literature.” Many thanks to the Alexandra Slap at the Hartt Performance Library and the many publishers/composers who donated music to this session.

Glen Adsit, Director of Bands, The University of Hartford’s Hartt School


Why Do I Teach Music?
Mountain View Room

We have multiple answers for the basic questions of ‘Why do I teach?’ and ‘Why do I teach music?’ Some are good answers that have important implications for both our future and the future of our students. In all our classrooms this will eventually come down to the music that we choose to instruct our students. It is important to examine why we are choosing the music we perform with our students and how to approach teaching that music. Often, we are so distracted by the daily grind of being a music teacher that we don’t take time to seriously think about the basic questions and consider whether we are truly focusing our teaching and efforts for our students on being arts educators but end up being project facilitators. In this session, we look at an approach to focusing your program on the art of music!

Dr. J. Thomas Seddon IV, Director of Bands, Washburn University


Percussion Ensembles: Promoting Musicianship
Mabel Brown Room

James’ clinic, “Percussion Ensembles: Promoting Musicianship,” will demonstrate how a percussion ensemble not only can be a viable performing group, but it can also serve as “a class in ensemble skills” for percussionists.  In contrast to the complimentary (and often limited) function percussion so often serves in traditional orchestras and concert bands, percussion ensembles allow the players to take on more primary roles, which can translate into learning more challenging parts, offer the chance to play percussion instruments not commonly used in section percussion, or providing the opportunity to play instruments they may not get the chance to play in a band or orchestra context.  The skills developed playing in a percussion ensemble will translate directly to playing section percussion in a larger ensemble, not only educating the percussion students, but benefitting a school’s instrumental music program in general.

James Walker, Professor of Percussion, Keene State College


Instrument Repairs Refresher
Lantern Room

Join Domenic Vecchi, Certified Instrument Repair Technician at Music & Arts Manchester (NH), in a fascinating session on instrument repairs. Whether you’re a new teacher or a veteran, Domenic has something useful to share with you. And let’s be honest, we can all use a refresher from time to time! If you need to revisit the basics, or even glean a few advanced tips, this is the session for you.

Domenic Vecchi, Instrumental Repair Technician, Music & Arts


Rising Composers Reading Session
Mabel Brown Room

With so many new and rising composers writing quality literature for the band and wind ensemble, there’s no reason toonly program the old stand-by’s. They have their place, but so do so many new (and often under-recognized) composers. The purpose of this reading session is to explore some works by new and rising composers. Anytime you explore new music you may not like everything you hear, but you are virtually guaranteed to find something in this session that you will enjoy and could work well with your ensembles. Stay current, stay informed, and take a chance on the “new!” This session was developed jointly with featured composer Michael Markowski, Dr. Tom Seddon, and with the generous aid of Murphy Music Press.

Dr. J. Thomas Seddon IV, Director of Bands, Washburn University & Michael Markowski, composer


The Music of Michael Markowski Reading Session
Mabel Brown Room

Come play and immerse yourself in the music of our featured composer, Michael Markowski. With difficulty levels ranging from Grade 2 through Grade 5, you’re sure to find a piece or two (or more) that will work with your ensemble. What’s more, Michael will be working with the attendee ensemble, sharing his thoughts and insights on the works—the genesis of the piece, salient features and compositional techniques, what makes a piece good for a certain type of ensemble—along with intrepid conductor Dr. Tom Seddon.

Michael Markowski, composer & Dr. J. Thomas Seddon IV, Director of Bands, Washburn University


Jazz Band Reading Session
Mabel Brown Room

Bring your horn! Come and play some jazz band charts! We will perform selections of new music submitted by exhibiting publishers as well as new music sent by JW Pepper.

Kenneth Clark, Band Director, Timberlane Regional High School, Plaistow, NH


Elementary/Middle & High School Directors’ Forums: Rebuilding & Recruiting (Post)-Covid
Elementary/Middle – Mountain View Room
High School – Lantern Room

There’s no two ways about it: We are going to be dealing with the lingering effects of the global pandemic for at least the next 10 years. In many cases around the country, programs had to shutter their music programs. Whole class years of students have either gotten a late start or foregone band instrument instruction entirely. Has the overall quality of the typical band musician suffered as a result? What are the average numbers in band programs in the Northeast? What unforeseen challenges have band directors had to overcome? These forums are an opportunity to discuss these issues in open session. Facilitators will prompt discussion and act as scribes, the topics and conversations from the sessions will be documented, and the results shared to all NEBDI attendees following the Institute. Together, we can start to get to grips with the current situation and start to plan for how to weather the aftershocks of the pandemic.

Alyssa Comeau, Elementary/Middle Facilitator; Bunny Saranita, High School Facilitator


Conducting Lab & Rehearsal Lab
Mabel Brown Room

These sessions will focus on building physical conducting skills through the exploration of Laban techniques. Participants are encouraged to bring their voice and an instrument! Exercise and develop the physical, mental, and emotional skills of an expert conductor with two of the most expert conductors in New England.
CLICK HERE for this session’s materials.

Glen Adsit, Director of Bands, The University of Hartford’s Hartt School
Edward Cumming, Director of Orchestral Activities, The University of Hartford’s Hartt School

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Reading Session Lists

Thursday, July 13
Grade 1–2 Reading Session
SkywardKatahj Copley22:30Self/Murphy
Rhythm BuildersJohn Curnow1-2.5var.Curnow
Ember SkiesKevin Day12:00Self/Murphy
Morning SnowKelijah Dunton23:30Self/Murphy
The Bonsai TreeJulie Giroux22:45Musica Propria
Wagon WheelJulie Giroux22:27Musica Propria
Gentle WindsTimothy Loest0.51:50FJH
Ready to FlyCait Nishimura12:13Self/Murphy
StarlightJohn O’Reilly12:07Alfred
Mission: Impossible ThemeSchifrin/Lavender21:10Hal Leonard
The TempestRobert W. Smith12:30Belwin Mills
Darklands MarchRandall Standridge23:00RSM
Mechanical MonstersRandall Standridge0.51:53RSM
To a New BeginningJames Swearingen1.52:00C.L. Barnhouse
6 Stand CheersTim Waters1.5Var.Jalen
The Star Wars SagaWilliams arr. Story2.55:54Belwin Mills
Desert VisionsHailey Woodrow0.51:38Self/Murphy

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Friday, July 14
Grade 3–5 Reading Session
Vulnerable JoyJodie Blackshaw45:00Self
Graceful Ghost RagWilliam Bolcom3–44:30Pepper
Three MiniaturesWilliam Bolcom310:00Holab
Synthetic SunlightSteven Bryant2–35:00Self
Dancing FireKevin Day54:00Murphy
Song for TomorrowKevin Day3–48:00Murphy
One Life BeautifulJulie Giroux56:30Pepper
MARCH!Jennifer Jolley510:00Self
Think About ItJennifer Jolley23:00Self
The Last Hive MindShuying Li5–65:00Self/Murphy
StackingShuying Li34:00Self/Murphy
PreludeElizabeth Raum35:00CMC
Sweet ChariotCarlos Simon47:00Holab
A Mother of a RevolutionOmar Thomas44:42Pepper
Bock FanfaresJess Turner34:30Self
I Know MoonriseJess Turner44:00Self
Waltzing MatildaJess Turner47:15Self
Lullaby for NoahJoe Turrin35:30Pepper

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Rising Composers Reading Session
Halcyon HeartsKatahj Copley34:20Self/Murphy
Moving PathsKelijah Dunton45:00Self/Murphy
Wishes and WantingsKelijah Dunton34:00Self/Murphy
The LighthouseJoanne Harris3.54:00Self
Rhapsody on Doraji TaryeongJanet Song Kim32:56Self/Murphy
MedusaJulie Maniscalco3.5–46:00Self
Three Songs of BengalAakash Mittal35:00Self
OriginCait Nishimura42:29Self/Murphy
Meadow SongVinny Oppido4–4.56:00Self
Ukrainian ColorsOleksandr Petrov4–56:30Self
AdorationFlorence Price33:22Murphy
Let My Love Be HeardJake Runestad45:30Self
TendingMichael Shapiro32:30Self
Seminole Snake DanceJerod Tate33:39Self/Murphy

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“The Music of Michael Markowski” Reading Session
Desert Sage (4 movements)Michael Markowski512:25Markowski Creative
Drawing MarsMichael Markowski25:15Markowski Creative
Drawing Mars (flex w/ elec.)Michael Markowski25:15Markowski Creative
ElixirMichael Markowski45:00Markowski Creative
Famishius FantasticusMichael Markowski53:55Markowski Creative
The Cave You FearMichael Markowski33:40Markowski Creative
ReckoningMichael Markowski4–4.56:30Markowski Creative
Brooklyn AirMichael Markowski34:45Markowski Creative
ShineMichael Markowski3.55:10Markowski Creative
WaldenMichael Markowski34:10Markowski Creative
Sunny Side UpMichael Markowski44:40Markowski Creative
You Are Cordially InvitedMichael Markowski43:20Markowski Creative

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Jazz Band Reading Session

2MamacitaJoe HendersonAlan BaylokSt. 8th NoteM
3El Alma de la BandaGordon GoodwinLTNM
4On the Up and UpPaul BakerPaul BakerLTNM
5Alone TogetherHoward Dietz & Arthur SchwartzMike KamufBIG, SWG, REI, EXIM
6Dig Them Georgia PeachesEd GastonSWGME
7Running on NitroBrad CiechomskiJZR, EXI, REIE
8On the Cool SidePeter SciainoSWGE
9I'm Getting RhythmPeter SciainoSWGE
1013 O'Clock JumpZachary SmithSWG, JZR, BLU, REIE
11Tank!Yoko KannoJohn WassonFNK, TVMMA
12Christmas Time Is HereTomaro
13Mr. Blue SkyJeff LynneRoger HolmesPOP, JZRME
14StardustHoagy CarmichaelDave MillsTSF, BAL, EJSME
15Missing YouTomaro
16AventurasPaul BakerLTN, JZRME
17Rollin' in RhythmPaul BakerPaul BakerSWGME
18Blues for YouTaylor
19Our Man DanTomaro
20Attack of the Killer TrombonesChris SharpChris SharpJZR, SWGM
2124 Hour BluesRich WoolworthRich WoolworthSWG, BLUE
22El Mercader De GrooveMike DanaSWG, EXI, LTNB, VE
23Rudolph's Mambo P.O.D.Johnny MarksRick HirschHOLM
24My Funny ValentineLorenz Hart, Richard RodgersRick HirschBIGM
25Moten SwingBuster Moten & Bennie MotenRick StitzelSWG, BIGE
26O Swingin' Town Of BethlehemLarry NeeckHOLME
27We Don't Talk About BrunoLin-Manuel MirandaPaul MurthaPOP, MOVME
28CelebrationKool and the GangVictor LopezPOPVE
29MoondanceVan MorrisonMike StoryPOPVE
1/3 OffRod BlumenauSWG, BLUE
Cold Peanut ButterScott HallSWGA
Film Noir SoirEd GastonSWG, EXIM
Unleash the ChickenKris BergFNK, JZRME

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Clinician Biographies

Glen Adsit

Glen Adsit is the Director of Bands at The Hartt School, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble, co-conducts the Foot in the Door Ensemble, and teaches graduate conducting. Professor Adsit was appointed the Director of Bands at The Hartt School in 2000 and was awarded the 2014 Larsen Award for outstanding teaching at the University of Hartford. In addition, in 2015, he was named one of the “Top 40 Educators Making a Difference” by Music For All.

Ensembles under his direction have performed at the Musikverein (Vienna, Austria), Benaroya Ilsley Hall (Seattle, Washington), Carnegie Hall’s Stern Hall (New York, New York), the Central Conservatory (Beijing, China), Harpa (Reykjavík, Iceland), Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater (Rochester, New York) and Symphony Hall (Boston, Massachusetts).

A champion of new music, the Hartt instrumental ensembles have premiered over sixty works and have hosted over one hundred guest conductors, composers, and performers in his time at Hartt.

The Hartt Wind Ensemble has recorded Five compact discs for the NAXOS label; Equinox, PassaggiDragon Rhyme, Terra Cruda, and Heavy Weather. In reviews, Gramophone Magazine describes The Hartt Wind Ensemble as “stellar,” and Fanfare Magazine wrote, “and on the evidence of his two Naxos CDs, Adsit is simply one of the finest conductors leading a wind ensemble today.” Referring to the most recent release, Heavy Weather, Fanfare Magazine wrote: “The technical ability of young ensembles continue to amaze me, the Hartt School and their conductor, Glen Adsit, in the top league of American student groups, their performances having professionalism written all over them.”

He is currently serving as the President of the College Band Director’s National Association.

Before his academic career, he was a public school band director at both the junior and senior high levels in the Plymouth-Canton School District in Plymouth-Canton, Michigan.

Amy Bovin

Dr. Amy J. Bovin is a nationally and internationally recognized music educator. As a researcher, her articles can be found in both national and international peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Bovin is a frequent presenter and speaker at conferences around the globe as well as a conductor and clinician for schools and universities across the country.

Prior to focusing on being a full-time freelance educator, clinician, and researcher, Dr. Bovin taught band at the secondary and collegiate levels. As a prominent music educator, Dr. Bovin has been featured on multiple band and conducting podcasts, conducted ensembles around the globe, and held numerous officer positions in professional organizations. Dr. Bovin recently served as the Interim Associate Director of Bands and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Texas A&M, Kingsville, where she was the Head Director of the “Pride of South Texas” Javelinas Marching Band. Upon her appointment into this position, Dr. Bovin became the first head female marching band director at any Texas A&M University campus in the history of the university system.

Dr. Bovin completed her Ph.D. in Music Education at The University of Hartford’s The Hartt School where her dissertation was “The Experiences of Female High School Band Directors: A National Survey Study”. During her residency, she assisted with the instrumental method courses and was the instructor on record for the undergraduate instrumental conducting courses. Dr. Bovin completed the degree of Masters of Music in Instrumental Conducting at The University of Connecticut (UConn). She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Science in Education from UConn.

Throughout the school year, Dr. Bovin is a frequent presenter at conferences, festivals, and workshops on the topics of music education, music literacy, women in music, gendered experiences in music education, leadership in instrumental music programs, and on the NAfME National Standards. She is also a guest conductor and clinician at universities and schools nationwide. Dr. Bovin was chosen as a participant at the 2019 International Conducting Workshop Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria, as a recipient of a 2018 CBDNA Mike Moss Conducting Grant, and as one of three conductors internationally to participate in the 2015 Cortona Sessions for New Music in Cortona, Italy. At the 2016 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, Dr. Bovin received the Citation of Merit award from Women’s Band Directors International for outstanding contribution to bands and band music.

Steve Cady

New Hampshire bassist and educator Steve Cady has enjoyed performances with Joan Rivers, Tony/Emmy winner Lillias White, Lorraine Bracco, Sheila Jordan, The Scott Mullett Trio, Gray Sargent, Frank Greene, Rick Stepton, with “The Rat Pack is Back”, the cast of “The Sopranos”, and at Ryles Jazz Club, The Press Room, The Opera Theater of Weston, and the Montreal Jazz Festival.  Steve holds a MM in Jazz Studies from Rowan University, a BM and BA from Keene State College, and is a student of Scott Mullett, Bruce Gertz, Douglass Mapp, and Don Baldini. Steve is an arranger/composer of jazz and popular music for all levels and creates electronic music employing instruments of his own design and construction. Steve is the director of the Keene Jazz Orchestra, teaches Jazz Ensembles, harmony, Double Bass, and improvisation at Keene State College where he has been NAfME faculty of the year, and chairs Performing Arts at Vermont Academy where he has been granted the Brodine award for excellence in teaching. Steve adores his remarkable and beautiful wife Deanna Zilske and holds respect for their endearing but tyrannical cat Ender.

Julia Cavagnaro

Hornist Julia Cavagnaro is an active performer and educator in the New England area. She maintains a robust private studio while teaching clinics and sectionals in local middle and high schools. Her students have been accepted into Connecticut regional and state honor bands and have performed in recitals at esteemed venues including Carnegie Hall. She is also on the faculty at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT.

Julia has appeared with many orchestras throughout New England and New York, including the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Novus New York, Bridgeport Symphony, New Britain Symphony, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Connecticut Virtuosi Orchestra and Waterbury Symphony Orchestra. She was a member of the critically acclaimed, award-winning Nautilus Brass quintet and has played in various theater productions throughout the region, including the Hartford Stage’s pre-Broadway run of Anastasia in 2016. In early 2015, Julia made her international debut in Reykjavik, Iceland, with the Foot in the Door Ensemble during its weeklong Icelandic tour.

Ms. Cavagnaro completed her doctoral coursework at The Hartt School, where she studied with David Wakefield. Previous to that, she completed a Masters of Music degree at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she studied with Laura Klock, and studied Nursing and Music at San Jose State University, completing her bachelor’s degree in music education. Julia resides in Connecticut and is enjoying raising her two young children.

Kenneth Clark

Ken is the past president of the New Hampshire Band Directors’ Association and is on the board of the New Hampshire Music Educators’ Association where he is in his 21st year as Chairperson for the NH Jazz All-State Music Festival.

Ken has been teaching middle and high school bands in the Timberlane schools in Plaistow, NH since 1992. He was chosen to receive the first Outstanding Young Band Director award by the New Hampshire Band Directors’ Association in 1995. Ken has adjudicated for and conducted the Maine Jazz All State Jazz Bands and Jazz Combo. He has conducted the Maine District II Middle School Concert Band and Jazz Band as well as the Southern Maine Sixth Grade Festival Band. In 2009, he also conducted the Massachusetts Northeast Middle School Honor Band and jazz band and also the NH Middle School South Central Honors Concert Band.

In addition, he has adjudicated for the New Hampshire All-State, Jazz All-State, and Solo and Ensemble music festivals. Ken has presented workshops for the All-Eastern Music Festival (Baltimore), the New Hampshire and Rhode Island music educators’ conventions, The University of NH, Keene State College, as well as for the New England Band Director Institute at Plymouth University.  He has taught percussion, concert band, jazz band, and jazz improvisation at UNH’s Summer Youth Music School for 27 years.

Alyssa Comeau

Alyssa Comeau is the music director of the Turners Falls Music Department where she has been teaching high school and middle school since the fall of 2020. In May of 2020, she earned a Master of Music in wind conducting at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY where she was a graduate assistant to the director of bands, assistant conductor of the Ithaca College Wind Ensemble, and conductor of the Ithaca College Campus Band. She graduated in 2013 with her Bachelors degree in Music Education K-12 from Keene State College in Keene, NH. Currently, Comeau performs professionally with the Winchendon Winds, The Keene State College Concert Band, and the JaDuke Center of the Performing Arts. Comeau’s professional affiliations include Massachusetts Music Educators Association, the National Association for Music Education, and the College Band Directors National Association. She is also a proud alumni member of the professional music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota.

Edward Cumming

Before joining faculty of The Hartt School, Edward Cumming was Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, hailed for its remarkable artistic growth during his tenure. His appointment came after a two-year search process involving nearly 300 applicants from around the world.

Before coming to Hartford, Cumming was Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony, where he stepped in on short notice to conduct a program of which the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote, “some conductors could not do as well even with months to prepare.” As Resident Conductor of the Florida Orchestra, Cumming conducted a recording of the “Star Spangled Banner” with Whitney Houston and the Florida Orchestra for Super Bowl XXV.

As a guest conductor abroad, Mr. Cumming has led Orquesta Ciudad de Granada (Spain), South Bohemian Chamber Orchestra (Czech Republic), BBC Ulster Orchestra (Belfast), Belgrade Philharmonic (Serbia), Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Sinfonietta Be’er Sheva, and the Filarmónica de Bogotá, in which he conducted Schoenberg’s Pelleas und Melisande on short notice. In the United States, he has conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Oregon Symphony, the San Diego, Santa Barbara, Pacific and Long Beach symphony orchestras, Rochester Philharmonic, San Antonio Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, and the Boston Pops.

As an educator, Cumming has taught at colleges all over the country, including Yale University, California State University in Fullerton, University of South Florida in Tampa, and Pacific University (OR). He was Music Director of the nationally-acclaimed Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, one of just five orchestras invited to the biennial National Youth Orchestra Festival. He was founding Music Director of the Pacific Symphony Institute, and has also taught at the Orange County High School for the Arts. In August 2016, he will start a one year appointment as Music Director of the Vermont Youth Orchestra.

After receiving a Doctorate in Music from Yale University, Cumming conducted in master classes with Pierre Boulez at Oberlin College, and with Riccardo Muti at the Curtis Institute. As an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley, he was awarded the prestigious Eisner Prize for Creative Achievement in the Arts.  In May 2010, he received an Honorary Doctorate from Trinity College.

Michael Markowski

Michael Markowski (b. 1986) is fully qualified to watch movies and cartoons. In 2010, he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in ‘Film Practices’ from Arizona State University. While Markowski never studied music in college, his primary music teachers have included Gary Larkins, Dawn Parker, Jon Gomez, Dr. Karl Schindler, and Michael Shapiro. He has continued this education by participating in a number of extracurricular programs, such as The Art of Orchestration with Steven Scott Smalley (2008), the National Band Association’s Young Composer and Conductor Mentorship Project (2008), and the NYU/ASCAP Foundation’s Film Scoring Workshop (2014) where he was named one of ASCAP’s Film & TV “Composers to Watch.” Mark Snow, composer of The X-Files and one of the workshop’s guest mentors, says Michael’s music was “extremely sophisticated” and “complimented the mood and emotion of the scene with unusual maturity and sensitivity.” Most recently, Markowski was invited to join the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop (2015) as a composer and lyricist.

Shadow Rituals, one of Markowski’s first works for concert band, was awarded first prize in Manhattan Beach Music’s Frank Ticheli Composition Contest in 2006. Over the last ten years, Markowski has composed nearly twenty-five original works for wind band, nine of which were recently recorded in collaboration with the Brooklyn Wind Symphony, now available on iTunes. Joyride for Orchestra (2015) recently won the Arizona Musicfest’s young composer fanfare competition, and You Are Cordially Invited (2016) recently won a fanfare competition with the Dallas Wind Symphony. He has received commissions from a number of organizations including CBDNA, The Consortium for the Advancement of Wind Band Literature, The Lesbian and Gay Band Association, the Durham Medical Orchestra, the Florida Music Educator’s Association, and has received performances from the United States Air Force bands, the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” the Phoenix Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Arizona Musicfest Symphony Orchestra, and from hundreds of bands around the world. He has been the composer-in-residence for the ‘Music for All’ organization (2015), the ‘Mid Europe’ international wind band festival in Schladming, Austria (2013-2018), and frequently visits junior high schools, high schools, universities, and community bands around the country to share stories about his music.

He is a member of ASCAP and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Janet Polk

Janet Polk graduated from UMASS/Amherst with a bachelor’s degree in music education.  After five years of teaching public school in the Montague (MA) Public School System, she began a free-lance career to pursue her true passions of teaching bassoon and playing bassoon.  She is currently the bassoon teacher at the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College as well as principal bassoon of the Portland Symphony, Vermont Symphony, Opera North and Opera Maine.

Bunny Saranita

Bunny Saranita has been teaching instrumental music and band in the Merrimack, New Hampshire school district since 2004. She specialized in beginner instrumental music at James Mastricola Upper Elementary School for eighteen years before becoming the high school band director at Merrimack High School in 2022.

Bunny is past president of New Hampshire Band Directors Association and remains active with the association through her role as membership chair and as a committee member for the NH All State Chamber Music Festival. Bunny also has served on the NH Jazz All State Committee for 15 years. NHBDA awarded Bunny the NH Outstanding Young Band Director Award in 2001 and the Outstanding Band Director Award in 2022.  Passionate about the science of learning, Bunny has been a clinician for the Merrimack school district and for NHMEA.

Bunny earned degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the University of Louisville, studying trumpet with Walter Chesnut and Michael Tunnell. Prior to teaching in Merrimack, Bunny taught courses in music education at the University of Louisville (KY) and at Rivier University (NH), instructed trumpet for the Performing Arts Division at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and directed the instrumental music programs in several public-school settings, including the Union 38 School District in Massachusetts and the Winnisquam, Auburn, and Manchester school districts in New Hampshire. In the fall, Bunny will return to her hometown and state to teach at Brattleboro Union High School in Vermont.

Elisa Saunders

Elisa Saunders has just completed her 20th year of teaching public school music. She is currently the band director at Pelham Memorial School, and the trumpet instructor and brass ensemble director at Plymouth State University. Previously, she taught in Illinois for 9 years, teaching not only middle level band but also beginning and high school band, marching band, jazz band, concert choir, show choir, and theater, as well as K-8 general music. She is a graduate of Illinois State University with a Masters of Music in Trumpet Performance, and of PSU (well, PSC way back then) with a BS in Music Ed.

J. Thomas Seddon
J. Thomas Seddon. Photo by Pa Moua-Yang. University Communications.

Dr. J. Thomas Seddon IV is a conductor and music educator who has had a wide-ranging career from public school to higher education. Dr. Seddon spent twenty years in higher education teaching as a Director of Bands and preparing music education students to teach in the public schools. Dr. Seddon has extensive public-school experience, and for the past twenty years has taught at Central Connecticut State University, the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse and Washburn University. His bands have performed at the College Band Directors National Association Regional Conferences (CBDNA) in the North Central and Southwest regions multiple times. The bands at UW La Crosse and Washburn University were also recognized at the CBDNA National Conferences in 2018 and 2023 for outstanding performance recordings. His bands have also performed at many state conferences and premiered over 25 compositions by a wide range of composers. Dr. Seddon has presented music education workshops and seminars across the United States and has been published in the Journal of Band Research and the Instrumentalist magazine. Dr. Seddon has returned to public school for his thirtieth year of teaching while a Postulant for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church, Diocese of Kansas. He resides in Silver Lake, Kansas with his wife, Alana and youngest son, Paul.

Christian Terry

Christian Terry is a middle school band director/music teacher at Lebanon Middle School. Christian has been at Lebanon since 2020. Christian plays with several community ensembles, including the Upper Valley Community Band, Upper Valley Community Orchestra, Springfield Community Band, and the Lyme Community Band. Christian is currently the president of the Springfield Community Band. Christian is a part of the New Hampshire Music Education Association, National Association of Music Education, American Choral Directors Association, and New Hampshire Band Directors Association. Christian graduated from Keene State College in 2020 and earned a Bachelors of Music Education. Christian is enrolled in the Online Masters of Music Education program at Longy School of Music.

Domenic Vecchi

Domenic played alto and baritone saxophone at Millis High School in Millis, MA as well as a local community band. He then pursued a Liberal Arts degree in Music Theory and Performance from Beloit College in Beloit, WI. Following college, Domenic attended Badger State Instrument Repair School in Elkhorn, WI. It was there that he received extensive training in all aspects of brass and woodwind repair. He joined Music & Arts in 2003 as a repair technician in our main repair facility in Frederick, MD. In 2005 he was given the opportunity to transfer to the Manchester, NH store where he has repaired all types of brass and woodwind instruments in a busy shop servicing our NH and MA store locations. Domenic has been a member of NAPBIRT, the instrument repair trade association since 2003 and is also a certified Straubinger flute pad technician.

James Walker

James Walker (b. 1966) currently is on the faculty at Keene State College in New Hampshire, teaching applied percussion lessons and directing the College’s percussion ensemble.  He holds degrees in percussion performance from Ithaca College (BM) and Northern Illinois University (MM, Performer’s Certificate), and in the years following completion of his studies he also taught at both schools.  James’ articles have been published in Percussive Notes (the official publication of the Percussive Arts Society), and he also authored the Expressive Jazz Techniques column for Jazz Player Magazine.  He has presented clinics at colleges and universities including Kent State University, Western Connecticut State University, and the Hartt School (University of Hartford).

In addition to his work at Keene State College, James teaches privately in Connecticut, freelances on jazz vibraphone, steel pans, and drum set, and performs with numerous symphony orchestras in and around the state.

Heidi Welch

Dr. Heidi Welch is the Director of Music Education at Castleton University in Castleton VT.  In addition to her work at the University, Dr. Welch has served as President of NHMEA and is currently the NAfME Collegiate Coordinator for VMEA and Eastern Division Collegiate Coordinator. She also served as recording secretary for NHBDA for many years. She is the 2013 NH Teacher of the Year and a 2013 finalist for National Teacher of the Year and is active as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor throughout NH, VT, and NY.   Prior to joining the Castleton Family in 2019, Dr. Welch was the sole Music Director at Hillsboro-Deering High School in Hillsboro, NH for 20 years teaching band, chorus, guitar, music theory, and other elective courses in music.

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