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The 2016 registration is now open. Pre-registration rates are as follows:
$120 Early Bird Director Rate
Through Sept. 23rd
$150 Pre-conference Director Rate
Through Dec. 2nd
$85 First Time Attendee Rate
Through Dec. 2nd
$50 College Student Rate
Through Dec. 2nd


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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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2010 Midwest Clinicians

  • "It Don't Mean a Thing, if Your 'Bones ain't Got Swing!"


    Educators attending our clinic will walk away with many ideas of improving their high school or college big band trombone section. Some of the topics we explore are section blend, balance, intonation, style and how the bone section fits in with the rest of the ensemble.
  • 'They Have a New Band Director Again?' Who is Leaving the Profession, Why Are They Leaving, What is it Like on the Other Side, and Why Are So Many Coming Back to the Podium?


    If we conceive of band director attrition as an illness, we find that there are many solutions to inoculating the profession. Results from national studies predict the retention of music teachers, reveal unexpected reasons for leaving the field, prescribe solutions for returning former directors to the podium, and reveal that the grass isn’t always greener in another profession!
  • “Basic Training” for Bassoonists: Develop Beautiful Tone, Accurate Intonation, and Confident Technique in Your Bassoon Students


    Are your bassoon students on par with flute, clarinet, and saxophone students? The information presented during the clinic will include methods for developing excellent fundamental skills and significantly increased performance ability. This clinic will be particularly valuable for those wishing to build strong double reed sections in their ensembles, prepare students for All- State Solo and Ensemble competitions, college auditions, and students wishing to improve their ability on the bassoon.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • A Conversation With Colonel John R. Bourgeois



  • A Conversation with Mark Kelly


    The Midwest Clinic’s moderated conversation sessions provide an opportunity to hear some of our great creative forces share experiences and insights. This conversation will be moderated by Edward S. Lisk, Director of Bands and K-12 Music Supervisor (Retired) of the Oswego City School District.
  • A Discussion of William Bolcom’s First Symphony for Band


    William Bolcom discusses his First Symphony for Band (2008), a work commissioned by the Big Ten Band Directors’ Association and premiered by the University of Michigan Symphony Band. The session provides a look into a symphony grounded in the youth and exuberance of our band culture, which is younger than the “culture of orchestra” and historically more oriented to outdoor events/occasions. Moderated by Michael Haithcock, this clinic features the U.S. Marine Band (COL Colburn, Conductor).
  • A Sure Start for Beginning Bassists



  • Achieving an Artistic Vibrato in the String Class


    Vibrato has been identified as an essential component in creating an expressive and musical performance on string instruments. This session will review pedagogical literature and compare various approaches to obtaining a beautiful vibrato. Video clips of artist-level performers in real time and slow motion will be presented to clearly outline the component motions of a beautiful vibrato. Practical applications for intermediate and advanced orchestras will be discussed.
  • Adding Value to the Student Teaching Experience


    Student teaching should be one of the most valuable educational experiences in a university student’s life; unfortunately this is often not the case. Student teachers and mentor teachers alike can benefit from this clinic that addresses many crucial questions impacting the value and effectiveness of the student teaching experience. These important issues will be addressed in this engaging clinic designed to benefit collegians preparing to student teach, as well as prospective mentor teachers.
  • All In


    Public schools need open-ended, multi-stylistic music education. Using the Dekaney HS Wind Ensemble to demonstrate, the clinician will model "All In," an educational initiative which treats music (not limited to classical music) as irreducible, valid, & worthy of exploration. The “band room” becomes the music room, a gateway to musical possibilities. Accepting the students' musical values as a point of departure, the teacher introduces many forms of performance, composition, and improvisation.
  • Avoiding Drama on Performance Day


    This session, intended for young band and orchestra directors, targets the non-musical and logistical preparations leading up to festival and contest performances. Using the format and computer graphics from the popular ESPN show, Pardon The Interruption, Musella and Wells use humor and straight-forward discussion to remind young teachers that a successful performance can be compromised if certain details are not properly covered in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the big event.
  • Band Geeks and Science Nerds: Taking Chamber Music from the Stage to the Classroom


    Experienced in the field of arts integration and narrative chamber music, Fifth House Ensemble presents three programs that aim to enliven the Science standards through chamber music as an example of how music and classroom teachers can collaborate to support diversity in learning.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Beginning Flute Syndrome: The Cause and the Cure


    Contrary to popular belief, good flute tone is possible from the very beginning! This interactive, hands-on session will address the reasons behind poor tone in beginners (or flutists of any level who struggle with producing a clear tone). Practical tips as well as a systematic and progressive sequence of instruction will be presented that will help band directors and beginning flute teachers increase their percentage of success.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Beyond Measure Seven: Lessons That Linger


    Public schools need open-ended, multi-stylistic music ed. Using a demo group, the clinician will model "ALL IN," an educational initiative which treats music, not limited to classical music, as irreducible, valid, & worthy of exploration. The “band room” becomes the music room, a gateway to musical possibilities. Accepting the musical values of the iPod generation as a point of departure, the teacher can introduce myriad forms of musical performance, composition, and improvisation.
  • Body Mechanics for Conductors


    Jenn Averil will give helpful body training suggestions to conductors to improve podium posture and to avoid injuries. She will also provide information on good nutrition for healthy living.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Chamber Music - The Path to Excellence in Your Band


    This clinic focuses on using chamber music as a medium to help students improve their technique and musicianship, as well as their ensemble etiquette, confidence and leadership. It explores long-term benefits of chamber music such as personal growth and ability to work as a team. It will demonstrate how these same chamber music techniques can be paralleled in large ensemble rehearsals, thus showing how a chamber music approach to large ensemble can create a more rewarding musical experience.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Clarinet Technique 101: It is a Requirement, not an Elective


    Clarinet Technique is required at a level that continues to grow and expand. Students also need technique to perform standard band works with the required finger and tongue agility. This clinic will give concrete exercises to cement strong technique, expand finger and tongue agility, a system for teaching extended techniques. Clinic will focus on basic concepts, how they are used, and well as specific daily exercises, to increase technical facility on the clarinet.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Developing the Expressive Bow: Strategies for All Levels of Instruction


    How do some students perform with a beautiful tone quality? It’s not always an expensive instrument. How do some students perform with incredible musicality? It’s not because they are innately more talented. Why do my students “rush”? It’s not always performance anxiety. This session will discuss the development of the expressive and rhythmic part of string instruments: the bow. Strategies and procedures will be discussed and demonstrated so all students may perform with artistry and confidence.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Ergonomic Set-Up: Chin- and Shoulder-Rest Choices for Violin/Viola


    We all have different body-types and needs when we make music. Let’s look at all the issues that determine instrument position and support: postural habits, muscle memory; joint and muscle function; personalizing the equipment, and 4 variables for placement: horizontal, vertical, tilt, and angle. Emphasis will be placed on creating a dynamic (rather than static), well-supported, pain-free dance with your instrument. Then we’ll relate this to specifics for violin/viola.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Excellence in Cymbal Sounds: A Conductor’s “Crash Course”


    Cymbals appear in every genre from marches to Opera yet are often ignored or misunderstood. This clinic examines effective strategies from the podium to "fine tune" sound quality and musicality. More than playing technique, it explores selecting cymbals for the “right” sound, how conductor’s gestures or terminology can “communicate,” placement and balance in the ensemble, sound projection, effects/colors/sounds, effective suspended cymbal possibilities and understanding notation in the score.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Fired Up for Orchestra


    We all know how difficult it is to hold on to our string students. Thousands of string players are lost to other "cooler" activities as they enter high school. We have the secret to holding on to them! Along with our demo group from the Clear Lake ISD, we will share our experiences of over 10 years working in the string education field by integrating improvisation, computer technology, electric instruments, and arrangements of rock music that keep students excited about coming to orchestra!
  • Great Two-Track Recordings – A Low-Cost Recording Solution Using A Hand-Held Digital Recorder and Open-Source Software


    Every ensemble director has the need to make great sounding, low-cost/low-effort recordings; however, most ensemble directors do not have the luxury of having high-end audio studios, money available for recording sessions, nor copious amounts of their students' time to dedicate to making the perfect recording. By utilizing many of the newer "hand held" digital recording devices and the power of open-source audio software the ability to make excellent recordings has never been easier.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Growing Your Ensemble's Ensemble


    Exploring various aspects of technical growth and ensemble playing in your orchestra rehearsal, focusing on festival preparation. Addresses the festival scoring rubric while maintaining the principles of comprehensive musicianship.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Herding Cats: A Guide For Classroom Management in the Middle School Band Room


    Herding Cats, an old southern expression, describes the difficulties of trying to guide cats to a specific place. Their nature makes this effort frustrating and futile. What does this have to do with middle school band? There are interesting and humorous comparisons. Middle schoolers are often ruled by fleeting emotions. Individual dramas can take valuable time away from rehearsal. However, middle school students are enthusiastic, creative, talented, and capable of amazing things once "herded."
  • Instituting Change in Beginning Instrumental Music Pedagogy


    This musically interactive session will feature current research and a great deal of common sense about how children learn music and the impact such information is having on beginning instrumental music pedagogy. Of interest to all levels of instrumental instruction, the session will have particular relevance to those who teach beginning instrumental music or instrumental methods and techniques courses at the college level.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • It's All About the Clarity: Exploring Practical Ideas for Developing a Superior Ensemble Sound


    It’s All About the Clarity:
    Exploring Practical Ideas in Developing Superior Ensemble Sound
    A practical, "how-to” session exploring concept-based instructional practices designed to develop a superior ensemble sound with resonance and clarity. The clinic will discuss time-tested tools, resources, and warm-ups to quantify abstract, subjective concepts thus making them more concrete for students.

    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Jazz Ensemble Direction from Junior High to Professional Big Bands: Everything I Wish I Had Learned as a Music Education Major


    A successful music educator must be a jack of all musical trades which includes that of a jazz educator/performer. This session offers the opportunity to observe new ideas on teaching the younger rhythm section, younger horn players and advanced techniques towards college students. Blend, swing, time and most of all, beginning improvisation. Where to start even if you have never played jazz before.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Jazz Trumpet 101: Chops, Improv, Technique and Style


    Covers how to develop on jazz trumpet, how to be heard and play with impact! How to build solid tone production and range without damage to chops, continues with adapting brass technical needs to learning jazz skills and style. Exercises demonstrated, & questions answered as they come up. More than scales, we discuss playing lines over chord changes in style. We will also discuss lead trumpet playing, articulation, style & leadership skills. Handouts with example solos, lead trumpet exercises.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Let’s Play That Back! Record Your Group Every Day with Easy, Affordable Technology


    Your rehearsal room can now be an inexpensive, permanent recording studio with today’s software that’s easy to use right from the podium. Veteran music producer Paul Lavender takes directors through the newest, easy and affordable steps to record rehearsals, play back for instruction, and to record concerts; as well as create high-quality audition recordings, fundraiser CDs, podcasts and website recordings.
  • Low Brass 101: Building a Sound Foundation


    This clinic is designed to give you some simple exercises and comments to make to your students that will elicit the sounds you want to hear. Each of the items listed below will be discussed and demonstrated. Techniques for starting and switching to tuba and euphonium as well as bass trombone basics will be included. Though each of the analogies was developed while instructing beginning students, I still use them with college age students today.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Marches: The Key to a Successful Band


    One of the judges of a good band is how well they perform marches. Marches are part of the heritage of the band, but they are also excellent tools to improve tone, technique, balance, blend, intonation, and musicianship. This clinic will show you how to use them as an essential part of your rehearsal strategies. Demonstrations will be given by the Carlton J. Kell High School Wind Symphony.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Midwest Clinic Performance Application Clinic


    This presentation and question-and answer session will provide detailed information on Midwest Clinic application and performance procedures.
  • Midwest Clinic Performance Application Clinic


    This presentation and question-and answer session will provide detailed information on Midwest Clinic application and performance procedures.
  • Music Education in the 21st Century: New Rules


    As a profession, how will we define superior music education in the 21st century? Are we doing enough? Do new things make for new ways of seeing? Is it possible to connect daily instruction to the Big Picture? Through story, data, and innovative models, this session will explore incomparable strategies for advancing music education and encouraging the study and making of music by all.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Music of the Mind, Body and Spirit: Bringing Music to Life


    Barry Green presents a new, innovative methodology for channeling life, spirit, and energy through the body of the performer! This session presents three master skills—breath, pulse, and movement—that contribute to the magical spirit from the greatest of performers. YouTube clips illuminate how famous jazz, hip-hop, Latin, classical, and chamber music artists, including Joshua Bell, Oscar Petersen, and maestro Leonard Bernstein use these master body skills bringing music to life.
  • Old Wine in New Bottles: Sources of Inspiration to Make Teaching More Efficient, Interesting, Innovative...and Fun


    This clinic seeks to inspire and inform by presenting creative ways to teach "outside of the box." Topics covered include rehearsal techniques from beginning to advanced levels, recharging the creative batteries while developing better podium communication, finding sources of inspiration, going beyond the notes...why music is our passion.
  • Partial to the Winds


    This clinic delves into an important teaching tool that can assist many aspects of wind band or ensemble rehearsal. By learning the overtone series, the director soon knows nearly every fingering for every instrument and all pitch problems as related to overtone theory, valve combinations and woodwind fingering concepts. Directors will be able to utilize our Ultimate Pursuit testing and feedback system to learn over 30 other teaching area and have access to a new auto-correction rehearsal tool.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Pedagogical Tips for Trombone Performance Excellence


    I will share pedagogical approaches regarding trombone performance. Areas to be covered include but are not limited to tone production, slide technique, range development, double and triple tonguing, lip slurs, and specific age appropriate repertoire/literature for classroom use and musicianship growth.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Percussion Throwdown! Challenging Your Percussion Section to Use Their Finest Ingredients


    This masterclass addresses how to foster expression and musical sensitivity in a high school percussion section. Similar to a 3-course meal, a well-prepared percussion section has to have all the fixin's, including great organizational skills and musical intuition. This session will layout a simple 3-step process that engages percussion students mentally and demands that they produce an expressive sound and interpretation in rehearsal and performance.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Ride Cymbal Dance Party with Matt Wilson


    The jazz drummer offers the band the beauty of swing through the beat and sound of the ride cymbal. In this workshop I will present concepts that will help your drummer convey the beat with presence, clarity, intention and love. We will hear the cymbal and the beauty of the point, spread and space of the beat. We will also explore orchestrating with different ride cymbal sounds to enhance and support the melody of time offered to the band. A good time will be had by all! (You dig?)
  • Rolland, Suzuki, Galamian...and Strolling?


    This clinic/performance will illustrate the principles and pedagogies of Paul Rolland, Shinichi Suzuki and Ivan Galamian in an "inspired concept" of teaching strings through the strolling strings experience. With The Golden Strings, a strolling ensemble from Tremper High School (WI), Nosal will present performance and practice techniques used to develop a solid foundation and skills that are crucial to symphonic playing at the high school level and beyond.
  • Saxophonic Switch-Hitting: Jazz and Legit - You Can Do It


    The clinic will feature performances by the Osland Saxophone Quartet in both jazz and classical styles. Topics of discussion will include: stylistic concerns when performing in jazz or classical settings, equipment needs, embouchure adjustments, performance configurations and where to find the right music for your middle school, high school and college saxophone quartets.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • School Funding, Scheduling and Reform: Is There a Crisis for Music?


    At a time when we have the best research in history supporting the value of music education many programs across the country are fighting for their lives in the face of scheduling, graduation requirement and funding issues. The panel will provide information concerning issues in various parts of the country, and provide insight into ideas that are working to sustain programs and behaviors that may not be in the best interest of music educators.
  • Sculpting 101: The First Year of Band Instrument Class


    I believe that in every child there is a "David". When asked how he created his masterpiece, Michelangelo replied that he found a large piece of marble and simply took away everything that was not David. Is that not what we as teachers do? We "chip away" every day until the young musician emerges. Teachers of beginning instrumentalists must have a vision just as Michelangelo did; and the "sculpting tools" necessary to reveal the “masterpiece” in each and every student.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Secret Ingredients to Successful Jazz Improvisation: 12+ Ways to Reinvent a Melody


    Improvisation is easily taught if the basic processes of music perception and creativity are understood. Memory, melodic reinvention, jazz ornamentation, blues vocabulary and style are key. The clinician will present a step by step method of teaching jazz improvisation to beginners (of all ages). Special attention will be paid to techniques which are practical and “student friendly."
  • Selection of Literature... Dilemma or Opportunity?


    How to better select literature to fill the skill and cognitive development needs of students while creating interesting programs and assuring "goodness of fit" to match the musical and skill abilities of the ensemble.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • So Much Music, So Little Time: Making Wise Choices for Young Bands


    With over 1,000 new band works published yearly, it becomes increasingly difficult for directors to find appropriate and worthwhile music. Composer/arranger Michael Sweeney discusses key elements to look for (and avoid) when selecting music for young players. Factors such as instrumentation, rhythmic complexity, ranges, keys, duration, and pacing are examined. Also discussed are some not-so-obvious elements hidden in the scoring, plus intangibles such as musical content and lasting value.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Sound Concepts for the Saxophonist


    A formula for the production of a good characteristic saxophone tone and technique development involves several areas of attention. This presentation for teachers and students at all levels provides the nuts and bolts, and pedagogical approaches to both areas. Among the issues pertaining to solo and ensemble situations, the clinic will focus on basic fundamentals for success. Included with the presentation and handout will be several brief performance demonstrations and trouble-shooting tips.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Sound Ideas on Playing the Trumpet


    This clinic will present proven methods for instructing and developing the beginning to advanced high school trumpet student. The curriculum will present strategies for teaching proper breathing, mouthpiece placement, sound quality, embouchure development, the development of vibrato, finger dexterity, single, double, and triple tonguing, and low to high range expansion through the use of a good sound and strong playing basics.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Start Early: Building a Successful Elementary String Program Beginning in Kindergarten


    This session will explore how the components of an elementary string program with “early-start” kindergarten Suzuki violin lessons working in collaboration with “traditional” note reading lessons (beginning in third grade) intertwine to create a vibrant elementary orchestra with outstanding intonation, musicality, and tone quality; leading to high levels of enthusiasm, confidence, recruitment, and retention.
  • String Cleaning: How to Build Your Students' Technique Really Fast


    A practical approach to basic string technique, Constance Barrett uses her vast experience as a concert cellist and Suzuki teacher active in the public schools combined with her work as a Certified Body Mapping Instructor to offer strategies in how to make immediate improvements to both your playing of a stringed instrument as well as to that of your students.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Suzuki and Traditional Methods: Recognizing the Advantages of Diverse Learning Styles in String Programs


    Understanding learning sequences is essential when teaching music in any setting. Suzuki and traditionally trained students process music very differently. Burrell and Vosdoganes will explore the differences between visual/physical learners and aural/physical learners and offer suggestions for enhancing the learning experience of all students in a classroom or private studio that contains both types of musicians.
  • The Key To Creativity: Think Like a Kid


    A presentation on a method Colgrass created for using graphic notation to teach children and music teachers how to create music. This program is designed so that the teachers can quickly apply this method without a composer being present. Participants will create and sing their own graphic piece on the spot using this creativity process.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • The Making of a Star! Simple Ways to Improve Your Oboist


    Discover six unique features of the oboe! Gather tips for improving oboe players. Obtain a system of "checks" for implementing these ideas.
  • The Midwest Jazz Interview with TS Monk


    Get ready for a rabble-rousing, entertaining personal history of jazz. Drummer TS Monk, the son of the great Thelonious Monk, sits down with DownBeat magazine's Frank Alkyer to discuss his music, his father and the 25th anniversary of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. Monk leads one of the hardest driving jazz bands around as well as serving as an active lobbyist for jazz education as the chairman of the board of trustees at the Monk Institute.
  • The Most Important Things Your Drummers Need To Know (But Maybe You Forgot To Tell Them...)


    The keys to successfully performing as a drummer in a jazz ensemble have changed little over time but as styles change, the fundamentals become more important and often more elusive. Musicianship, listening skills, style awareness, proper set-up and dynamic contrast are but a few essential components of an outstanding young player. Through basic suggestions and simple techniques, this clinic will provide information that the conductor can apply immediately.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • The Music Score Is the Curriculum


    This session will feature ideas and concepts for teaching comprehensive musicianship in rehearsal through repertoire. Topics include selecting/evaluating quality music, strategies for teaching music in rehearsal, developing a rehearsal plan, effective use of rehearsal time, teacher responsibilities, several curricular models based on literature selection, and strategies for teaching comprehensive musicianship.
  • The Secret is Revealed: Japanese Ideas for Band Teaching and Their Practical Use for Your Classroom


    In Japan, some unique and effective ideas have been applied in band teaching, which are fundamental exercises of ensemble, rehearsals organized by students, and "elders teach beginners" system. The results of such teaching ideas have been demonstrated by amazing performances of Japanese school bands. This clinic will focus on such unique educational concepts of Japanese band and discuss how to share them with band and orchestra students in the US. Some examples will be presented by DVDs.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • The Way to a Dynamic Performance; Conductor as Teacher and Artist



    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • The Why of What We Do


    This clinic will focus on the important role music educators play in the positive growth and development of their students. Optimum learning happens in a safe, challenging, and encouraging environment. If we are to tap into the intrinsic motivation of our students we must establish a forum-of-learning that opens their hearts as well as their minds. Music is an expressionistic subject affording each student the chance to explore his/her unlimited artistic potential.
  • This Rehearsal Is Available to You in High Definition


    This clinic is designed to help young music teachers best use their time and energy during rehearsal.
  • Tools and Strategies for Success in Teaching Beginning Band


    The Rice Middle School Band staff will share tools that they have developed over the years for planning, motivating, assessing, and communicating in beginning band classes that have proven successful in developing a strong middle school band program. The focus will be on authentic documents, including objective sheets, assignment sheets, weekly theory sheets, testing rubrics, practice records, and performance evaluation sheets.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Transforming Trumpet Players into Horn Players


    This clinic will give a step-by-step process for the successful transformation of a trumpet player into a horn player. Many music educators find themselves with too many trumpet players and not enough horn players. Thus, this transformation is a common occurrence, but not always a successful one. This clinic will help teachers erase those “trumpet traits” that remain, and set their horn players on a path to success.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • What To Do and How To Prepare for the College Audition: A Musicians' Guide


    A successful college audition is the first step in pursuing professional musical studies. This session offers advice about planning, preparation, and the audition performance. In addition to displaying musical talents at the highest level, taking private lessons, and selecting audition music, students and parents need to plan a college visit, to meet admissions and financial aid officers, a music major advisor and professor, and to visit the studio. The clinic includes a mock audition.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • When We Change the Way We Look at Things, the Things We Look at Change


    This clinic will focus on the important role music educators play in the positive growth and development of their students. Optimum learning happens in a safe, challenging, and encouraging environment. If we are to tap into the intrinsic motivation of our students we must establish a forum-of-learning that opens their hearts as well as their minds. Music is an expressionistic subject affording each student the chance to explore his/her unlimited artistic potential.
  • You Too Can Be A Barrier Breaker


    Byrne’s Message – “You Too Can Be A Barrier Breaker!" is told through his story of including Patrick Henry Hughes and his dad in the marching band. Patrick is blind and bound to a wheelchair. This story has been featured in a wide variety of national publications and broadcasting media. Topics to be addressed: 1) Preparing yourself before the moment arrives 2) Mainstreaming 3) Embracing challenges as opportunities 4) Letting the program be larger than the individual.
    Download the PDF Handout 1