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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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Relationships that Resonate: Creating a Culture of Leadership and Inclusion through United Sound

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  • This session will discuss United Sound, a peer mentorship program that enables students with disabilities to get involved in secondary instrumental music. Perspectives will be shared by band and orchestra directors in a wide range of demographics, from well-funded suburban to urban Title I schools. Attendees will learn strategies for inclusion and a simple process through which all students can build leadership skills, self-confidence, and a sense of belonging through music.
  • Julie Duty (julie@unitedsound.org)
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  • Julie Duty completed her undergraduate degree at Arizona State University in 1998, earning a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. She then taught high school and middle school band and served as a mentor teacher for nine years in Arizona. Julie currently serves as the founder and Executive Director of United Sound, Inc. working with teachers, parents, and administrators to bring meaningful participation and inclusivity to the instrumental music classroom. Julie is still an active musician. Currently serving as a board member, she has performed as a member of the Tempe Winds for 21 years, works regularly for the Arizona Band and Orchestra Director’s Association as a clinician and adjudicator, and is a mother to three adorable musicians of her own.
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  • Jerrell Horton
  • Jerell Horton has been the band director at Vestavia Hills since 2006. He is a graduate of Samford University. Prior to his appointment at Vestavia Hills High School, he served as assistant director at Pizitz Middle School and Vestavia Hills High School. While at Vestavia Hills, the bands have consistently earned superior rating at District and state concert band festivals as well as the ABDA festival, the Vestavia Hills Wind Ensemble performed at the 2011 Alabama Music Educators Conference, and the Music For All National Concert Band Festival in 2013. The Vestavia Hills High School Rebel Marching Band performed in the 2010 London New Year’s Day Parade in London, England and the 2018 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland. The Vestavia Hills High School band was awarded the National Program of Excellence Southern Division Blue Ribbon Award presented by the National Band Association. Mr. Horton has served as an honor band clinician within the states of Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia. He is also on staff for the Auburn Summer Marching and Leadership camp and the Music For All Summer Symposium. Mr. Horton a National Board Certified teacher and was named to SBO magazine’s 2014 list of 50 Directors Who Make a Difference. Mr. Horton was honored to serve on 2017 Music for All Tournament of Roses teaching staff. He is married to Monica Horton (also an educator) and they have two children, daughter Madina Jaimes and Edward Israel.
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  • Ann Smith
  • Ann G. Smith is currently the Director or Orchestras at Plano East Senior High School and serves as cluster leader of the Plano East Cluster Orchestra Program. A music educator for 24 years, Mrs. Smith has experience as a violin/viola instructor, performer and orchestra director in the Fort Worth, Arlington, Lewisville, and Plano School Districts. Orchestras under her direction have consistently been awarded the “Sweepstakes Award” for Superior Ratings in University Interscholastic League Concert and Sight Reading for more than 20 years. Orchestras under her direction have also earned “Best in Class” at nationally adjudicated festival throughout the United States. Orchestras under Mrs. Smith’s direction have performed at The Midwest Clinic, International Band and Orchestra Conference and have been named finalist in the Texas Music Educators Association Honor Orchestra Competition as both Full Orchestra and String Orchestra. Mrs. Smith is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Orchestra Directors Association and the Texas Music Adjudicators Association. In 2015, she was selected for induction into Mu Omicron Honorary Orchestra Fraternity and is currently serving as the Region 24 Vice President. Ann Smith is formerly a member and chair of the UIL PML New Music Committee. She has also served as Region 24 Orchestra Chair, Region 24 Orchestra Secretary, Region 5 High School Coordinator. Mrs. Smith has also served as Associate Director of the String Orchestra with the Youth Orchestra of Greater Fort Worth. She also maintains an active schedule as a clinician and adjudicator. Ann Smith holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and a Master of Music Education with a Performance Certificate in Conducting from The University of Texas at Arlington. She has been married to her wonderful husband, Phil, for 27 years and has two sons, Andrew 27 and Thomas 23.
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  • Michael Hall
  • Mike Hall has been a working musician, sound engineer, arranger, and teacher since 1996.  His musical experience includes playing tuba and bass with various groups; styles including classical, jazz, dixie land, rock, country and hip hop. He has also serves as music director and band leader at his church. Mike studied tuba at Arizona State University and finished his music education degree from Ottawa University. Mike taught junior high in Gilbert, Arizona for two years and currently teaches concert band, jazz band, marching band, and guitar at Tempe High School in Tempe, Arizona where his groups continue to receive top honors.
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