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December, 17, 2021
08:30 AM - 09:30 AM


W 176


Alex Shapiro

Alex Shapiro
Courtney Snyder

Courtney Snyder
Alfred Watkins

Alfred Watkins
Rob Taylor

Rob Taylor
Jodie Blackshaw

Jodie Blackshaw

The Horizon Leans Forward - A Panel Discussion on the Issues of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in the Wind Band Field

Clinic Synopsis:

Join the authors of the book “The Horizon Leans Forward… ” for a panel discussion on the issues of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in the Wind Band Field. Topics to be discussed include: - Challenges faced by underrepresented groups within the wind band field and strategies to elevate these issues - Equitable Programming - Ways to promote BIPOC, women, and LGBTGIA2S+ artists, composers, and conductors

Erik Leung - Biographical Information

A native of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Erik Leung serves at the Director of Bands at Oregon State University, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble, teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting, and oversees all aspects of the band program at OSU. Prior to this appointment at Oregon State, Leung was the Director of Bands at Fresno Pacific University. Groups under his direction have been featured at the Western International Band Clinic, the Percy Grainger Wind Festival, the first-ever Small Band Program Showcase at the College Band Directors National Association, and the Western/Northwestern Division Conference of the College Band Directors National Association. Leung completed his DMA in Wind Conducting from Northwestern University and has earned degrees from the University of Toronto (M.Mus) and the University of Calgary (B.Mus with distinction, B.Ed). His teachers include Mallory Thompson, Gillian Mackay, Glenn Price, Mark Hopkins, and Jeremy Brown. Leung has written articles for the Canadian Winds and recently created the critical edition of Jan Meyerowitz’s Three Comments on War for concert band, published through E.B. Marks Music Company. He has presented at a variety of conferences throughout North America and Europe including the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the national College Band Directors National Association convention, and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Alex Shapiro - Biographical Information

ALEX SHAPIRO is known for her genre-blind acoustic and electroacoustic pieces, including a significant catalog of electroacoustic wind band works for musicians at all performance levels. Published by her company Activist Music LLC and distributed by Hal Leonard LLC, Alex’s music is heard daily in concerts and broadcasts across the U.S. and internationally, and can be found on over thirty commercially released recordings. Shapiro is noted for her seamless melding of live and recorded sounds, and for her innovative uses of multimedia in performance and music education. A widely published author and frequent guest lecturer on topics ranging from technology, copyright, diversity and inclusion, music education, and the music business, Alex advocates tirelessly for other artists. She is the Symphonic and Concert writer member of the Board of Directors of ASCAP, and serves on the Board of Directors of the ASCAP Foundation and The Aaron Copland Fund for Music. Alex has been a lead clinician at The Midwest Clinic and the Texas Music Educators Association, speaking about creative uses of technology in the field as well as equity topics. Among her many writings are the 2013 chapter, “Releasing a Student's Inner Composer” for the book, “Musicianship: Composing in Band and Orchestra,” and “Reaching Out and Bringing Women In” for the 2020 release, “The Horizon Leans Forward…Stories of Courage, Strength, and Triumph of Underrepresented Communities in the Wind Band Field,” both for GIA Publications.

Courtney Snyder - Biographical Information

Dr. Courtney Snyder is Associate Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Conducting at the University of Michigan where she conducts the Concert Band, teaches conducting, and conducts the Michigan Youth Symphonic Band. Previously, Snyder served as the Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. While in Omaha, she was Music Director for the Nebraska Wind Symphony. Bands under her direction have been selected to perform at state and regional conferences. An active guest conductor and clinician, Snyder is published in several journals: Music Educators Journal, The Instrumentalist, several volumes of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, The Woman Conductor, School Band & Orchestra Magazine, and Association of Concert Bands Journal. She received the Tau Beta Sigma Paula Crider Outstanding Band Director Award, earned 2nd Place in the American Prize in Conducting, Band/Wind Ensemble Division Competition, was given a Citation of Excellence award by the National Band Association and serves on the editorial board of The Woman Conductor. Prior to directing college ensembles, Snyder taught high school and middle school band and orchestra for six years in the Michigan public schools. She is President of Women Band Directors International and a Conn Selmer clinician.

Alfred Watkins - Biographical Information

Alfred L. Watkins is Co-Founder, Musical Director and Conductor of the Cobb Wind Symphony, an all-adult community band in Marietta, GA. In 2013, he concluded his 37-year career as a high school band director, serving as Director of Bands at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia for 31 years and at Murphy High School in the Atlanta Public Schools for six. Mr. Watkins is a 1976 graduate of Florida A & M University with additional study in Music Education and Conducting at Georgia State University. Concert bands under Watkins’ direction have performed at the Midwest Band Clinic five times, six featured band performances at the Music for All National Festival and four performances at the GMEA In-Service Conference. The Lassiter Percussion Ensemble has performed twice at the Midwest Clinic and once at PASIC. The Lassiter Jazz Ensemble was twice selected as an Honorable Mention in the Essentially Ellington Jazz Band Competition (NYC) and the Lassiter Winter Color Guard was named a two-time Winter Guard International World Champions in 1996 & 1997. Mr. Watkins has been selected as a member of the American Bandmasters Association, the Florida A & M University Gallery of Distinguished Alumni, the Georgia Chapter of the Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame and the Bands of America Hall of Fame. Watkins received the Edwin Franko Goldman Award from ASBDA, and in December 2017, he was a recipient with the Midwest Clinic Medal of Honor.

Rob Taylor - Biographical Information

Robert Taylor is Professor of Music and Director of Bands at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, where he conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting, and serves as Chair of the Woodwind Brass and Percussion Division. With a career in music education spanning over twenty-five years, previous appointments include the University of Puget Sound in the state of Washington and Eureka High School in northern California, where ensembles under his direction earned recognition by Downbeat Magazine, the Selmer Corporation, and Grammy Signature Schools.

Jodie Blackshaw - Biographical Information

Jodie Blackshaw (b. 1971) grew up in the Riverina region of NSW, Australia and her attachment to rural Australian life is evident in her music. In 2006 Jodie won the inaugural Frank Ticheli Composition Contest and since then has created a distinct portfolio of works that are performed throughout North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Jodie is also an advocate for equality and in late 2018 curated the website that features a collection of diverse concert programs created by revered conductors for the wind band medium. Jodie completed her PhD in Composition in 2020 at the Australian National University under Supervisor Dr. Christopher Sainsbury and Associate Supervisor Professor Craig Kirchhoff. Her studies identified a point in the compositional process that provides composers with a distinctiveness according to the focus of their initial musical sketches. In some cases, composers commence with rhythm, for others, it is harmony or melody; in Blackshaw’s case, it is timbre. Hence as a result of this all-important study, she now self-identifies as a “colour-first” composer.