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Big Ideas in a Small School

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  • Samuel Minge and Laura Nichols, band directors at East Clinton High School in Ohio will share their strategies and ideas on building your small/rural school band into a comprehensive fine arts program. See how ideas from large, suburban programs can be repackaged to fit your small school and help in development of quality on the field and in the concert hall, recruitment and retention and community/administrative support.
  • Samuel Minge (sam.minge@eastclinton.org)
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  • Samuel Minge has served as Director of Bands at East Clinton High School since 2004. Since then the high school band program has grown from 25 students to include nearly a quarter of the school population with two concert bands, competitive marching band and courses in electronic music as well as a reorganized music curriculum featuring team teaching in all ensembles and grade levels. EC ensembles regularly receive Superior and Excellent ratings in adjudicated performance and the Wind Ensemble qualified for OMEA State Concert Band Festival in its first year of existence. The Marching Band is a regular competitor in Bands of America and Mid States Band Association events winning numerous caption and placement awards. In addition to his duties at ECHS, Mr. Minge is an active marching band adjudicator, speaker and clinician. His performance experience includes the Sinclair Wind Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Opera, West Virginia Symphony and Middletown Symphony Orchestra. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education and Music Performance from Miami University, a Master of Education Degree from the University of Cincinnati and is pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Music Education through Boston University. His memberships include the Central States Judges Association, Ohio Music Education Association, Technology Institute for Music Educators and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and he has served as an advocate and chapter leader for Livestrong and the Sarcoma Foundation of America. Mr. Minge lives in Blachester, Ohio with his wife Carli and daughter, Aria.
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  • Laura Nichols
  • Ms. Nichols has been Associate Director of Bands at East Clinton since 2010. Originally from Cambridge, OH, she completed her Bachelor of Music Degree at Muskingum University and is currently pursuing her Master of Education degree through Indiana Wesleyan University. An accomplished clarinetist and vocalist, Ms. Nichols directs the middle school bands, is assistant director and woodwind instructor for the marching band and directs the high school chorus. Her students frequently excel in adjudicated events and she has contributed strongly to developing a comprehensive beginning band recruitment program and course of study. Ms. Nichols has performed locally with several ensembles including the Sinclair Wind Symphony and Fayette Community Band. She has presented at OMEA Professional Development Conference and was named an East Clinton Outstanding Educator in 2014. She holds memberships in the Ohio Music Education Association and Sigma Alpha Iota.
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