The Great Lakes Concert Band Festival at Eastern Michigan University offers concert bands an opportunity to showcase their musicianship in a non-competitive environment focused on learning, exploring, and sharing. Void of ratings, scores, or rankings, GLCBF is committed to providing a unique and memorable experience for students in concert bands of all levels and sizes—middle school through high school.
Participating bands will have the opportunity to perform free of repertoire restrictions for an audience of their peers, friends, families, and a panel of nationally recognized conductors/music educators. In addition to performing in beautiful and historic Pease Auditorium on the campus of EMU, each band will receive a performance recording, adjudicator recorded comments and a 20-min. educational clinic, interact with EMU applied faculty, and enjoy performances by other ensembles, including the EMU Wind Symphony. An added feature of the Great Lakes Festival is that directors will also receive personal video commentary containing tips and conducting suggestions for their individual professional growth.
Rodney Dorsey is professor of music in bands at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music; a position he has held since fall 2018.
He is the conductor of the internationally recognized Indiana Wind Ensemble and guides all aspects of the graduate wind-conducting program.
Dorsey’s positions have included director of bands at the University of Oregon, associate director of Bands at the University of Michigan, associate professor of music at DePaul University, and director of Athletic Bands at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. He also taught public school for eight years in Florida and Georgia.
Ensembles under Dorsey’s direction have performed at state and national events including the College Band Directors National Conference North/Northwest Regional Conference and the Music for All National Festival. He is an active guest conductor, having led intercollegiate, all-state, and regional honors bands around the country. International engagements include Hungary, Canada, and Bulgaria.
An active advocate for the composition of new wind repertoire, Dorsey has been involved in a number of commissioning projects, including with composers Andrea Reinkemeyer, Steven Mackey, D. J. Sparr, Anthony Barfield, Stacy Garrop, Andrew Rindfleisch, and John Mackey.
Dorsey has presented clinic sessions at national and state conferences, including the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, College Music Society, and the Midwest Clinic. He has also presented at numerous state music conferences around the country.
Dorsey’s professional memberships include the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, Indiana Bandmasters Association, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma (honorary), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.
His commitment to the music community has been demonstrated by his participation on boards of directors for the Midwest Clinic and Music for All. He is an elected member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. His lifelong commitment to teaching saw him recognized as a Yamaha Master Educator.
A native of Gainesville, Florida, Dorsey is a graduate of Florida State University and Northwestern University in Evanston. He studied conducting with James Croft, John Paynter, and Mallory Thompson, and clarinet with Fred Ormand and Frank Kowalsky.
Craig Kirchhoff is Professor Emeritus of Conducting and Director Emeritus of University Bands at the University of Minnesota where he conducted the University Wind Ensemble and guest conducted in the University Opera Program. Professor Kirchhoff coordinated the graduate program in Wind Ensemble/Band Conducting and guided all aspects of the University of Minnesota wind band program since 1993. He has won critical acclaim from composers Dominick Argento, Warren Benson, William Bolcom, Henry Brant, Susan Botti. Elliott Carter, Michael Colgrass, John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Karel Husa, Libby Larsen, George Perle, Vincent Persichetti, Carter Pann, Stephen Paulus, Kevin Puts, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Gunther Schuller, Joseph Schwantner, James Stephenson, Steven Stucky, Elliott Schwartz, Frank Ticheli, Dana Wilson, Chen Yi, and others.
Prior to his appointment to the faculty of the University of Minnesota, Professor Kirchhoff served in a similar capacity as Director of Bands at The Ohio State University for fourteen years, as Director of Bands at Washington State University for two years, and Associate Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for one year. Mr. Kirchhoff was the recipient of The Ohio State University Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award and The Ohio State University School of Music Distinguished Teaching Award. Professor Kirchhoff serves as an advisor to the BandQuest Series published by the American Composers Forum, he joined James Galway, Eddie Daniels, Donald Hunsberger, Wynton Marsalis, and Dawn Upshaw on the Advisory Board for SmartMusic produced by the MakeMusic Corporation, and he serves as the Artistic Advisor for the Windependence Wind Band Series published by Boosey & Hawkes.
Professor Kirchhoff is past president of the College Band Directors National Association and is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, the National Band Association, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the Music Educators National Conference, and served as the founding editor and principal advisor of the College Band Directors National Association Journal.
Professor Kirchhoff has appeared as guest conductor, clinician, and lecturer throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, and Scandinavia. He enjoyed a long association with the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra during Frederick Fennell’s tenure as Music Director and he has recorded with them on the Kosei Publishing label. Professor Kirchhoff serves as a Yamaha Master Educator.
Dr. Barry Kraus is the Director of Bands and Coordinator of Instrumental Ensembles at Belmont University where he conducts the Belmont Wind Ensemble, coordinates athletic bands, and teaches courses in conducting and music education. Prior to his appointment at Belmont, Dr. Kraus served on the faculties of Baylor University and the University of Texas and taught in both public and private school settings ranging from grades 6 through 12 in Texas, Arizona, and Oklahoma. Kraus holds the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Arizona State University, the Master of Music Degree from Baylor University, and the Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Oklahoma State University.
As a guest conductor, he has appeared with ensembles at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the American Band Master’s Association National Conference, and regional conferences of the College Band Directors National Association. His principal conducting teachers include Gary Hill, Michael Haithcock, and Joseph Missal, and he has participated in master classes with Allan McMurray, H. Robert Reynolds, John Farrer (Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra), and Niel Thomson (Royal College of Music, London). His ensembles have performed at state and regional venues, and he maintains an active schedule as a clinician and adjudicator.
Dr. Kraus has presented research and conference clinics related to conducting at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention, Music Educator’s National Conference, the CBDNA National Conference, and the International Conference on Arts and Humanities. His writings are published in the Journal of Band Research and the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education.
Active in professional organizations, Dr. Kraus is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Tennessee Music Educators Association, Middle Tennessee Band and Orchestra Directors Association, College Music Society, and the Conductor’s Guild. He is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and holds honorary memberships in Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.
H. Robert Reynolds is Principal Conductor of the Wind Ensemble at the Thornton School of Music at the University of South California, where he holds the H. Robert Reynolds Professorship in Wind Conducting. This appointment followed his retirement after 26 years from the University of Michigan School of Music, where he served as the Henry F. Thurnau Professor of Music, Director of University of Bands, and Director of the Division of Instrumental Studies. In addition, he has also been conductor of the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings for over 25 years.
Mr. Reynolds will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music from Duquesne University Spring 2010, and he currently holds degrees in Music Education and Performance from the University of Michigan, where he studied conducting with Elizabeth Green. He is Past President of the College Band Directors National Association and the Big Ten Band Directors Association.
His frequent conducting appearances include Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, Northwestern University, Manhattan School of Music, as well as Carnegie Hall and the Tanglewood Institute, among others. He has been a featured conductor/lecturer at international conferences in Austria, Norway, Belgium, England, Holland, Slovenia, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Japan, and Sweden. He has won the praise of composers such as Leslie Bassett, William Bolcom, Aaron Copland, John Corigliano, Henryk Gorecki, Karel Husa, Gyorgy Ligeti, Darius Milhaud, Bernard Rands, Gunther Schuller, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and others for his interpretive conducting of their compositions.
Dr. Shanti Simon is the Director of Bands at the University of Oklahoma where she conducts the Wind Symphony and leads the graduate and undergraduate wind conducting programs. Prior to joining the faculty, Dr. Simon was the Flight Commander and Associate Conductor with The United States Air Force Academy Band in Colorado Springs. Before moving to Colorado, Simon served as Flight Commander and Associate Conductor with The United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C., where she conducted performances in the national capital region and around the country including the 2011 National Tree Lighting Ceremony with the Airmen of Note hosted by President Obama and the First Family. Simon was on the faculty of Shenandoah Conservatory as the Associate Director of Bands for the 2013-2014 academic year. In 2016, Simon deployed to the Middle East with the United States Air Force Central Command bands as the Officer-In-Charge, overseeing musical troop-support, community-outreach and partnership-building missions in seven countries.
Before joining the Air Force, Simon earned her MM and DMA degrees in conducting from the University of Minnesota where she studied with Craig Kirchhoff. She received her BME and BM degrees from Stetson University with Bobby Adams. Hailing from Florida, Simon served as the Associate Director of Bands at Vero Beach High School for four years, where her ensembles consistently earned top ratings in all areas of district and state assessment. Simon is active nationally and internationally as a guest conductor and clinician.