Conductor/Teacher

The Journey
The Concert March and its influence
Inspiration and Goals
Teaching Accomplishments
Live Recordings

North White Wind Ensemble

The Journey

My conducting career began during my senior year in high school, as I was selected to be the student conductor of the Indianapolis Youth Wind Ensemble for that school year. I quickly learned the necessity of being several steps ahead of the ensemble at all times to establish trust from the players. During my four concerts, I lacked my own personal stamp on anything and was just trying to get through the pieces. This bothered me as I felt so much more could be obtained through leading a group. I arranged “On the Mall” and “Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite” for the Ball State Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble and was permitted to conduct the arrangements at our concerts. This freed me to add flare and style, while not needing to put so much focus on my conducting pattern, which was concurrently being developed through my three conducting classes at Ball State. As I started infusing my own ideas through conducting lab bands and later conducting Lincolnshire Posy and Chester, I was getting quite a bit of push-back from my peers, most of whom desired for things to be played as written on the page. The prospect of bringing out such emotions through music excited me and I wished to pursue conducting at a higher level. A friend introduced me to the UNLV Wind Orchestra, through a few CDs and I was hooked. I wanted to study with someone who felt the same way I did about creating music, even when it was not written on the page. I moved to Las Vegas, where I enrolled as a graduate student to study conducting with Thomas G. Leslie. He took me under his wing, always encouraging and insisting on producing a better product. I ventured out to express my musical thoughts through conducting and was embraced by the conducting faculty, which gave me the confidence to further push the envelope through each performance, with the desire to make every group and performance bigger, better, and more enjoyable than the previous and to never perform the same piece the same way as before.

The Concert March and its influence

The concert march is by far my favorite medium in the musical world. The flexibility of a well-crafted march allows for a myriad of interpretations, allowing for the already enjoyable march to remain fresh. Whether it be Sousa, a circus march, a march from one of the great composers of previous eras, or marches from other nationalities and cultures, I strive to build anticipation with the mindset of, “What will he do next?” The music making process transcends language and cuts right to the soul and it is my desire to encourage others to get the most out of their musical opportunities.

Inspiration and Goals

I have been inspired by El Sistema and wish to create a wind band version of this great program in the United States, bringing the gift of music to any person who has the desire to create something amazing with an instrument.

Teaching Accomplishments

North White Jr./Sr. High School

    • Named Indiana Music Educator of the Year in 2013 by New World Youth Orchestra.
    • Grew Music Program from 53 to 162 students in two years
    • Gold Ratings in both Band and Choir at ISSMA Contests
    • First time in school history receiving two Gold Ratings in Choir in same year
    • First time in over a decade both Band and Choir received Gold Ratings in same year
    • First student selected to an auditioned All-State band, with student being principal on instrument
    • First student to be selected to the New World Youth Orchestra program in Indianapolis
    • 100% Gold Ratings in both years at ISSMA Solo and Ensemble for band students

Palo Verde High School

      • Selected to Featured Stage of 2015 and 2018 Music for All National Festival.
      • Grew Band Program from 74 to 192 students in first four years and orchestra program from 55 to 152 in first two years
      • Superior Ratings in all rated CCSD Festival performances for band and orchestra
      • 2014 Nevada Command Performance Brass Ensemble, 2016 Command Performance Percussion Ensemble
      • 18 National Honor Selections, 48 All-State Selections, and 9 All-State Solo & Ensemble selections
      • Only program in Clark County School District to average a 1 rating with every ensemble in concert and jazz festival in 2014
      • Class Champion in Marching Band
      • As Jazz Director, 100% Placement for all students auditioning for SNBA Honor Jazz Band
      • 100% Superior Ratings for all students in Regional Solo and Ensemble in 2015, 2016, and over 90% in 2017.

Live Recordings

The Footlifter – Henry Fillmore (UNLV Symphonic Winds)

Rolling Thunder – Henry Fillmore (Palo Verde Wind Ensemble)

Early One Morning – Percy Grainger (Palo Verde Wind Ensemble)