2005 Lowell Mason Fellows
Arthur C. Bartner
Director of Bands, University of Southern California – Designated by Walt Disney World Performing Arts Programs
Dr. Arthur C. Bartner earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in music education from the University of Michigan under the guidance of Dr. William D. Revelli. He has directed the Trojan Marching Band since 1970. Dr. Bartner’s career defining moment came when he conducted the 800-member Olympic All-American Marching Band for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Dr. Bartner has also conducted mass bands at Liberty Weekend, four Super Bowls, and Washington D.C.’s Millennium Celebration. He initiated the first high school marching band program in Toluca, Mexico, and established the “Brass Band” program at the Huis Ten Bosch Theme Park in Nagasaki, Japan. Dr. Bartner holds a regular post as the director of the Disneyland Collegiate All-Star Band. In addition to his regular Disney duties, he has also conducted ceremonies for the openings of Epcot Center in 1982 and Euro Disneyland in Paris in 1992, the 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World in 1996, and the 45th Anniversary of Disneyland in 2000.
President, Rhythm Band Instruments – Designated by Dr. Carroll Rinehart and Ms. Kay Logan
Mr. Bob Bergin graduated from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth with a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree in education. He is past president of the Music Industry Conference, past member of the National Executive Board of the Music Educators National Conference, past Music Industry Representative for the American Orff Schulwerk Association, past member of the AOSA Board of Directors, and past President’s Cabinet Member of the Music Educators National Conference. Mr. Bergin Currently serves on the MENC Advisory Council and the President’s Council for the National Association of Music Merchants.
Vice President, Sales, Rhythm Band Instruments – Designated by Dr. John Mahlmann and Ms. Ruth Ann Knapp
Ms. Laura Bergin graduated from Baylor University in Waco with a Bachelor of Science degree. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Music Industry Conference, the corporate arm of MENC. Ms. Bergin is past Music Industry Representative for the American Orff Schulwerk Association and past member of the AOSA Board of Directors. Ms. Bergin has had a place on the MENC National Executive Board for decades. She was recently cited as “Businesswoman of the Year ” in Fort Worth, Texas. In addition to coordinating the national and international sales of Rhythm Band Instruments, Ms. Bergin is responsible for all education program development and testing.
Deputy Executive Director, MENC – Designated by Fred Wheeler
Michael Blakeslee received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Virginia, where he managed the electronic music lab. He has taught at institutions of higher learning both in the United States and abroad, notably at Northern Virginia Community College, Virginia Commonwealth University, and at the The Universidad de Los Andes and the Universidad Nacional Pedagogica de Colombia. He is the composer of musical works for choral, orchestral, electronic, and chamber media, and is the author of articles on music and music education.
While working for MENC, Blakeslee has served as editor of the award-winning Music Educators Journal and of Teaching Music magazine, as editor of the National Standards for Arts Education: What Every Young American Should Know and Be Able to Do in the Arts, and editor of many MENC publications. He has also directed the development of projects using other media, including videotapes, interactive videoconferences, and the MENC site on the World Wide Web.
Blakeslee’s work at MENC has also involved overseeing a number of significant cooperative ventures resulting in the development of teachers’ materials to enhance the educational value of programs over public radio, television, and cable broadcast systems; to promote cross-curricular learning with math, science, social studies, and general education; and to encourage all decision-makers to engage more effectively in supporting music education.
He also serves as the President of American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras, a youth orchestra association based in the Washington, DC area.
MENC President (2008-2010); NCMEA Past President; MENC Past President, Southern Division – Designated by the High School Choral Section of the North Carolina Music Educators Association
Ms. Barbara Geer earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, North Carolina, and her master’s degree in music education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is past president of the Southern Division of ME NC and the North Carolina Music Educators Association, and chaired the committee for the 2001 Southern Division Conference in Louisville. Ms. Geer has served MENC as a member of the National Executive Board, Finance Committee, National Executive Committee, National Convention Task Force, Vision 20/20 Seminar, and planning committee for three National Conferences. She is currently chairing the North Carolina In-Service Conference and district vocal solo/ensemble and large choral festivals. Ms. Geer has been Music Supervisor for Secondary Music, and is currently a music consultant for choral, instrumental, and general music, in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System. She has taught vocal, instrumental, general music, and music theory at all levels. In addition to her instructional duties, she supervised the secondary band, choral, and orchestra programs in the same school system, and provided administration, supervision, and leadership for collegiates and new teachers.
Wynne J. Harrell
Past President, Missouri Music Educators Association; Past President, MENC Southwest Division – Designated by Dr. Aurelia W. Hartenberger, Dr. Belva Prather, Dr. Norma McClellan, Mr. Jerry Hoover, Mr. John G. Patterson, Mr. Charles “Bill” Maupin
Dr. Wynne J. Harrell received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Wichita State University in Kansas, and his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Missouri–Kansas City. He is currently serving on the Missouri Music Educators Association Executive Board as Executive Secretary, and has also served as the State Chair and Advisor of the CMENC/MMEA. At the national level, he has served as MENC Southwest Division President and on many policy-making committees. In total, Dr. Harrell has served as a member of the National Assembly of MENC for over 30 years. In Kansas and Missouri, his numerous years of classroom and school administration have included choral, band, orchestra and general music classes, as well as the secondary music education, teacher education, and graduate music education courses he has taught at the collegiate level. Dr. Harrell’s dedication to the profession and to the area of music education has been recognized at the state level with seven “Certificates of Merit” Awards and induction into the Missouri Music Educators “Hall of Fame.”
Ruth Ann Knapp
Past President, Michigan Music Educators Association – Designated by Dr. John Mahlmann, Ms. Marlynn Likens, Ms. Judith Reinhardt, Dr. Daniel L. Steele, Mr. Randi L’Hommedieu, Ms. Peg Van Haaren
Ms. Ruth Ann Knapp attended the University of Idaho in Moscow and received her bachelor’s of science and bachelor’s of education degrees in music education; she then attended Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant and received her master’s of education degree. Her teaching career began in Michigan in 1970, and shortly thereafter she assumed a leadership position with the Michigan Music Educators Association. She has served two terms as president, and is currently the Government Relations Officer. In 1996, Ms. Knapp became a nationally registered music educator. She has remained a frequent consultant and contributor to the work of the Michigan Department of Education, and is fine arts coordinator for the Saginaw schools, contributing her extraordinary energy and dedication to students. Ms. Knapp is a long-time member of MENC, The Michigan Youth Arts Festival Board, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Habitat for Humanity, and numerous other organizations. Awards include the Ann Sullivan Award in Special Education, MMEA “Music Teacher of the Year,” Michigan Educators Association Multicultural Education, NAACP “Most Valued Member,” the MMEA “Award of Merit,” and the Michigan Youth Arts Festival “Administrator of the Year” award.
Charles T. Menghini
Associate Professor, President & Director of Bands, VanderCook College of Music – Designated by Mr. George Quinlan, Jr.
Dr. Charles T. Menghini received his bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Missouri–Columbia. He also earned a master’s degree in secondary school administration and his Doctor of Musical Arts in instrumental conducting from the University of Missouri–Kansas City. Dr. Menghini is a frequent national and international guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and guest speaker. He has received two National Band Association Citations of Excellence, the Bandworld Legion of Honor, and the Chicago Outstanding Music Educator Award. Dr. Menghini is the former lead trumpet player for the Kansas City Chiefs Professional Football Band. He is a member of the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic Conventions Committee. Dr. Menghini is former Director of Bands for Olathe North High School in Olathe, Kansas, and has taught in public schools in Kansas and Missouri for 18 years.
Trombonist and Clinician – Designated by Mr. Tom Lee
Mr. David Steinmeyer is one of the world’s most sought-after jazz trombonists. He was a United States Air Force musician for 28 years, spending 24 of those years playing lead trombone with the Airmen of Note, and ten years as the group’s director. He has produced ten big band jazz albums with the Airmen of Note and is a featured jazz soloist on the album LEGACY, recorded after his retirement. The group frequently recorded albums with noted artists including Sarah Vaughn, Joe Williams, and Frank Sinatra. The White House has requested that he perform for seven Presidents, including the most recent, George W. Bush. In addition, Mr. Steinmeyer is a world-renowned clinician, making guest appearances as far away as Sydney, Australia, where he was a guest soloist at the Sydney Opera House. In the United States he appears frequently as a clinician for Leblanc in high schools, colleges, conventions, and jazz festivals. His clinics cover subjects including trombone technique, ensemble playing, military music as a career, and alcohol/drug-free lifestyle. Mr. Steinmeyer is known for his high-range ballad style of playing and his dedication to working with young musicians.
Vice President, Walt Disney World Entertainment & Costuming – Designated by Walt Disney World Performing Arts Programs
Mr. Rich Taylor holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, where he was honored as the University’s Outstanding Graduating Senior of 1972. He founded and directed the OU Student Entertainers, performed in theatrical productions, and was active in Univer sity Sing. Mr. Taylor began his career with Walt Disney World as a Stage Manager in the Magic Kingdom. He has served in several positions, including Director of Entertainment for Disneyland Paris, and is currently Vice President of Walt Disney World Entertainment & Costuming. Before joining Disney, he spent ten years with the Fred Waring Pennsylvanians as a featured soloist and choral singer, and served in several positions within the Waring organization. He also founded “Today’s Pennsylvanians,” a contemporary vocal/show ensemble within the Waring show. Today he is a much sought after and acclaimed high school and college choral and show choir clinician and adjudicator. Mr. Taylor currently serves on the MENC Advisory Council; as co-chairman of Fred Waring’s America Advisory Board at Pennsylvania State University; is a member of the Resource Council for the Florida State University School of Motion Picture, Television, and Recording; and is a member of the University of Oklahoma College of Fine Arts Advisory Board.