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December, 21, 2022
08:30 AM - 09:30 AM




Len Lavelle

Len Lavelle
Myra Rhoden

Myra Rhoden

Developing a Culture of Excellence: The Foundation for Musical Success

Clinic Synopsis:

An all-star panel, led by Bryan Christian (Director of Bands at Vista Ridge High School, Leander, Texas) focuses on the key pieces-of-the-puzzle needed to maximize program excellence. From exemplary musicianship to positive community involvement, the tenets of success are within reach for ever music culture regardless of school size and/or budgetary restrictions.

Bryan Christian - Biographical Information

Mr. Christian attended Abilene Christian University where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education in 1989.He received his Master of Arts degree in Conducting and Clarinet Performance in August of 1991 from Stephen F. Austin State University. He began his teaching career in Birdville Independent School District as Associate Director of Bands at Richland High School. After eight years at Richland, he was selected as the first Director of Bands at Stony Point High School in Round Rock ISD. Mr. Christian spent four years at Stony Point before moving to Leander ISD to open Vista Ridge High School in 2003. Under his leadership, the Vista Ridge Band has performed at the Midwest International Band Clinic, received the Sudler Shield, were the 2018 UIL 6A State Marching Band Champions, and were a 2021 BOA Grand Nationals Finalist, where they received an invitation to march in the 2023 Tournament of Roses Parade. The Vista Ridge Band was recently selected to receive the Sudler Flag of Honor from the John Philip Sousa Foundation. Mr. Christian is an active adjudicator and clinician and is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Phi Beta Mu, Mu Phi Epsilon, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Pi Kappa Lambda. Mr. Christian is also a Founding Board Member and Vice-President of the new national association, “SLAM” (Servant Leadership Association for Musicians).

Len Lavelle - Biographical Information

Len Lavelle teaches band at North Hills HS in Pittsburgh, PA and serves as the music department curriculum leader. A graduate of Duquesne University and Messiah University, he has taught instrumental music from the elementary through the college level and served as conductor of the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra Wind Symphony. Since 2011, Mr. Lavelle’s bands have been featured 5 times at the PMEA All-State Convention, 5 times at the NAfME All-East Convention, and at the National Concert Band Festival all in different years.  His bands have been recognized by the NBA as a Blue Ribbon Program of Excellence and received the 2021 American Prize. In his first 5 years at North Hills, enrollment in the marching band and orchestra nearly doubled,reaching their largest participation ever while overall school enrollment was at a historical low.Mr. Lavelle is responsible for guiding the North Hills Bands commission series, thelongest running series of its kind in the country. He has conducted the world premiere ofworks by Michael Daugherty, Julie Giroux, Philip Sparke, Timothy Mahr, Jack Stamp,Jack Frerer, and Dana Wilson, among many others.Mr. Lavelle has been recognized with the Citation of Excellence from both thePennsylvania Music Educators Association and the National Band Association. ThePittsburgh Post-Gazette has featured him as a “Newsmaker You Should Know.”Mr. Lavelle has served as a guest conductor and clinician for both school and honor groups at all levels.

Cecilia Clark - Biographical Information

Cecilia Clark, Director of Bands at Allatoona High School in Acworth, Georgia, is from Upper Marlboro, MD. She attended Duquesne University and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Music Education. Ms. Clark also received a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Duquesne. She is currently an ABD Doctoral Candidate with an emphasis in Music Education from Boston University. Ms. Clark’s professional experience includes Assistant Band Director at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, GA. Prior to joining the faculty at McEachern, Ms. Clark was the Director of Bands at Deer Lakes High School and Thomas Jefferson High School. She also taught beginning band in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Ms. Clark is in. high demand as a percussion consultant. She was also the Front Ensemble Instructor for the General Butler Vagabonds Division III Jr. Corps and the Pit Caption Head for Conquest Percussion and Project Percussion Independent Open and World Class WGI Finalists. Ms. Clark is an active adjudicator, guest conductor, and clinician. She has served on the Review Committee for the NASSP, as a member of NAfME Band Advisory Committee, and as the DTA Program Coordinator at the Music for All Summer Symposium. Her professional affiliations include the NAfME, GMEA, PAS, NBA, ASBDA, WBDI and Mu Phi Epsilon. She has received Lifetime Faculty Membership in the TRI-M Music Honor Society and the President-Elect for Servant Leadership for Music.

Myra Rhoden - Biographical Information

Dr. Myra Rhoden serves as the Band Director and Fine Arts Department Chairperson at Fayette County High School (GA) and is the founder of the Athena Music and Leadership Camp (, an all-girls band/orchestra program that was created to promote musical excellence while emphasizing leadership and team-building skills. A native of Tuskegee, Alabama, Dr. Rhoden was named the NAfME 2018 National Band Director of the Year, has been awarded the Outstanding Service to Music Award from Tau Beta Sigma, the Golden Rose Award from Women Band DIrectors International, multiple Citations of Excellence from the National Band Association, and has been named STAR Teacher and Teacher of the Year.Dr. Rhoden has been selected for presentations at The Midwest Clinic, Music for All Summer Symposium, Conn-Selmer Institute, Saskatchewan Music Conference, National Association for Music Education’s Eastern Division Conference, the Youth Orchestra of LA at the Heart of Los Angeles, and various state Music Educators Associations, colleges, clinics, and camps throughout the country. She has had the distinct pleasure of being a guest conductor for The United States Army Field Band of Washington, D. C. and the Tara Winds of Atlanta, Georgia. She is also honored to be a Conn-Selmer Educational Clinician and a member of the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. She holds degrees from the University of Alabama and the University of Southern Mississippi and resides in Fayetteville, Georgia with her husband, Errol Jr., and son, Errol III.

Bobby Lambert - Biographical Information

Bobby Lambert is Director of Bands at Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Mr. Lambert attended Western Carolina University to obtain his Bachelors Degree in music education and then the University of Massachusetts to receive a graduate assistantship and a Masters of Music Degree in saxophone performance. From 2001 until 2013, Mr. Lambert was the assistant band director at Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois where he enjoyed great success in both the marching and concert arena. In 2005, he founded the school-wide leadership program at Marian, designing the curriculum and coordinating its implementation to over 1200 students with over 50 faculty members. Drawn from the world of business, finance, and psychology, the Leadership Program curriculum gives every student practical experience with communication skills, group dynamics, and ethical leadership. Since 1997, Mr. Lambert has directed student leadership camps around the country. In 2013, Mr. Lambert headed the inaugural Bands of America Drum Major Institute at Ball State University as part of the BOA Summer Symposium. In addition to serving as consultant with several programs across the country, Mr. Lambert has worked with the All-American Marching Band sponsored by the U.S. Army and the Bands of America Tournament of Roses Marching Band. He has also served as guest conductor for honor bands in Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, and Illinois.