Board Of Directors - Antonio Garcia
Has Attended the Midwest Clinic: I am unsure! My first Midwest was likely 1987 or 1988, and I became a regular soon after.
Joined the Board of Directors in: 1994
A Life in Music: I've enjoyed a varied career as a performer, composer/arranger, producer, clinician, and author in instrumental and vocal genres. I serve as Director of Jazz Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. It's been my delight to have performed with over 70 renowned artists including Ella Fitzgerald, George Shearing, Mel Torme, Doc Severinsen, Dave Brubeck, Louie Bellson, and Phil Collins. I serve as Associate Jazz Editor of the International Trombone Association Journal and as a member of the board of The Midwest Clinic. Previously I served as Editor of the IAJE Jazz Education Journal and in various other IAJE roles. My career has taken me to present clinics and perform in Canada, Europe, Australia, South Africa, and the Middle East. I've been honored to have received grants from Meet The Composer, the Thelonious Monk Institute, The Commission Project, the Council for Basic Education, and others to work in residencies in various high school and middle schools. In 1992 I was nominee for CASE “U.S. Professor of the Year.” My compositions have been published by Kjos, Kendor, Doug Beach, Walrus, UNC Jazz Press, Three-Two Music, and my own company. My five-book collection “Cutting the Changes: Jazz Improvisation via Key Centers” (Kjos Music) is probably my biggest project to date. I also served as Co-Editor/Contributing Author of "Teaching Jazz: A Course of Study" (published by MENC). Previous to VCU, I served as Associate Professor and Coordinator of Combos at Northwestern University, where I taught jazz and integrated arts, was Jazz Coordinator for the National High School Music Institute, and for four years directed the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Formerly the Coordinator of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University, I was selected by students and faculty there as the recipient of a 1992 “Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching” award. If you haven't already read far too much about me here, feel free to browse my web site at for more information.
Favorite Midwest Moments: It's hard to beat the performances themselves. It is indescribably wonderful to hear especially the youngest student musicians create such expressive music for all to hear. A superb middle school ensemble can make all my little hairs stand up--or bring me to tears. The clinics can be just as educational--and sometimes just as moving, when you observe a demonstration student or ensemble grow before your eyes and ears under the guidance of a terrific clinician. The exhibit hall offers row after row of virtually every applicable instrument and accessory, technique book, concert music, computer resource, uniform, festival-tour route, and fund-raising avenue. I look forward each year to touring as much of the Exhibit Hall as I can, though my Midwest Board duties often limit my time there. Where else can you reunite with any of hundreds of other directors in your field--and ask them specific questions and receive instant responses? Where else can you suddenly encounter that cross-country colleague you have waited so long to meet–-or bump into a musical legend among the 14,000 or so visitors that come to Midwest? I think if I singled out a single performance, clinician, or meeting I might only slight all the others unintentionally. But I will say that Midwest is a place that memories are made--which is why my wife enjoys coming as well. I will also say that it is a privilege to serve on the Midwest Board with such dedicated, selfless individuals as each of my colleagues there and on the Midwest staff are. Some of my best memories of The Midwest Clinic have occured not at the public events but in observing through the Board meetings how gifted these individuals are and what talents they bring to this venerable conference. Of course, we're also pleased when those meetings END!
Hopes for Midwest Clinic Attendees: Inspiration, education, heightened musicianship, new professional contacts and resources, and as much energy as they need to fuel themselves through the remainder of the academic year and more! It is also wonderful when Midwest inspires an attendee to apply to present a clinic or to bring his or her ensemble to perform at Midwest. This continues the cycle in which Midwest attendees prove to be their own best inspiration while inspiring others around them.
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