Mr. Joel L. Denton served as Director of Bands at Ooltewah High School for thirty-seven years. Mr. Denton is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and has completed graduate studies at UT-Chattanooga. Mr. Denton was most recently recognized as a CMA Music Teacher of Excellence in 2018.
Under his direction, the Ooltewah Band achieved a national reputation for musical excellence including performances in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2013 and 2007, as the only band in the 2011 Disney Christmas Parade on ABC, and in the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade. The Ooltewah Band was a consistent finalist at Bands of America Regional Championships being awarded multiple class championships and placements and was a national semi-finalist on multiple occasions with several class placements. The Ooltewah concert bands most recently performed at the Music for All Regional Concert Festival in 2016, the TMEA (TN) State Music Conference in 2014 and 2010, the Smoky Mountain Music Festival in 2011(Grand Concert Division Champions), and multiple other states, regional and national events through the years. At the 2015 Midwest Clinic, Mr. Denton was awarded the John Phillip Sousa Foundation Legion of Honor for his contributions to the band. He has served as Chairman of Fine Arts at Ooltewah since 1982 and has been selected five times as the Ooltewah Teacher of the Year. The Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts has thrice honored him. His professional affiliations include NAfME, Tennessee Music Education Association, East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, Phi Beta Mu, National Band Association, American School Band Director Association, and Tennessee Bandmasters Association. Mr. Denton currently serves as the Tennessee State Chair for the National Band Association and as a Past President of the Tennessee Bandmasters Association. He has served as the State Legislative Delegate and Advocacy Chair for TMEA and served as a member of the Tennessee Department of Education’s Fine Arts Student Growth Committee. He is active as an adjudicator, clinician, and consultant working with Music for All/Bands of America, Drum Corps International, several universities and state organizations, as well as, many high school bands across the nation. Mr. Denton most recently presented a clinic session at the 2017 Midwest Clinic on “Why We Do What We Do”. Mr. Denton also works with band programs and other organizations on developing leadership and teambuilding skills. To further impact music programs with this training, Music for All invited Mr. Denton to coordinate and help create a Peer Teaching Division for the National Summer Symposium in the summer of 2017. Mr. Denton and Kerry, his wife of thirty-four years, reside in Chattanooga and have two adult children, Alex and Caroline.
Award-winning Canadian conductor Adam Johnson has been praised as “an exciting talent” and for his “charismatic, commanding presence” on the podium. In 2016 he became Assistant Conductor of the Montréal Symphony Orchestra, and was appointed Resident Conductor for the last year of his tenure in the 2018-2019 season. He collaborated closely with Music Director Kent Nagano on recordings for Decca and Analekta, and contributed to performances in Carnegie Hall, the Salzburg Festival, and a major European tour. He has conducted more than 65 concerts with the OSM and worked with renowned soloists such a Jean-Philipe Collard, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Charles Richard-Hamelin, among others.
Prior to his tenure in Montréal, Johnson served for three seasons with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, initially as Resident Conductor (2013-2015), and subsequently as Associate Conductor (2015-2016); he maintains a frequent presence on the podium as guest conductor. He also regularly guest-conducts the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, having been invited to conduct three different programs in the 2017/18 season alone, and has appeared as guest conductor with the Québec, Trois-Rivières, Saskatoon, Guelph, and Thunder Bay symphony orchestras, as well as Symphony Nova Scotia. In the spring of 2020 he returns to Symphony Nova Scotia, making his opera debut with Beethoven’s Fidelio. Internationally he has conducted the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and members of the Philharmonisches Staatsorchestre Hamburg.
In 2015, Adam Johnson received the prestigious Jean-Marie-Beaudet Award for Orchestral Conducting from the Canada Council for the Arts, and recently won an OPUS award for best youth concert of 2018. He holds a Doctorate in Piano Performance from the Université de Montréal and a Prize in Orchestral Conducting from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. He also pursued additional training in conducting at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and Pierre Monteux School in Maine, USA.
As a piano soloist and chamber musician, Adam Johnson has performed extensively throughout Canada, as well as in France and Japan. In high demand as a pedagogue before concentrating his activities in performing, he served on the faculties of the McGill Conservatory and the Université du Québec à Montréal. He has also taught harmony, analysis, and chamber music, and translated a major treatise on harmonic analysis from French to English.
Bill Kristjanson is currently a sessional instructor at the University of Manitoba, teaching music education courses. For many years he taught at Vincent Massey Collegiate, Glenlawn Collegiate and Minnetonka schools and served as Divisional Music Consultant.
Bill has been invited to present at the International Association of Jazz Educators’ Conference, the Canadian Music Educators Conference, and provincial music education conferences in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. Among guest conducting roles, he has conducted the Manitoba Provincial Junior Honour Band, Intermediate Honour Band, Honour Jazz Band, The Winnipeg Wind Ensemble and at the International Music Camp.
Bill is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing teaching excellence and service to music education including, the “Manitoba Band Association Award of Distinction”, “Manitoba Jazz Educator of the Year Award”, a “CMEA Builders Award” the “D.W. Penner Award for Exceptional Service in Education” and the Canadian Band Association “National Band Award”
Bill’s teaching philosophy revolves around, “Finding something good, and helping it grow.”
Dr. Erik Leung is director of bands at Oregon State University, joining the faculty in Fall 2019. He guides all aspects of the band program, conducts the OSU Wind Ensemble and teaches instrumental conducting. Leung holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in wind conducting from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He is a native of Calgary, Alberta, Canada and holds a Master of Music from the University of Toronto and both a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary. His primary teachers include Mallory Thompson, Gillian Mackay, Glenn Price, Mark Hopkins, and Jeremy Brown and he has completed additional studies in conducting with Mark Scatterday, Allan McMurray, H. Robert Reynolds, Craig Kirchhoff, and Michael Haithcock.
Prior to his appointment at OSU, Leung was assistant professor of music at Fresno Pacific University in Fresno, California where he also served as director of bands and program director for the music department. He taught undergraduate and graduate conducting and directed the chamber winds, symphonic band and brass ensemble. Under his direction the FPU symphonic band was featured in performance at the Western International Band Clinic, the Percy Grainger Wind Festival, the first-ever small band program showcase at the College Band Directors National Association, and the Western/Northwestern Division Conference of the College Band Directors National Association.
He has written articles for Canadian Winds and recently created the critical edition of Jan Meyerowitz’s "Three Comments on War" for concert band, published through E.B. Marks Music Company. He has presented at a variety of conferences throughout North America and Europe including the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the national College Band Directors National Association convention, and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in Utrecht, Netherlands.Leung has been nominated for the Edwin Parr Teaching Award, was a semi-finalist for the Alberta Excellence in Teaching Award and received the Merit Award for teaching excellence at Fresno Pacific University. He holds memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the California Music Educators Association, and the Canadian Band Association.
Jim Brenan was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and was raised in Edmonton, where he was exposed to that city's distinctive Jazz sounds, then at their peak of popularity with artists such as Tommy Banks and PJ Perry. At age 11, he began studying the saxophone in junior high and clarinet in high school. After attending Grant McEwan College, where he studied both graphic design and music, Brenan moved to Nova Scotia to continue his studies at St. Francis Xavier University.
Having committed himself to music full-time, Brenan threw himself into the thick of New York City jazz activity as a freelance saxophonist, while studying with Jazz Masters Ralph Bowen and Kenny Barron, at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Over the past 25 years, he toured and/or performed with the likes of Maynard Ferguson, Diane Schuur, Michael Feinstein, Kenny Wheeler, Michael Mossman, Dana Hall, Geoff Keezer, Terrell Stafford, Slide Hampton, Ravi Coltrane, Randy Becker, Kenny Drew Jr., Phil Woods, Illinois Jaquet and Flip Phillips, Wayne Bergeron, Sean Jones, Jason Marsalis, Luis Bonilla and Dick Oates.
After teaching at Keyano College in Fort McMurray, Jim accepted a position at the University of Auckland in New Zealand as the Director of Jazz studies, tasked with developing the country's first North American style Jazz curriculum. "This position was immensely satisfying, I love challenges that take me out of my comfort zone... building curriculum and staffing the jazz program provided me with great insight into the needs of students and how a curriculum can shape the identity of a program."
"The only way I can stay creative is to keep moving," he explains. "I'm an incurable insomniac. I just get about four or five hours of sleep at night and stay productive throughout the day. I'm always thinking that there's more to do and ways to improve spiritually, mentally, and musically. I'm always working on it, and I'm not at the end yet."
And now, with the release of 50/50, his latest recording as a leader; featuring some of Edmonton and Calgary's finest musicians, Brenan marks a new beginning in his long, amazingly multifaceted career.
Juno nominated artist Bill Coon won the 2009 National Jazz Award, ‘Guitarist of the Year’, and has performed with many significant artists including Jimmy Heath, Peter Bernstein, Dr. Lonnie Smith, PJ Perry, Sheila Jordan, Carol Welsman, Chris Hazelton, Dee Daniels, Rebecca Kilgore, Phil Dwyer, Eleanor McCain, K-os, Peter Washington and Lewis Nash.
The Western Canadian Jazz awards have nominated Coon’s own BC Double Quartet for Jazz Artist of 2018. Their first release, Departure marries the brilliance of a string quartet with the rhythmic drive of a jazz quartet combining his love of jazz improvising with his passion for arranging and composition. Featured on this recording are two stalwarts of the Canadian music scene, trumpeter Brad Turner and violinist Cameron Wilson. Triology’s recent release Stairway to the Stars is a collaboration with award-winning artists Jodi Proznick and Miles Black. Also, of note is Coon’s arranging work on Explosion with Cory Weeds, Joe Magnerelli, Steve Davis and Gary Smulyan.
Other significant projects include Jill Townsend Jazz Orchestra’s Legacy, The Music of Ross Taggart, Arrival with Jennifer Scott and Rene Worst, and Two Much More! with Oliver Gannon, acclaimed as two of the top ten Canadian jazz recordings of 2015 by the CBC. Coon is busy touring, recording and performing with many significant Canadian jazz artists such as, Mike Allen, Sienna Dahlen, Kevin Elaschuk, Tom Keenlyside, Laura Crema, Kate Hammett-Vaughan, Andre Lachance, Campbell Ryga, Buff Allen, Dave Robbins, and Roy Styffe to name a few.Coon is on faculty at Capilano University in North Vancouver, teaching arranging, composition, large and small ensembles, and jazz guitar.
Jazz trumpeter Derrick Gardner, inspired by the finest hard-blowing funky bop bands of the 1960s, is working to extend that great tradition as a performer, composer and arranger.
Derrick quickly made his mark on the New York City jazz scene after arriving in the Big Apple in 1991. It has enabled him to travel the world playing top-flight jazz - including five years in the Count Basie Orchestra (1991 to 1996 plus occasional guest appearance that have continued into 2014), as well as work in Frank Foster's Loud Minority Band, Harry Connick Jr.'s Big Band, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and Swiss tenor player roman Schwaller's European sextet.
Derrick formed his own sextet, The Jazz Prophets, in 1991, and 29 years later it continues to be the primary vehicle of his distinctive, hard-driving music. Derrick's last recording by The Jazz Prophets, "Echoes of Ethnicity," marked he second Owl Studios release in April '09 and was named by Music Resource Group (MRG) as the winner in the 9th Annual Independent Music Awards, the influential awards programs for independent bands and fans, for "Best Jazz Album 2009." This prestigious award adds to the long list of accolades "Echoes of Ethnicity" has received in 2009. Like his two previous recordings, "A Ride to the Other side" and "Slim Goodie," it bubbles with the long-standing collective's sheer love the of soulful, funky jazz sound for which Cannonball Adderley and Horace Silver built solid foundations with their 1950s and '60s ensembles. Only they're taking that sound into new, invigorating territory. The band's three-man horn line, consisting of Derrick, tenor saxophonist Rob Dixon and Derrick's brother, trombonist Vincent Gardner of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra has been together since the very beginning.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Derrick began playing trumpet at age 9 and rapidly developed as a player and soloist, regarded highly throughout high school and college at Virginia's Hampton University as an imaginative and strong improviser. As jazz journalist Ken Franckling points out in the notes for A ride to the Other Side, Derrick is "a Clifford Brown disciple with tinges of Freddy Hubbard and Woody Shaw thrown in for good measure, all in service of a sound and a band that are extending the funky soul-swing evolution."
In addition to his own recordings, Derrick has performed on multiple recordings with the Count Basie Orchestra, including the Grammy-winning The Count Basie Orchestra Live at Manchester Craftman's Guild, with the New York Voices in 1997, and four sessions with Harry Connick Jr., including 2007's Hurricane Katrina-inspired Oh My Nola. His work has brought him to Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Japan, South Africa, and Thailand as well as many premier venues in the United States, working with a tremendous litany of artists that includes the late Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Frank Foster, Joe Williams, Rufus Reid, Kenny Baron, Stefon Harris, James Moody and Clark Terry to name a few.
In recent months, Derrick became the recipient of several artist grans from FACTOR, University of Manitoba and Manitoba Film & Music for the production of a big band recording featuring Gardner's arrangements on thirteen (13) of his original compositions. The recording under the name Derrick Gardner & The BIG dig! BAND is due to be released in March 2020 on the Impact Jazz label.
Since 2011, Derrick has served on the jazz faculty at the University of Manitoba Desautels Faculty of Music in Winnipeg, Manitoba where he was appointed to the Babs Asper Professorship in Jazz Performance. He is director of the University of Manitoba Jazz Orchestra and Associate Professor of Jazz Trumpet.
Scott Campbell joined the Calgary Board of Education in 2006 and the staff of MidSun School in the fall of 2007, where he led a very successful music program until June 2019. Throughout his tenure at MidSun, his concert and jazz bands were awarded numerous awards, including the Floyd Williamson Trophy for Most Outstanding Junior High Concert Band in 2010 and 2014, and the Quan Le Adjudicators' Choice Award in 2018 at the Alberta International Band Festival in Calgary. He also completed the commissioning and premiere of Boom and Bust, a composition by renowned band composer, Brian Balmages, in 2018, in honour of MidSun's 20th anniversary. He was the Director of the Sherwood-Like-To-Play Community Band for 7 seasons until 2017. Mr. Campbell has also served on the Board of the Alberta Band Association, where he coordinated the Southern Alberta Junior Honour Band Program for 6 years.
He is in demand as a saxophone clinician and guest conductor, as well as a member of the faculties of the Vic Lewis Festival in Canmore and the Calgary Regional Summer Band Workshop since 2008. Mr. Campbell was inducted as a member of the prestigious Phi Beta Mu Bandmasters Fraternity in 2018 and was nominated by the parents and administration at MidSun for the Alberta Excellence in Teaching Awards in 2014.
Mr. Campbell currently teaches band and choir at Lord Beaverbrook High School.
Mr. Campbell holds a Bachelor of Music in Saxophone Performance from the University of Alberta and Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary.
When he's not working, he loves spending time with wife, Elisabeth, and three sons, Evan, Nolan and Theo.
Mark Friesen is in his 28th year as director of bands at West Central High School in Rocky Mountain House, AB. He has been involved with a number of different boards advancing music education and is a past-president of the Alberta Band Association and of the Canadian Band Association. Mark is especially proud of his time as president of the CBA during which the association began publishing the first Canadian peer reviewed band journal “Canadian Winds” to fill the void left by the passing of Keith Mann who had published the “Canadian Band Journal” for many years.
Bands under Mark’s direction have received several awards at the provincial, national and international level, including the CBC Sports “Hockey Night in Canada Theme Song Contest” in which the band was featured on national television.
Mark has performed on CBC Radio and television and has been recognized with several awards including the Alberta Band Association’s Elkhorn Award (Director of the Year), an Alberta Excellence in Teaching Finalist Award, the Phi Beta Mu David Peterkin Award, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Tommy Banks Award, the Alberta Music Education Foundation Recognition Award of Excellence and has received nominations for the Pan Canadian Student Choice Awards. He has also twice received the Rocky Mountain House Mayor’s Award for his contribution to the arts as well as the Wild Rose School Division Award of Merit.
Mark will be adjudicating the Grade 1 Beginner Band Festival.
Kim Hastings has been teaching junior high and middle school band for 32 years, spending the last 28 years as director of bands at Pioneer Middle School in Rocky Mountain House, AB. Ms. Hastings has been involved with a number of different boards advancing music education; she was president of the Brandon University Student Music Educators Association, a vice president with the Alberta Band Association and the magazine editor while on the Music Alberta board of directors.
Bands under Kim’s direction have received several awards at the provincial, national level, including ABA Festival Outstanding Grade I Concert Band (1996, 1999, 2000) and Outstanding Junior High Concert Band at AIBF South (1998, 2001, 2013, 2017).
Ms. Hastings has been recognized with several awards including a JUNO for MusiCounts’ 2019 Teacher of the Year, the Alberta Band Association’s Elkhorn Award (Director of the Year), an Alberta Excellence in Teaching Finalist Award, and has received nominations for the Pan Canadian Student Choice Awards. Kim has also twice received the Rocky Mountain House Mayor’s Award for her contribution to the arts as well as the Wild Rose School Division Award of Merit.
Ms. Hastings is very involved in her community sitting on several local volunteer boards. She is proud to have raised two musical sons with her husband, Mark Friesen.