Great Lakes Concert Band Festival - March 17, 2023

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 video recording, adjudicator recorded comments and a 25-min. educational clinic, and enjoy performances by other ensembles, including the EMU Wind Symphony. An added feature of the Great Lakes Festival is that directors may elect to also receive personal video commentary containing tips and conducting suggestions for their individual professional growth.

JOIN US for an unforgettable experience! REGISTER by October 30 to reserve your spot.

The Great Lakes Festival is the only Music For All affiliate regional festival in Michigan. Located in southeast part of the state, Eastern Michigan University is in an ideal location for programs throughout Michigan, northwest Ohio, and eastern Indiana. As a Music For All festival, participating school ensembles will benefit from attending performances of at least two other peer ensembles during the day, as well as the featured concert by the EMU Wind Symphony.

One of our missions at EMU, as a program with a legacy steeped in music education, is to provide opportunities and resources for school band programs in our area to continue to grow and flourish. In order to provide the best performance and learning experience for all groups, our enrollment is limited to 16 schools. GLCBF has the power to set a new standard for your students and your band program. Register by October 30 to reserve your spot! Registration fee: $475 per band

About our Guest Clinicians


Albert Nguyen

Albert Nguyen, Director of Bands, conducts the UofM Wind Ensemble, directs the graduate level instrumental conducting program, and oversees the Athletic, Symphonic and University Bands. Dr. Nguyen was the Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Memphis for three years and served as Interim Director of Bands in 2011-2012.

Before coming to the University of Memphis, Dr. Nguyen served as a Graduate Assistant at The University of Texas at Austin where he directed the Concert Band and was a member of the Longhorn Band teaching staff. He was also an assistant conductor for the Wind Ensemble and frequently appeared as a guest conductor with the Wind Symphony, Symphony Band and Chamber Winds. Dr. Nguyen began his professional teaching career in Arkansas as the Director of Bands at Morrilton High School.

Maintaining his connection with public schools, Dr. Nguyen frequently serves as an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education from Arkansas Tech University and the Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, the College Band Directors National Association and is a contributing author in the GIA publication - Teaching Music through Performance in Band, Volume 7.


Elizabeth Peterson 

Dr. Elizabeth Peterson, clinical professor of music, and associate director of bands, joined the Illinois faculty in the fall of 2015. She conducts the Illinois Wind Orchestra, serves as the placement coordinator for student teachers, and teaches courses in instrumental conducting. Prior to her appointment at the University of Illinois, Dr. Peterson was a tenured professor of music education at the Ithaca College School of Music. During the seventeen years she spent at Ithaca College, she conducted numerous ensembles including the Symphonic Band, Brass Choir and All-Campus Band. She taught courses in conducting, undergraduate and graduate courses in music education, and supervised student teachers. Dr. Peterson was the co-conductor of the Ithaca Concert Band (community band) for fifteen years. Her current research focuses on the experiences of first-year teachers.

Dr. Peterson is active as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and school music consultant in the United States and Canada. She presents clinics at the local, state and national levels in the field of music education. Dr. Peterson’s two books, The Music Teachers First Year: Tales of Challenge Joy and Triumph, and The Music Teacher’s Later Years: Reflection with Wisdom are both published by Meredith Music.

Dr. Peterson received a Bachelor of Music Education and Bachelor of Literature, Science and Arts degree from the University of Michigan where she studied trumpet with Armando Ghitalla. She received a Master of Music in Music Education and Trumpet Performance from Northwestern University, where she studied trumpet with Vincent Cichowicz, and performed in the North Shore Community Band under the direction of John P. Paynter. She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education from Shenandoah Conservatory. 

Prior to her appointment at Ithaca College, Dr. Peterson was an arts administrator and director of bands in the public schools of Ohio and Illinois. She holds a number of professional memberships including the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, National Band Association, Mu Phi Epsilon, Phi Kappa Phi, and Pi Kappa Lambda. Dr. Peterson is a member of the American Bandmasters Association and the Midwest Clinic Board of Directors.



Stephen Peterson

Dr. Stephen G. Peterson was appointed Director of Bands at the University of Illinois in the fall of 2015. As Director of Bands, he conducts the Wind Symphony, leads the graduate wind conducting program, teaches courses in wind literature, and guides all aspects of one of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most storied band programs. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Illinois he served as Director of Bands at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, for seventeen years. From 1988-1998 he served as Associate Director of Bands at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Dr. Peterson was also conductor of the renowned Northshore Concert Band. He held positions as Associate and Interim Director of Bands at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas and has several years of successful teaching experience in the public schools in Arizona.

Dr. Peterson maintains a busy schedule as a conductor and clinician, and as such, has appeared on four continents and in forty-two states. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the College Band Directors National Association, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the Illinois Music Educators Association, and has been honored with membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. He is also member of Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, and an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma, and Kappa Kappa Psi. He is past president of the College Band Directors National Association.

Dr. Peterson was the first to receive the Doctor of Music degree in wind conducting from Northwestern University and earned Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Arizona State University. In 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Ithaca College Faculty Excellence Award, recognizing his contributions to Ithaca College. His ensembles have appeared before national conventions of the American Bandmasters Association, the College Band Directors National Association, the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, the American School Band Directors Association, at Orchestra Hall with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, and at Lincoln Center.



Shanti Simon

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.