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December, 15, 2021
05:30 PM - 06:30 PM


W 176


Jason Nam

Jason Nam
Catharine Sinon Bushman

Catharine Sinon Bushman
Cait Nishimura

Cait Nishimura
Jennifer Jolley

Jennifer Jolley

Beyond the Token: Asian Perspectives in Wind Band Music

Clinic Synopsis:

The purpose of this panel is to bring together composers and conductors to hear perspectives on topics such as cultural identity, diversity in programming, authenticity—as well as cultural sensitivity and appropriation—all through the lens of experience as Asian/Asian American artists and teachers. The session will seek to stimulate dialogue among teachers at all levels and foster greater understanding of the nuances behind both cultural representation and interpretation.

Jason Nam - Biographical Information

Jason H. Nam is an assistant professor of music (bands) at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he directs the Concert Band and teaches undergraduate courses in instrumental conducting and administration of school bands. Nam earned a DM in Wind Conducting degree from the Jacobs School, an MM in Conducting and a BM in Music Education from the University of Redlands. Prior to his graduate degree work, he served as a lecturer in the Department of Music at California State University San Bernardino and as director of bands at La Colina Junior High School and San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, California. More recently, he has served as a faculty member, ensemble conductor, and assistant director of the Indiana University Summer Music Clinic. Nam keeps a very busy schedule as a conductor, adjudicator, and clinician across the United States and North America. His Concert Band was recently selected to perform at the 2020 College Band Directors National Association North Central Conference. In addition, Nam currently serves as resident music director of the Southern Indiana Wind Ensemble. He currently serves on the national selection committee for the NBA/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest and holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, Conductor’s Guild, Indiana Music Education Association, and Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society, and is a proud member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity of America. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with his wife, Melissa, and son, Davis.

Catharine Sinon Bushman - Biographical Information

Catharine Sinon Bushman is the Wind Ensemble Conductor and Associate Professor of Music Education at St. Cloud State University. Her teaching responsibilities include Wind Ensemble, conducting and courses in music education. Dr. Bushman received a DMA in Wind Conducting at The University of Texas at Austin in 2012. She holds degrees in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University. Previously, Dr. Bushman served on the faculty of Winthrop University where she led the Symphonic Band, taught graduate and undergraduate courses in music education, and supervised student interns. Dr. Bushman was an Assistant Director of Bands at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia from 1998-2007. Her professional memberships include College Band Directors National Association, Women Band Directors International, Minnesota Music Educators Association and Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. She is a member of the Executive Council for the Institute for Composer Diversity and partner for And We Were Heard. She maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician for marching and concert bands. She has presented at the state and national level on teaching in disadvantaged communities, mentoring of women band directors, woodwind pedagogy and music by underrepresented composers. In 2016, Dr. Bushman began conducting the St. Cloud Municipal Band, an all-adult concert band that performs locally and abroad.

Vu Nguyen - Biographical Information

Vu Nguyen is an Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands at the University of the Pacific. He conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, and teaches courses in conducting and music education. He maintains an active schedule as a clinician, and he has served as guest conductor with the United States Air Force Bands of the Golden West and Mid-America, as well as regional honor bands in northern California, Connecticut, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. Ensembles under his direction have been invited to perform at state music educator conferences in California and Indiana, and most recently at the 2020 College Band Directors National Association Eastern Division Conference. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. Nguyen holds degrees in conducting from the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, and a Bachelor of Music in music education from the University of the Pacific. He also taught in the public schools of San Ramon, California. Prior to his appointment at Pacific, he was the Director of Wind Ensembles and Conducting at the University of Connecticut. In addition to his academic career, Dr. Nguyen continues to serve as an officer in the Air National Guard where he is the commander/conductor of the ANG Band of the West Coast.

Viet Cuong - Biographical Information

Called “alluring” and “wildly inventive” by The New York Times, the “irresistible” (San Francisco Chronicle) music of American composer Viet Cuong has been commissioned and performed on six continents by musicians and ensembles such as So Percussion, Eighth Blackbird, Alarm Will Sound, New York Philharmonic, PRISM Quartet, Albany Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Minnesota Orchestra, among many others. Viet’s music has been featured in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center, and his works for wind ensemble have amassed hundreds of performances worldwide. Passionate about bringing these different facets of the contemporary music community together, his upcoming projects include a concerto for Eighth Blackbird with the United States Navy Band. Viet also enjoys exploring the unexpected and whimsical in his music, and he is often drawn to projects where he can make peculiar combinations and sounds feel enchanting or oddly satisfying. His recent works thus include a snare drum solo, percussion quartet concerto, and a double oboe concerto. Currently the California Symphony’s 2020-2023 Young American Composer-in-Residence, Viet holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music (AD), Princeton University (MFA), and Peabody Conservatory (BM/MM).

Cait Nishimura - Biographical Information

Cait Nishimura (she/her) is a Canadian composer, musician, and educator based in Waterloo, Ontario. Known for writing melody-driven, programmatic music, Cait has quickly established herself as a prominent voice in the concert band community. With influences from minimalism and pop music, her work is full of simple yet lush harmonies, and themes that linger in listeners’ minds. As a lifelong environmentalist, she not only draws inspiration from the natural world but also uses her platform to advocate for conservation awareness and action.  Cait’s music has been presented at The Midwest Clinic, MusicFest Canada, and numerous other conferences and festivals across North America. Her work has become increasingly popular among educational music programs as well as within the professional new music scene, with new works being regularly commissioned and performed by ensembles and individuals around the world. Cait is committed to creating contemporary music that is approachable, relevant, and enjoyable for all, and she is passionate about setting a positive example for future generations of musicians– especially those from historically underrepresented groups– through her creative work, her social media presence, and her dedication to mental health awareness. Cait was the winner of the Canadian Band Association’s composition prize in 2017. She holds degrees in music and education from the University of Toronto, but is an advocate of people pursuing their passions regardless of their field of study. 

Jennifer Jolley - Biographical Information

Jennifer Jolley (b. 1981) is a composer, blogger, and professor person. She is also a cat lover and part-time creative opera producer. Jennifer’s work draws toward subjects that are political and even provocative. Her collaboration with librettist Kendall A, Prisoner of Conscience, has been described as “the ideal soundtrack and perhaps balm for our current ‘toxic… times’” by Frank J. Oteri of NewMusicBox. Her piece Blue Glacier Decoy, written as a musical response to the Olympic National Park, depicts the Pacific Northwest’s melting glaciers. Her partnership with writer Scott Woods, You Are Not Alone, evokes the fallout of the #MeToo Movement. Jennifer’s works have been performed by ensembles worldwide. She has received commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the University of Texas Wind Ensemble, the Quince Ensemble, and many others. Jennifer deeply values the relationship that is created between composers and the communities with whom they collaborate. She has been composer-in-residence at multiple institutions. She promotes composer advocacy through her opera company NANOWorks Opera and her articles for NewMusicBox & I CARE IF YOU LISTEN. Also, she is on the Executive Council of the Institute for Composer Diversity and the New Music USA Program Council. Jennifer joined the Texas Tech School of Music composition faculty in 2018 and has been a member of the composition faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp since 2015.

Aakash Mittal - Biographical Information

As a composer Aakash Mittal has written extensively for a variety of ensembles and mediums composing over one hundred new works. His recent commissions include, Samay Raga for Wind Ensemble for Lawrence University and a consortium of eleven international wind symphonies; Three Songs of Bengal for Grand Street High School wind ensemble (Brooklyn) and a consortium of 45 band programs; the found-sound piece Ghosts (2017) for BOMB Magazine, a work for solo percussion titled Meditation, Motion, and Melody for Indian-American percussionist David Abraham (2017). The Playground ensemble has commissioned a number of works including Urban Raga (2011), Transitions (2011), and Questions of Identity (2012). In 2009 Mittal wrote Octet on Raga Yaman for the Ethos West Chamber Orchestra. In 2012 Mittal wrote Meditation for Pictures on Silence saxophone and harp duo. American University Creative Ensemble commissioned the work Pooja, in 2013. As a leader, Mittal has self-released four recordings, Possible Beginnings, Videsh, Thumbs Up EP, and Ocean to rave reviews. Aakash Mittal’s awards and honors include the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music (2012), the Herb Albert/ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award (2013) and the American Institute of Indian Studies Creative and Performing Arts Fellowship (2013).