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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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Why Should I Care About This Music?: Increase ensemble engagement in rehearsal by connecting students’ lived experiences to the repertoire.

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  • Wind band compositions that connect to students’ lives and make statements about contemporary social issues can increase the level of engagement and interest in the band classroom. Using repertoire as the catalyst, the presenters will explain how they designed and implemented innovative educational experiences that combined performance, discussion, and cultural and personal context to increase student engagement in the rehearsal process and concert experience.
  • David Vickerman (david.vickerman@sjsu.edu)
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  • Dr. David Vickerman, 2015 winner of The American Prize in Conducting, is the Director of Bands at San José State University. In addition to conducting the wind ensemble and symphonic band, he teaches undergraduate and graduate instrumental conducting. Prior to his appointment at San José State University, he was the Director of Bands at The College of New Jersey where he established the Wind Ensemble as a regional model for performance excellence through invitations to the CBDNA and NAfME Eastern Division Conferences. Before joining The College of New Jersey, he held the position of Director of Bands on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus where he conducted the Wind Ensemble and directed the Pep Band. In addition to his duties at SJSU, he has served as the Associate Conductor of Great Noise Ensemble, in Washington D.C. and he is a highly sought-after guest conductor, having conducted numerous honor bands across the country. A fervent advocate for contemporary music, Dr. Vickerman has commissioned works by eminent composers and conducted numerous world premieres with The College of New Jersey Wind Ensemble and Great Noise Ensemble. He has also arranged several pieces for winds including Ára Batur by the Icelandic rock band, Sigur Rós, Observer in the Magellanic Cloud by Mason Bates and Craigslistlieder by Gabriel Kahane. Dr. Vickerman regularly presents at regional, national and international conferences. His co-authored paper with Dr. Andrea Salgian, “Computer-Based Tutoring for Conducting Students,” was presented at the International Computer Music Conference in Utrecht, Netherlands in September 2016. He also presented “Improve Band Performance with Socially-Conscious Repertoire” along with Dr. Colleen Sears, at the National Association for Music Education Eastern Division Conference in 2017. His primary conducting instructors include Dr. Edward C. Harris, Dr. Stuart Sims, Robert Ponto and Harlan Parker.
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  • Dr. Colleen Sears
  • Dr. Colleen Sears is an associate professor and the coordinator of music education at The College of New Jersey where she also leads the Institute for Social Justice in the Arts. Dr. Sears spent ten years as a music educator in New Jersey’s public schools and enjoys exploring her research interests through innovative collaborations with K-12 music educators and students. Her research focuses on issues of equity and access in music education. Her current projects engage students and educators with issues of social justice through music performance and interdisciplinary aesthetic experiences. She has published in Music Educators Journal, Action Criticism and Theory for Music Education, and Music Education Research. She recently authored a book chapter entitled, “Put Your Big Girl Panties On: A Female Band Director’s Career in a Culture of Masculinity” which appears in Marginalized Voices in Music Education. She frequently presents her work at regional and national conferences including the New Directions in Music Education Conference, the MayDay Group Colloquium, and CBDNA Northwest. Dr. Sears regularly guest lectures and coordinates professional development sessions for local music educators. She holds a Bachelor of Music from The College of New Jersey, a Master of Arts from the Eastman School of Music and a Doctor of Education in music education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
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  • Adam Warshafsky
  • Adam Warshafsky received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania As a student, he was an assistant conductor of the PENN Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Ricardo Averbach. Adam also restructured the Penn Jazz Ensemble and brought it back to the forefront of performing arts at the university. Adam completed his graduate work at the University of Michigan where he received his master’s degree in music education and served on the staff of the Michigan Marching Band. In 2003, Adam was appointed director of bands at Montgomery High School in Skillman, New Jersey. Since 2003, the band program has grown from 100 students to 220. The MHS Wind Ensemble has presented at the New Jersey Band Conference, New Jersey Band Gala, NJMEA Conference, NAfME All-Eastern Conference, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Nicholas Music Center. The MHS Bands have performed concerts in Spain, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Guest conductors have included William Berz, Todd Nichols, Ray Cramer, James Keene, Damon Talley, Malcolm Rowell, Andrew Boysen, James Tapia, Darryl Bott, Scott Jones, David Vickerman, Kraig Williams, Scott Teeple, Thomas McCauley, and Bruce Yurko. In 2012, Adam was hired as the supervisor of music for the Montgomery Township Schools where he continues teaching the high school wind ensemble. Adam has been a guest clinician for middle and high school bands in Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and has been invited to conduct regional honor bands. He is the Past President of the Central Jersey Music Education Association and the current New Jersey Music Education Association Band Performance Chair. Adam was appointed the assistant conductor of the Eastern Wind Symphony in 2011 and the conductor of the Eastern Wind Symphony Youth Band in 2012. The Eastern Wind Symphony Youth Band comprises 60 students from throughout New Jersey. The Eastern Wind Symphony had the honor of performing at the 2015 Midwest Clinic.
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  • John Hylkema
  • John Hylkema earned a Bachelor's degree in Music Education in 2012, and in 2014, earned Master's degrees in Wind Conducting and Music Education, all from Syracuse University. While at the Setnor School of Music, he served as a Band Graduate Teaching Assistant, was Music Director and Conductor of the University Concert Band, and guest conducted many of the other university ensembles. He was also a frequent guest conductor with several community bands and honors youth ensembles in the Syracuse area. As a conductor, John has studied with Dr. Bradley Ethington, Dr. James Tapia, Dr. John Laverty and Prof. Justin Mertz. He has also studied trumpet with Gabriel DiMartino, Vince DiMartino and Larry Wright. John currently serves as the Director of Bands at Readington Middle School in Whitehouse, NJ where he directs the 6th-8th grade concert bands, wind symphony, jazz ensemble, pit orchestra, pep band, and is the district's brass lesson specialist. He is also Assistant Director of the Hunterdon Central Regional High School Marching Red Devils. Aside from his teaching duties, John performs with the Eastern Wind Symphony, Raritan Valley Symphonic Band, and continues to attend various conducting symposia around the country.
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