Peter Boonshaft – Concert Band
Called one of the most exciting and exhilarating voices in music education today, Peter Loel Boonshaft has been invited to speak or conduct in every state in the nation and around the world. He is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise, as well as his first book for all educators, Teaching with Passion, Purpose and Promise. He is also co-author of Alfred Music Publishing’s new beginning method book series, Sound Innovations for Band and Sound Innovations for Strings, as well as Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development for Intermediate Concert Band and Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development for Advanced Concert Band. Honored by the National Association for Music Education and Music For All as the first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education,” he is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he is Professor of Music and Director of the Graduate Conducting Program.
Dr. Boonshaft has received official proclamations from the Governors of five states and a Certificate of Appreciation from former President Ronald Reagan, as well as performing for former President and Mrs. George H. W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton, and for Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. His honors also include being selected three times as a National Endowment for the Arts “Artist in Residence,” three times awarded Honorary Life Membership in the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and being selected for the Center for Scholarly Research and Academic Excellence at Hofstra University.
Extremely active as a guest conductor, clinician and speaker for conferences, festivals, concerts and workshops nationally and internationally, he has guest conducted the NAfME (The National Association for Music Education) All-Eastern Band, NAfME All-Northwest Band, NAfME All-Eastern Directors Band, Goldman Memorial Band, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Band, U.S. Marine Band New Orleans, Western International Band Clinic, Prague Castle Guard/Czech Police Symphonic Band, and was named conductor of the NAfME National High School Honors Band. In addition, he has been an adjudicator and clinician for the Music For All/Bands of America National Concert Band Festival.
He has served as a speaker for the Canadian Music Educators Association National Convention, NAfME National Conference, American Band College, Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, Music For All/Bands and Orchestras of America Symposium, Samuel Barber Institute for Music Educators, Music Education Center of America, East Asia Regional Council of Schools in China, Singapore Ministry of Education Band Conference, Conn-Selmer Institute, KIPP National School Summit, NESA Council of Overseas Schools Conference in Thailand, and as keynote speaker for the NAfME Northwest Division Conference, NAfME Southern Division Conference, European Music Educators Convention, National Convention of the American String Teachers Association, National Convention of the American School Band Directors Association, ACDA Western Division Conference, Maryborough Music Conference of Australia, National Conference of the Organization of American Kodály Educators, and numerous international, national, state and regional music education conferences.
Rollo Dilworth – Mixed Choir
Rollo Dilworth is Associate Professor of Choral Music Education and Chair of the Music Education Department at Temple University’s Boyer School of Music and Dance in Philadelphia, PA. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in choral music education, he serves as conductor for the University Chorale. Prior to his appointment at Temple, Dilworth served as Director of Choral Activities and Music Education at North Park University in Chicago, IL for 13 years.
Dr. Dilworth holds degrees from Case Western Reserve University, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Northwestern University. He has written and/or arranged over 150 choral works that are currently in print. His choral compositions are a part of the Henry Leck Creating Artistry Choral Series with Hal Leonard Corporation and Colla Voce Music Company. He has recently published pieces with the Santa Barbara Music Publishing Company as part of the Mary Alice Stollak Choral Series.
Dilworth is a contributing author for the Essential Elements for Choir and the Experiencing Choral Music textbook series, both published by the Hal Leonard Corporation/Glencoe/McGraw-Hill Publications, and for Music Express! Teachers Magazine. He authored a book of choral warm-ups for elementary and secondary choral ensembles entitled Choir Builders: Fundamental Vocal Techniques for General and Classroom Use. Dilworth has co-authored another choral warm-up book entitled Choir Builders for Growing Voices.
He frequently serves as a guest conductor and/or clinician for honors, festival and all-state choirs throughout the United States and abroad. Dilworth is an active member of the National Conference for Music Education (NAfME), the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM), and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Dilworth is a life member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and currently serves on the Eastern Division ACDA Board as Repertoire and Standards Chair for Student and Youth Activities. He serves as National Board Chair of Chorus America.
Miriam Burns – Symphony Orchestra
MIRIAM BURNS has been on staff with the New York Philharmonic as one of their Cover Conductors from 1999-2007, having been appointed by Kurt Masur as a result of a competitive audition by-invi tation-only. In this capacity, she accompanied the orchestra on tour to the Far East in 2002 as the tour Assistant Conductor to then new Music Director, Lorin Maazel, and for eight years was entrusted as an assistant conductor on call for countless specific, fully prepared programs under many guest conductors of international repute.
Ms. Burns is the new Music Director and Conductor of the McLean Orchestra (VA) and has been the Music Director of the Orchestra of the Redeemer in New York City since 1995. Recent prior Music Directorships include highly successful tenures with the Tallahassee Symphony (2006-12), Lawton Philharmonic (2000-2005) and the Kenosha Symphony (1996-2011, now Music Director Emerita). Versatile in all genres, she is active on operatic stages as well, having conducted opera at the MasterWorks Festival and having been Associate Music Director of the Bronx Opera Company – conducting opening nights – for nine years. Ms. Burns has performed with two-time Grammy winner Sylvia McNair, and has conducted oratorio with prominent Metropolitan Opera soloists such as Ben Heppner, Heidi Grant Murphy, Angela Brown, Mark Delavan, Mark Oswald and others, and is committed to the furthering of musical education of all generations. She is currently on the conducting roster of Broadway Pops International, Inc. through which she recently guest conducted Broadway stars Austin Miller, Leah Hocking and Elvis Impersonator Shawn Klush in two performances with the Memphis Symphony during Elvis Week.
Increasingly in demand as a guest conductor throughout the United States and abroad, Ms. Burns’ international debut occurred with the Bournemouth Symphony, in three concerts throughout the south of England. Her debut in Germany in 2003 involved conducting at the Stadthalle in Wuppertal, the First Ladies Symphony Orchestra of Poland, and in 2006, Ms. Burns conducted performances with the YinQi Symphony Orchestra as well as the Shih-Chien University Orchestra of Taiwan. Highlights of guest conducting within the US include appearances with orchestras such as the Memphis Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, Mansfield Symphony, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, Billings Youth Orchestra, MasterWorks Festival, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, C.W. Post Summer Music Festival, Skaneateles Festival and the All-State Orchestras of New York, Florida, Tennessee and Ohio.
Ms. Burns has received conducting awards from the Aspen Music Festival, studying with Paul Vermel, and the Conductors Guild, where she was unanimously presented in 1989 with their prestigious biennial prize, the Thelma Robinson Scholarship. In addition to her professional affiliations, she completed the Artist Diploma Fellowship in Yale University’s eminent Conductor Apprentice Program upon special invitation of Yale faculty. In this capacity, she regularly worked with noted mentor conductors such as Gunther Herbig, Lawrence Leighton Smith and Eleazar de Carvallho. She also participated in master classes under the tutelage of prominent guests such as Kurt Masur, Leopold Hager and Zdenek Macal. Ms. Burns completed her Masters degree and Professional Studies in Orchestral Conducting on full scholarship at the Mannes College of Music (NY), where she studied with Yakov Kreizberg and Michael Charry. Previously active as a violinist, she holds both Bachelors and Masters degrees in violin performance from Mannes, during which time she began preliminary conducting studies with Semyon Bychkov. Ms. Burns is an alumna of both the New York String Orchestra Seminar under Alexander Schneider and The Quartet Program. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Burns was an original member of what is now the Chester String Quartet.
Rodney Whitaker – Jazz Ensemble
Internationally renowned bassist and Mack Avenue recording artist, Rodney Whitaker is one of the world’s renowned double bass performers, educators, mentors and is dedicated to inspiring and growing the next generation of jazz educators and musicians. A Detroit native, he grew up in the city soaking in the sounds of jazz and classical music and working with the finest musicians in the city. Building on his Detroit roots and enormous talent, Whitaker went on to earn an international reputation as one of the world’s finest jazz double bass performers.
He completed a seven-year tenure as bassist with the Wynton Marsalis’ Sextet, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and has toured the world over the last twenty-six years, collaborating with over 100+ legendary performing jazz artists such as Dianne Reeves, Hank Jones, Mulgrew Miller, Junko Onishi, Yutaka Shiina, Kenny Burrell, Diana Krall, John Lewis, Kathleen Battle, Marian McPartland, Wycliffe Gordon, Kenny Garrett, Bradford Marsalis, Bob James, Roy Hargrove, Jon Carl Hendricks, Tommy Flanagan, Frank Morgan, Terence Blanchard, Betty “Be-Bop” Carter, Chick Corea, and leading symphony orchestras across the world—just to name a few. In addition, he has appeared and presented master classes at the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) conferences. Featured on more than 100+ recordings – from film to compact discs – Whitaker’s film scores, China, directed by Jeff Wray, was released on PBS Fall 2002 and Malaria and Malawi, released on PBS Fall 2010.
Also, Whitaker has a DVD release featuring Michigan State University’s Jazz Department entitled, “Inside Jazz” and three new compact discs entitled, “Get Ready” & “Work To Do”—both on Mack Avenue Records and “Better Than Alright” by Michigan State University College of Music. In 2011, he was nominated for an EMMY for the ‘Original Music’ category, “Malawi and Malaria: Fighting to Save the Children” produced by Robert Gould and Sue Carter. Whitaker collaborated with musicians Phil Dwyer and Alan Jones on “Let Me Tell You About My Day,” produced by Alma Records and was nominated for a Juno Award in 2006 for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year, Canada’s equivalent to the United State of America’s Grammy. He is a full professor of jazz double bass and director of jazz studies at Michigan State University where he has built one of the leading jazz degree granting programs offering both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Jazz Performance.