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The 2016 registration is now open. Pre-registration rates are as follows:
$120 Early Bird Director Rate
Through Sept. 23rd
$150 Pre-conference Director Rate
Through Dec. 2nd
$85 First Time Attendee Rate
Through Dec. 2nd
$50 College Student Rate
Through Dec. 2nd


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Applications to perform or to propose a clinic at the 68th Annual Midwest Clinic are now available!

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Hear from the Composers: Balmages, Blackshaw, and Markowski

  • During this panel presentation, three composers will speak candidly about the creative process. Questions about commissioning composers, writing for different levels, and what composers really want to hear when they listen to their pieces will be addressed. Additionally, each composer will be asked to tell us what music is currently on his/her iPod.
  • Kevin Sedatole (ksed@msu.edu)
  • 12/18/2014 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM
  • Meeting Room W184
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  • Jodie Blackshaw
  • Jodie Blackshaw grew up in the Riverina, NSW and after completing high school, studied a Bachelor of Music in Composition with Professor Larry Sitsky at the Australian National University School of Music. Since then, she has worked in a variety of schools teaching music and conducting ensembles with students of all ages. Through her teaching, conducting and composing, Blackshaw has passionately searched for a compositional approach to band that offers directors a product that centres on musical elements other than melody and harmony. In 2001 Jodie completed her Graduate Diploma in Education and during this time she discovered the Orff-Schulwerk methodology. Since then this approach has influenced her teaching practice and compositions for beginning and developing musicians. In 2006 Jodie won the inaugural Frank Ticheli Composition Contest that earned publication of her Grade 1 piece Whirlwind with Manhattan Beach Music (MBM). This piece now appears on several state band lists including the Texas UIL prescribed music list. A second work, Terpsichorean Dances was awarded 2nd place in ‘Category 2’ of the same competition and is also published with MBM. In April 2009 Blackshaw travelled to the University of North Texas (UNT) to work with the UNT Symphonic Wind Band under the baton of Professor Dennis Fisher. This experience culminated in the world première of her emotionally compelling professional work, Soulström. This work is due for publication with MBM in 2014. In 2012 the Australian Band and Orchestra Director’s Association, Queensland commissioned two works for the Australian National Band and Orchestra Conference. Due to the short lead-time, Jodie agreed to a post-commission of her freshly completed, foundational beginning band ‘Project Piece’ entitled Belah Sun Woman. Twist, a colourful work for high school band was also commissioned and both were premiered at the conference in July 2012. Twist was significantly revised in early 2013 for Grade 5 symphonic wind band and is now published by Brolga Music (Australia). Belah Sun Woman (BSW) is considered a landmark product for middle-school bands and is accompanied by a myriad of original teaching resources that intertwine creative music making opportunities with instrumental music teaching practise. Resources also include an instructional DVD and assessment tools. BSW is featured in the Teaching Music Through Performance - Middle School Band edition (2014) and is published by GIA Music. In December 2012 Jodie presented the clinic ‘Get off the Podium’ alongside esteemed educator Dr. Mark Fonder of Ithaca College and inspirational conductor Professor Craig Kirchhoff at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. In 2013 Jodie completed her Grade 3 piece ‘Into the Sun’ for the Western Sydney Combined Schools Concert Band that was premiered in the Sydney Opera House. 2014 has been a busy year for Jodie, she commenced her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Australian composer Carl Vine. She has completed three commissions for beginning and developing middle school bands including ‘Letter from Sado’ for the American Composers Forum’s ‘BandQuest’ series. Jodie is the only composer outside of North America to be commissioned for this prestigious series. Blackshaw has also worked as a composer/educator in residence in several schools including Western Washington University, WA. In December she presents a second clinic for Midwest entitled “Pulse to Pattern” and will proudly participate in a composer panel with Michael Markowski and Brian Balmages, hosted by Professor Kevin Sedatole of Michigan State University College of Music. Blackshaw is fanatical about producing quality, meaningful works for band and appears as a guest clinician and adjudicator for band festivals throughout Australia. She desires that her music not just be "another piece, but an educational and spiritual journey for both the players and the director". Jodie resides in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia with her husband David and daughter Matilda and works full-time as a composer, post-graduate student and clinician. To find out more about Jodie and her works please go to: www.jodieblackshaw.com.
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  • Michael Markowski
  • Michael Markowski (b. 1986) is fully qualified to watch movies and cartoons. Although he holds a degree in film production, his life is focused on music and his compositions are actively performed around the world. His work can also be heard in short musicals, like Conan: The Musical which aired in a bit on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien, writing techno/pop songs, one of which featured Canadian actor John Dunsworth from Trailer Park Boys fame, composing short jingles and comedic songs for the sketch comedy troupe, Bully Mammoth, and is proud to be the composer for the sci-fi comedic web series, Voyage Trekkers. In 2014, Markowski was invited to further his study of film scoring in the NYU/ASCAP Foundation Film Scoring Workshop in Memory of Buddy Baker where he was named one of ASCAP's Film & TV "Composers to Watch." For more information, please visit http://www.michaelmarkowski.com.
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  • Brian Balmages
  • Brian Balmages (b. 1975) is an award-winning composer, conductor, producer, and performer. His music for winds, brass, and orchestra has been performed in countries throughout the world. His active schedule of commissions and premieres has incorporated groups ranging from elementary schools to professional ensembles including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Miami Symphony Orchestra, the University of Miami Wind Ensemble, Boston Brass, Off Bass Brass, and the Dominion Brass Ensemble. His music has been performed by members of leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, and others. World premieres have included prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. His music was also performed as part of the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service, which was attended by both President Obama and Vice President Biden. He received his bachelor’s degree in music from James Madison University and his master’s degree from the University of Miami in Florida. He is a recipient of the prestigious A. Austin Harding Award from the American School Band Directors Association and was also featured in James Madison University’s “Be the Change” campaign. As a conductor, Mr. Balmages has enjoyed engagements with numerous all-state and regional bands and orchestras as well as university and professional groups. Notable guest conducting appearances have included the Midwest Clinic, Western International Band Clinic, College Band Directors Eastern Regional Conference, American School Band Directors Association National Conference and others. Additional conducting appearances have included the Kennedy Center and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. He has also served as an adjunct professor of instrumental conducting and Acting Symphonic Band Director at Towson University in Maryland. Currently, he is Director of Instrumental Publications for The FJH Music Company Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He resides in Baltimore with his wife Lisa and their two sons.
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