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Dr. Gerald King (Concert Band)


“Conductors/Teachers must be thoughtful leaders who guide each individual and ensemble to reach their own best creative potential.”

Dr. King is Professor Emeritus of Music in the School of Music at the University of Victoria. During his tenure at UVIC he was the Head of Music Education, Graduate Wind Conducting, and served as the conductor of the acclaimed UVIC Wind Symphony. From 2004-2012 he served as Director of the School of Music. Among his many achievements as Director, with his leadership and guidance the University of Victoria School of Music was awarded the designation as Canada’s first and only All-Steinway School.

Internationally recognized as one of Canada’s most respected conductors, adjudicators, educators and keynote speakers, Dr. King is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Order of the Phoenix by the Western International Band Clinic where he has made 7 separate conducting appearances; election into Phi Beta Mu; election into the American Bandmasters Association (2003) when he served as guest conductor of the United States Army Band (Pershing’s Own) from Washington, DC; recipient of the British Columbia Music Educators’ Honorary Life Award “in recognition of a lifetime of commitment of time, talent, and energies to music education in British Columbia;” and, in September 2015 he was inducted as an Honorary Member of the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy “for fostering tremendous goodwill towards the band, heightened morale and esprit de corps, and providing an exceptional liaison between the military and the public.”

Dr. King’s background is varied. Although he is primarily recognized as a conductor of Wind Bands, he is equally comfortable conducting Orchestras and Choirs. He is a former student of internationally renowned conductor, Maestro Kazuyoshi Akiyama with whom he studied the Saito Conducting Technique. His professional career has taken him throughout Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Hong Kong, Australia, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Dr. King’s conducting appearances with Regional, National, International Honor, and Professional Ensembles have been praised for performance quality, artistry, and creativity. Throughout his career he has been a champion of new music, premiering over 30 compositions. As well, he has worked with over 50 guest artists. In addition to conducting, Dr. King has many years of performing experience as a professional clarinetist having performed with numerous ensembles, including the La Scala Opera of Milan, Italy during their Canadian tour. Most recently, during July 2013 he performed with the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia on their concert tour of Europe—he previously toured with them in 2000 and 2004.

In addition to his passion for making music he is also widely recognized as an expert for his ability to link theory and practice in the field of teaching and learning. Among his many recordings and publications is a chapter in the book, Creativity and Music Education written by seventeen authors from the United States, Canada, Israel, Australia, Great Britain, Spain, and Scotland. The book includes a forward by noted author on Creativity, Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi. Dr. King has also completed a well-received DVD—The Craft of Conducting.

Dr. Angela Schroeder (Concert Band)


A native of Alberta, Dr. Angela Schroeder is currently Associate Professor of Music in the Department of Music at the University of Alberta. She is the Director of Bands, the Area Coordinator for the Winds and Percussion, oversees all areas of instrumental ensembles, and conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Summer Band. She teaches undergraduate courses in conducting and wind band education, and works with graduate students in instrumental conducting. She previously taught conducting at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Angela is also the conductor of the St. Albert Community Band, an ensemble that is currently in their 46th concert season. This ensemble recently completed their first overseas tour, performing throughout Austria and Germany.

Dr. Schroeder completed undergraduate degrees in Music and Education at the University of Calgary, majoring in Secondary Music Education, with performance studies in piano and trumpet. She also completed the Diploma of Fine Arts in Wind Band Conducting under the supervision of Glenn Price. After a teaching career at various secondary schools in the Calgary area, she entered the Long Term Residency program at The Banff Centre, where she studied and performed on piano, trumpet and as a conductor. Angela entered the Master's program in Wind Conducting at Northwestern University in 2002, where she studied with Mallory Thompson and earned the Master of Music in Conducting. In 2007, she completed the degree Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Band Conducting at the University of North Texas, under the supervision of Eugene Corporon.

Angela Schroeder is well known in the Alberta music education community, not only through her teaching and conducting both in schools and in community music organizations, but through her involvement as an executive director of the Alberta Band Association for several years. Angela has performed on cornet with the Mill Creek Colliery Band and was the Principal Trumpet for the Concordia University Orchestra for seven seasons. Angela has guest conducted and adjudicated numerous wind bands in festivals and clinics throughout Canada, the United States, Austria, Germany, Australia and Thailand. She is a contributor in nine volumes of the Teaching Music through Performance in Band series, which profile wind literature for all levels of instrumental instruction, published by GIA. She is joyfully married to husband Geoffrey and mother to her brilliant sons, Joshua and Jonah.

Dr. Gordon Brock (Concert Band)


Dr. Gordon R. Brock is Professor of Music and Director of Bands at the University of North Florida’s Music Flagship Program in Jacksonville, Florida, where he conducts the Wind Symphony, instructs courses in conducting and woodwind performance and coordinates the UNF Conducting Symposium. Earning his B.S.E. from Dickinson State University, M.M. from Michigan State University, and D.M.A. from the University of Colorado-Boulder, Dr. Brock’s career as a music educator encompasses elementary through university levels.

Under Dr. Brock’s leadership as chair (2002-12), the Department of Music was awarded an elite flagship designation (Music Flagship Program) and emerged as a program of prominence recognized throughout the region for its renowned faculty, dedication to student learning, and engagement with the community as it continues to garner recognition as one of the fastest growing and leading music programs in the country. Under Dr. Brock’s direction, the UNF Wind Symphony has performed at prestigious events and venues including the annual Upbeat Pink: A Musical Tribute to Breast Cancer Survivorship concert series in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, the Florida Music Educators Association State Conference, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall-Lincoln Center and the Southern Division College Band Directors Association/National Band Association Conference.

Before joining UNF, Dr. Brock was Director of Bands at the University of North Dakota, conductor of the Greater Grand Forks Youth Symphony, and the Grand Forks Chamber Ensemble. Under his direction, the UND Wind Ensemble performed at two North Dakota Music Educators Conferences, the Ohio Music Education Association/North Central MENC Professional Conference, and a joint concert series in Great Britain with the Central Band of the White Russian Army. In addition to an annual CD project dedicated to recording the best in traditional and contemporary wind literature, Dr. Brock instituted an annual Conducting Symposium, which attracted both regional and international participants. Having been twice honored by the Alberta Provincial Government for his nationally recognized ensembles and contributions to music education throughout Canada, Dr. Brock was also included in the fifth edition of “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.” In 2006, he was acknowledged as a Distinguished Alumnus of Dickinson State University and as the UNF Gerson Yessin Professor (2010-12). He has served as a guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States, Canada, Japan and Israel, and was most recently honored with guest conducting appearances with the United States Army Field Band and the President’s Own United States Marine Band.

Dr. Brock has performed with a broad spectrum of internationally recognized organizations within the mediums of chamber music, jazz, wind band, theater, dance, and orchestra. He is a member of the College Band Directors National Association (FL state chair, 2003-2005; ND state chair, 1995-99), Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Beta Mu, National Association for Music Education, Florida Bandmasters Association, National Band Association, and the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles. A chapter contributor to the GIA publication, The Art of Interpretation of Band Music, Dr. Brock has also served as a Research Associate and author for the GIA instrumental music education series Teaching Music through Performance in Band, a series that functions as a primary text in more than 300 universities in the United States and 20 countries.

Gerard Morris (Concert Band)


Gerard Morris joined University of Puget Sound School of Music faculty in fall 2009, and currently serves as interim director, director of bands, and department chair for winds and percussion. In 2016 he became an associate professor and was honored as the recipient of the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Morris earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Western Michigan University, a Master of Music Education degree from University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Doctor of Music degree in conducting from Northwestern University.

As a member of the Puget Sound faculty, he conducts the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band, and teaches courses in conducting and music education. With passion for new music, Morris has commissioned wind compositions by Michael Colgrass, Carter Pann, Joel Puckett, Jake Runestad, Daniel Kellogg, Andrew Ardizzoia, Gregory Youtz, Christopher Stark, Michael Markowski, Geoffrey Gordon, James Stephenson, Kevin Day, and Puget Sound student composers. Under his direction, the Puget Sound Wind Ensemble has been recognized for outstanding performance through its juried selection to appear at the 2016 College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Western/Northwestern Regional Conference, the 2014 Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) State Conference, and the 2014 California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Bay Section Conference. Morris has led the Puget Sound Wind Ensemble to perform world premieres of Das Bach Book (Carter Pann), Glass House Concerto for Percussion and Wind Ensemble (Andrew Ardizzoia), This Life Glowed (Christopher Arrell), The House of Life and Take Time (Robert Hutchinson), Lurgy (Neil Thornock), Fireworks (Kevin Day), as well as the north American premiere of Argentinian composer Alejandro Rutty’s A Future of Tango.

Morris was recently named conductor and artistic director of the esteemed Tacoma Concert Band (TCB), and his credits also include conducting appearances at The Midwest Clinic, College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Western/Northwestern Divisional Conference, Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) State Conference, California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Bay Section Conference, University of Georgia JanFest, Colorado Music Festival at Chautauqua, Steamboat Strings Music in the Mountains Summer Music Festival, Heartland Marimba Festival, West Valley Winds Workshop (Canmore, Alberta), Calgary Summer Band Workshop, and as featured conductor on composer Neil Thornock's compact disc recording Between the Lines, a project that Morris also co-produced. In addition, he has appeared as guest clinician/lecturer at CBDNA National Conference, WMEA State Conference, CMEA Bay Section Conference, University of North Carolina at Greensboro New Music Festival, Northwestern University Conducting and Wind Symposium, University of British Columbia Wind Conducting Symposium, and guest artist in residence at American Community School (Abu Dhabi/Dubai, United Arab Emirates), Iowa State University, Xavier University, California State Polytechnic University (Pomona), and St. George's School (Vancouver, British Columbia).

Morris's conducting and teaching are informed by years of professional performing experience as principal euphonium with Boulder Brass and United States Marine Corps Band, Hawaii. With these organizations he toured the United States, Australia, and Costa Rica as both an ensemble member and soloist.

Dr. Christopher Bianco (Concert Band)


Dr. Bianco brings a diverse background to the podium and to his students in the classroom. He has held positions at Libertyville High School in Libertyville, Illinois, Boise High School in Boise, Idaho, St. Francis High School in St. Francis Minnesota and Baylor University in Waco Texas. In those positions he was involved in all aspects of his students’ musical growth including Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band, Choir, Orchestra and Advanced Placement Music Theory.

He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. At Northwestern, Dr. Bianco played in virtually all of the concert ensembles including Don Owens’ Jazz I. While in the Chicago area Dr. Bianco maintained an active trumpet studio as well as holding the position of Artistic Director and Conductor of the Wilmette Community Band.

He completed his formal training at The University of Texas at Austin as a student of Jerry Junkin where he served as a teaching assistant for the conducting program, UT Wind Ensemble, Chamber Winds and Longhorn Band. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Wind Conducting in December of 2004.

In addition to his work with Jerry Junkin, Dr. Bianco has studied, conducting with John Paynter, Kevin Sedatole and Steve Bolstad. His trumpet teachers have included Vincent Cichowicz, Ray Sasaki, Steve Bolstad, David Coleman and Vince DiMartino.

Dr. Bianco is President Elect of the Northwest Region of the College Band Director's National Association. Additionally, he recently completed a term as the Higher Education Curriculum Officer for the Executive Board of the Washington Music Educator's Association.

Christopher now holds the position of Director of Bands at Western Washington University. He resides in Bellingham, Washington with his wife Laurie and their daughters Sophia and Elena.

Gareth Jones (Concert Band)


Gareth Jones is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary where is the director of the University’s Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic Band as well as being the Instructor of Trumpet. He is also the Director of the Alberta Winds, Calgary’s professional wind ensemble. In 2014 he was named the conductor of the National Youth Band of Canada. He was Assistant Principal Trumpet with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra from 1992 to 2007 and continues to play with the CPO whenever his conducting schedule allows. Before that, he held the same position with the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra. He has studied conducting with the renowned pedagogues Jorma Panula, Gustav Meier, Michael Haithcock, and Michael Jinbo. He has conducted ensembles from across Western Canada as well as Mexico and the United States. Mr. Jones’s musical activities are greatly varied. He has appeared as guest conductor and clinician with over two hundred orchestras and wind ensembles, been featured on Juno nominated blues CDs, appeared on CBC radio as a soloist and chamber musician, been a guest lecturer with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, been an adjudicator at music festivals across Canada, as well as conducting honour bands across Canada and was a reviewer for the recently updated Royal Conservatory of Music trumpet syllabus. He received the University of Calgary Teaching Excellence Award in 2018. In 1996, he placed first among North American competitors in the Ellesworth-Smith International Trumpet Guild Solo Competition, placing third worldwide. He can be heard playing chamber music, jazz, blues, and rhythm and blues with various groups around Calgary. As a conductor he founded the Calgary Honour Band and the University of Calgary Brass Choir. He was also a founding member of the chamber ensemble “Rosa Selvatica” and has been a featured soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra on several occasions. He studied conducting at the Pierre Monteux Institute and Canada’s National Arts Centre and received his Master of Music in conducting from the University of Calgary. He studied trumpet at Northwestern University with renowned pedagogue Vincent Cichowicz, where he won the prestigious concerto competition and a scholarship for performing excellence. Gareth Jones is a Yamaha Artist.

Mark DeJong (Jazz Band)


Saxophonist Mark DeJong has over 20 years of professional experience as a musician, educator, director, composer, bandleader, promoter, contractor, presenter and sideman. A graduate of the prestigious jazz program at Rutgers University, Mark has benefited from the tutelage of saxophone masters Ralph Bowen, George Garzone, Donny McCaslin and Stan Karp.

A dynamic and versatile musician, Mark is equally at home in jazz, blues, pop, folk, and gospel settings. With such recent accomplishments as a Canada Council touring grant for his renowned international group, The Outer Bridge Ensemble, a WCMA nomination for his recording, The Unknown, and his selection as a performing artist at the Canadian pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, Marks abilities have garnered recognition regionally, across Canada, and beyond the border.

Mark has performed with many of the worlds leading musicians from all genres and styles. Career highlights have included sharing the stage with such international icons as Ray Charles, Ian Tyson, Wayne Newton, and Lennie Pickett, Canadian music legends Rob McConnell, Moe Koffman, Tommy Banks, Victor Sawa, Hugh Fraser, P.J. Perry, as well as renowned vocalists Nikki Yanofsky, Denzal Sinclaire, and Carol Welsman. With a career that spans over 20 years, his performance credits include the Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary and Saskatoon International Jazz festivals, as well as numerous concert halls and jazz clubs across North America, Canada, the United States, Europe, and Japan.

Scott Leithead (Choral)


Scott Leithead is the founder and Artistic Director of Canada's Kokopelli Choir Association and TIME Association from Edmonton, Alberta. He has been invited to conduct provincial, national and state honour choirs on twenty-five occasions and he has presented workshops in North America and beyond. Notable appearances include: conducting the Alberta Youth Choir for Choir Alberta’s 40th Anniversary; conducting the Ellison Canadian Honour Choir on five occasions; conducting the 2016 ACDA NW Regional Youth Choir in Seattle. He has adjudicated both the ACCC National Competition for Amateur Canadian Choirs, the Kathaumixw International Choir Festival (2014 and 2016) and Finland’s Tampere Choir Festival in 2017. Under his direction, Kokopelli was a winner of both the 2015 CBC National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs and the 2015 and 2016 Canadian National Music Competition.

Scott has a passion for music from southern Africa and he has been invited to work with choirs in South Africa and Namibia on numerous occasions. In 2008/09, Scott was on sabbatical in Namibia where he worked with the Mascato Youth Choir and many other choirs in southern Africa. Scott’s passion for innovative and unique choral music experiences has shaped the direction of the Kokopelli Choir Association.

This season Scott will return to conduct the Manitoba Provincial Honour Choir for the 4th time as well as the 2019 Ellison Canadian Honour Choir (Ottawa). He will be adjudicating festivals and giving workshops in Ontario, San Francisco, Vancouver, Whistler, Newfoundland, and Saskatchewan. His contemporary vocal ensemble ‘Nuf Sed was excited to tour Japan in January 2019.

Benila Ninan (Choral)


Benila Ninan was born and raised in Edmonton and moved to Vancouver in 2009. She graduated from the University of Alberta with degrees in Voice Performance and Education. Benila also studied at the Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music in Hungary. She is nearing completion of a Master's degree in Music Education at the University of British Columbia.

Benila's experience as a choral singer and soloist is vast and accomplished. She has sung with Canada's professional choirs including Pro Coro Canada (Edmonton), musica intima (Vancouver), and Luminous Voices (Calgary). Benila was selected as a singer to represent Canada by the International Federation for Choral Music to participate in five tours with the World Youth Choir, where she had the opportunity to sing under the direction of master conductors and teachers such as Frieder Bernius, Steve Zegree, Peter Erdei and more. In 2008 and 2009 she was invited back to be a section leader for the choir.

Benila is an adjudicator and clinician of choirs, most recently at the Cantando Festival (Whistler), Choralfest North (Edmonton), and the Ontario Music Festival (Oshawa and Brampton). She is currently a section leader with the Vancouver Cantata Singers. Benila has been on the faculties of such prestigious schools as Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts (Edmonton) and Collingwood School (West Vancouver). She currently teaches music at York House School in Vancouver.

Graeme Langager (Choral)


Graeme Langager is Director of Choral Activities at the University of British Columbia School of Music, and the Artistic Director of the award-winning Phoenix Chamber Choir of Vancouver, Canada. A passionate and dynamic conductor, Dr. Langager is s sought-after as a clinician, adjudicator, educator and guest conductor. He has performed throughout Europe and across North America, appearing in such venues as St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Stefansdom in Vienna, Carnegie Hall in New York, St. Nicholas in Prague, St. Stephen’s in Budapest, as well as in cathedrals and concert halls in Italy, Spain, and France. His choirs have also performed at numerous choral conferences, including: NCCO (National Collegiate Choral Organization), ACDA-AR (American Choral Directors Association Conference, Arkansas), IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators), MENC/NAfME (National Association for Music Education), and the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals.

Dr. Langager was born in Lethbridge, Alberta into a musical family, and has sung and played musical instruments since childhood. He has taught for more than 20 years in universities and colleges across the United States and Canada, including the University of Arkansas and Cuesta College in California. He is also active as a composer and arranger, and has been commissioned on a number of occasions. Langager received the doctoral degree in choral conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and the master of music degree from California State University, Long Beach.

In 2015 both the UBC University Singers and the Phoenix Chamber Choir (under Langager’s direction) placed first in the Choral Canada National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs in numerous categories: University Choirs (UBC), Chamber Choir (Phoenix), New Music (Phoenix 1st, UBC 2nd), and Best Performance of a Canadian Composition (Gaudium Vestrum Sit Plenum composed by Graeme Langager and performed by Phoenix Chamber Choir.)

Jennifer Lang (Choral)


Dr. Jennifer Lang is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Saskatchewan where she directs the Greystone Singers and the University Chorus.

While completing her graduate studies at the University of Western Ontario, Jennifer instructed advanced choral techniques and music education courses at the Don Wright Faculty of Music and Faculty of Education.  In addition to serving as Program Coordinator for Musical Futures Canada, she was an instructor in the Teaching Support Centre, director of the UWO Choir and a conductor within the Amabile Boy's and Men's choirs of London, ON. 

Prior to completing her doctorate, Jennifer served as a program leader of vocal and instrumental secondary school music with the District of Niagara Arts Academy in the District School Board of Niagara.

2018 Festival Adjudicators:

  • Ray Baril (Concert Band)
  • James Smart (Concert Band)
  • Wendy Grasdahl (Concert Band)
  • Christin Reardon-MacLellan (Concert Band)
  • Angela Schroeder (Concert Band)
  • Larry Gookin (Concert Band)
  • Essi Wuorela (Choral)
  • Elise Bradley (Choral)
  • Andrew Withington (Choral)
  • Katy Luyk (Choral)
  • Joel Gray (Jazz Band)

2017 Festival Adjudicators:

  • Ray Baril (Concert Band)
  • Shelley Jagow (Concert Band)
  • Gillian Mackay (Concert Band)
  • Fraser Linklater (Concert Band)
  • Angela Schroeder (Concert Band)
  • Jeremy Brown (Concert Band)
  • Elroy Friesen (Choral)
  • Dinah Helgeson (Choral)
  • Dean McNeill (Jazz Band)

2016 Festival Adjudicators:

  • Jeremy Brown (Concert Band)
  • Angela Schroeder (Concert Band)
  • Gary Green (Concert Band)
  • Gordon Brock (Concert Band))
  • Dennis Beck (Concert Band)
  • Allan McMurray (concert band)
  • Christin Reardon MacLellan (Concert Band)
  • Jerrold Dubyk (Jazz Band)
  • Graeme Langager - UBC (Choral)
  • Lisa Ward (Choral)
  • Scott Leithead (Choral)
  • Dominic Gregorio (Choral)

2015 Festival Adjudicators:

  • Don Owens (Concert Band)
  • Robert Taylor - UBC (Concert Band)
  • Brian Unverricht (Concert Band)
  • Wendy Grasdahl(Concert Band)
  • Craig Brenan (Jazz Band)
  • Scott Leithead (Choral)
  • Benila Ninan (Choral)

2014 Festival Adjudicators:

  • Allan McMurray - University of Colorado (Concert Band)
  • Robert Taylor - UBC (Concert Band)
  • Rodney Dorsey - University of Oregon (Concert Band)
  • Tom Staples - University of Lethbridge (Concert Band)
  • Joel Gray - MacEwan University (Jazz Band)
  • Kathleen Skinner (Choral)

2013 Festival Adjudicators:

  • Larry Gookin (concert band)
  • Dr. Mark Hopkins (concert band)
  • Don Owens (concert band)
  • Dr. Angela Schroeder (concert band)
  • Larry L. Schrum (concert band)
  • Scott Leithead (choral)