Jazz Bands

Brent Campbell Top

Brent Campbell spent 35 years teaching band at the Junior High and High School level in Manitoba, most of it at Vincent Massey High School in Brandon. Before teaching Mr. Campbell played trombone with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.

He retired from teaching in 2017. Over the years he has worked at the Mile High Jazz Camp in Colorado, as a consultant for Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City and is currently the Director of the Brandon Jazz Festival.He also owns the Brandon School of Dance and Kemnay Travel, organizing custom tours and trips for school groups and various corporate clients.

Dennis Esson Top

Since moving to Vancouver in 1980, Dennis Esson has established himself as a highly respected and sought after trombonist for a wide variety of musical endeavors.

As a jazz musician, Dennis has recorded numerous CBC sessions as a featured soloist. He is also the lead trombonist with groups such as the “Vancouver Ensemble of Improvisation (VEJI)”, “Orquesta Goma Dura”, “Jill Townsend Big Band”, “Hard Rubber Orchestra” and the “Fred Stride Jazz Orchestra”. Some of the musicians he has performed with include Kenny Wheeler, Phil Woods, Eddie Daniels, Marvin Stamm, David Foster, Maynard Ferguson, Natalie Cole, Clark Terry, Bud Shank, and Phil Nimmons. He has appeared and performed at all of the major jazz festivals across Canada.

In addition Dennis was the recipient in 1993 of a Canada Council of the Arts “B” grant to study jazz trombone in New York where he studied with Conrad Herwig, Steve Turre, Benny Powell and Slide Hampton. More recently he resumed his studies and completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Orchestral Performance from the University of British Columbia.

As a music educator Dennis has been the Jazz Trombone instructor at Capilano College since 1997 and has been the director of the UBC Jazz Ensemble 2 since 2000. In addition he has been on the faculty of the Courtney Youth Music Center since 2000 and prior to that time he was on the faculty of the Okanagan Summer School of the Arts from 1984-1999.

As an adjudicator Dennis has appeared at many festivals throughout B.C. and western Canada including Kelowna, Edmonton, Whistler, Surrey, Burnaby, and Vancouver. He has also performed clinics and master classes at universities, colleges, and secondary schools throughout Canada.

Dennis has also recorded music for movies, commercials, soundtracks and cartoons in addition to albums with many pop and rock groups such as Stephen Fearing, The Paperboys, Buddy Miles, The Salteens, Veda Hille and others. He has also been in the pit orchestras for Broadway shows such asChorus Line, The Full Monty, and 42nd Street.

Dennis is a Yamaha trombone artist and performs and records on the YSL697Z trombone.

Joel Gray Top

A proud Edmontonian, Joel Gray attended the music programs of Grant MacEwan College and the University of Alberta, studying trumpet with William Dimmer of the ESO and Dr. Fordyce Pier. He started playing professionally at the age of 17, and has shared the stage with some of the world's finest artists, including Tommy Banks, P.J. Perry, Slide Hampton, Diana Krall, Nikki Yanovsky, Jens Lindemann, Allen Vizzutti, Rollanda Lee, and commercial talents Gino Vannelli, Frank Sinatra Jr., the Temptations, and Wayne Newton.

Known for his versatility, Joel is as comfortable playing lead trumpet with the pops orchestra as he is playing traditional New Orleans music or baroque piccolo trumpet. He is a regular performer with many local artists and diverse musical ensembles, including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, The Edmonton Jazz Orchestra, the Singing Christmas Tree Orchestra, the Tommy Banks Big Band, the Alberta Symphony Orchestra, and Bok Brass, to name only a few. He is a veteran in the orchestra pit, having performed many professional musical theatre productions, including the national Broadway tours of Wicked, Marry Poppins, A Chorus Line, and Billy Elliot, as well as local professional productions presented at the Citadel Theatre. He has recorded on over 30 CDs and performed numerous times for CBC radio, played principal trumpet with the ESO in Carnegie Hall in May of 2012, and was a featured soloist with the ESO on their "Tribute to Louis Armstrong" in 2018.

As a music educator, Joel teaches music at MacEwan University and has also taught music at Augustana University and Keyano College. He is an instructor at MusiCamp Alberta since 2000 and has adjudicated for the Cantando Music Festivals, where he was also a feature performer, the Rocky Mountain Music Festival, the Foothills Jazz Festival, the for the Kiwanis Music Festival. Since 2004, he has been the director of the award-winning Littlebirds Big Band.

Concert Bands Grades 2-6

Alain Cazes Top

Awarded first prize in tuba and chamber music at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, Alain Cazes pursued his studies in the United States with Joseph Novotny, Donald Harry and Ronald Bishop.

In Brazil, he was Principal tuba with the Paraïba State Orchestra, member of the Brass-IL Quintet and professor at the Federal University of Paraïba (UFPB). He has taught at the Université du Québec in Montreal, the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal and the Université de Montréal, where he was in charge of Wind orchestras, brass department, teaching tuba, chamber music and conducting. A frequent soloist, he has performed the radio "premiere" of several Canadian works for tuba and also lectures on orchestra conducting and brass pedagogy. He adjudicates regularly at several Music Festivals and Competitions. He teaches during summer at the Orford Art Center and the Simposio Internazionale d’Ottoni in Ascoli, Italy. Principal tuba with the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal, he has also performmed with the Montreal Symphony and other orchertras in the world under the direction of conductors such as; Mehta, Nézet-Séguin, Dutoit, Decker, Baudo, Foster, Kmura, Muller, Toppilow, Grossmann, Zukerman, Veltri and many others. He is also co-director of the Orchestre Métropolitain Choir and Musical Director of the Montreal Pop Orchestra. He has also conducted the Orchestre Métropolitain and the Orchestre symphonique de Drumondville.

Alain Cazes, a founding member of the Philharmonie des vents du Québec. As a full time Professor at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, he conducts the Wind Symphony and Wind Orchestra, teaches conducting and chamber music. He has written numerous arrangements for a variety of instrumental ensembles published by GAM. He has also written numerous arrangements for wind orchestra and mixed choir. He is Vice-President of CIME music.

Randy Greenwell Top

Randy retired from teaching in January of 2017 from the Lawrence Township Schools, Indianapolis, Indiana. He served 24 years of a 32 year teaching career in Lawrence Township. While at Lawrence Central High School, Randy served as the Director of Bands and Department Chair for Performing Arts. In January of 2017, Randy accepted a position as the Educational Support Manager (Central Region), for Conn-Selmer Inc. He now travels the country, working with bands, music educators, and collegiate music majors, presenting clinics on a host of topics and assisting schools with their music education initiatives. Mr. Greenwell received his undergraduate degree in Music Education from Illinois State University (1985), his Masters in Conducting from Ball State University (1994), and his Masters in Educational Administration from Butler University (2008). Randy studied conducting with Stephen Pratt, Ray Cramer, and Stanley DeRusha. He has recently been named Music Director and Conductor of the Greater Greenwood Community Band on the South side of Indianapolis. Randy served on the Indiana State School Music Association State Board and the Indiana Band Masters Board on many occasions, and was President of both organizations in 2001. Over his career at Lawrence Central High School, Randy built a nationally renowned program in marching band, concert band, and jazz ensemble.

In 2001, Randy was deemed a “Distinguished Citizen of Indianapolis,” and in 2000 he was named the Phi Beta Mu “Indiana Outstanding Band Master of the Year.” In the fall of 2017, Randy was selected to the Music For All/Bands of America Hall of Fame and was inducted during the spring of 2018. Randy was also inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Indiana Band Masters Hall of Fame in the spring of 2018. Randy’s performance experiences include performing with Dizzy Gillespie, Roger Ingram, Everett Green, Bobby Shew, Jeff Coffin, and Patrick Hession, just to name a few. Randy performs regularly with the Heartland Big Band, and is active as a freelance musician. He arranges music for a number of competitive marching bands across the country and actively judges for DCI, WGI, BOA, and a number of state associations throughout the United States.

Shelley Jagow Top

Dr. Shelley Jagow currently resides in Dayton, Ohio. She earned top honors in Music Education degrees from the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) and the University of Missouri (Columbia) where respective mentors include Marvin Eckroth, Dale Lonis, Martin Bergee and Wendy Sims. She earned her Ph. D. in Music Education at the Union Institute & University (Cincinnati) where Colonel Timothy Foley, Frank Battisti, and Edward Wingard served as her mentors. In addition to studies in education, saxophone and conducting, Shelley also earned the Certificate in Piano Performance IX from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and in 2009 was nominated for both the "Robert J. Kegerreis Distinguished Professor of Teaching" Award and the "Brage Golding Distinguished Professor of Research" Award.

As an artist clinician with Conn-Selmer, Hal Leonard, Meredith Music, and Vandoren, “Dr. J” enjoys working with school bands and presents clinics, performances, adjudications, and serves as honor band conductor at various state, national and international conferences and events. Venues include locations in various states/provinces/countries: Alberta, British Columbia, California, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Italy, Manitoba, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Ontario, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Quebec, Rhode Island, Saskatchewan, Scotland, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington D.C.; including conferences such as State Music Educators Conferences, the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA), the International Society for Music Education (ISME), the College Music Symposium (CMS), the World Saxophone Congress, and the United States Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium.

Shelley is a regular contributing author to both “The Music Director’s Cookbook” (Meredith Music), and the”Teaching Music Through Performance in Band” series (GIA Music). She is also the author of the book and DVD “Teaching Instrumental Music: Developing the Complete Band Program” (Meredith Music)—a resource rapidly becoming the adopted textbook for music education degree study across the United States and Canada. Her most recent publications include ”Tuning for Wind Instruments: A Roadmap to Successful Intonation(Meredith Music), “Intermediate Studies for Developing Artists on the Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone and Bassoon“ (Meredith), and “The Londeix Lectures” a 13+ hours DVD set archiving the historical music lectures of Professor Jean-Marie Londeix (and translated by William Street, University of Alberta).

John Phillips Top

John Phillips has been Artistic Coordinator with the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra for the past three years. He recently retired from The University of Western Ontario where he conducted the Symphonic Band and taught conducting and music education classes at the undergraduate and graduate level. He previously taught at the University of Toronto and York University in the departments of music and education. Additionally, Phillips coordinated the Arts curriculum review and implementation for the Ministry of Education in Ontario, and he continues to serve in his role as Senior Advisor for Music Mentors International.

In demand as a clinician and consultant, Phillips shares his unique brand of music education through workshops with State and Provincial Music Educators’ Associations, the National Association for Music Education, and as a presenter at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. Throughout his career, he participated in numerous initiatives with Music For All including the National Concert Festival, the annual Summer Symposium, and the Bands of America Grand Nationals. He has recently been added to the Conn-Selmer Educational Clinician roster.

Phillips has adjudicated music festivals and events in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Indonesia. He regularly guest conducts honour bands across Canada and the United States. For twenty years he conducted the Wind Ensemble at the National Music Camp of Canada and was recently a guest conductor at the International Music Camp. Phillips has served as Judge Administrator for Drum Corps International since 2000, and was inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame, Class of 2015.

Phillips is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario where he received undergraduate degrees in Music and Education. He pursued a Masters Degree in Music Education at Boston University, a PhD in Ethnomusicology at York University, and holds an Artist Diploma in trumpet performance from the Western Conservatory of Music. He received awards of distinction for conducting from the Ontario Band Association, Phi Beta Mu, the Southern Ontario Band Festival and an Honorary Life Membership from the Ontario Music Educators’ Association.

Written contributions include articles for the Ontario Music Educators` Association journal, The Recorder, the Canadian Music Educators` Association Journal, the Ontario Band Association newsletter, In Harmony, and the Ontario College of Teachers journal, Professionally Speaking. In addition, he has been a contributor to the highly acclaimed series Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, published by GIA.

As a trumpeter, Phillips performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, Brantford Symphony and the Forest City Brass Quintet. He spent two summers at the Banff School of Fine Arts under the leadership of the Canadian Brass, studying with Fred Mills and Ronald Romm.

Concert Bands Grade 1

Jayne Montgomery Top

Jayne Montgomery was inspired to become a band teacher from the very first day of Grade 7 Band. At 5 years old she started her musical pursuits with the piano and then added the flute in junior high. After receiving her Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta, she maintained a successful band program with Edmonton Public Schools for 32 years. Her passion for music education and the relationships she built with her students made it possible for her to retain large music programs at the 3 junior high schools that she taught at during her career. She has stayed active as a flute player by performing in the Cosmopolitan Music Society Monday Night Band, the St. Albert Community Band, and for the past 20 years the Edmonton Winds. She obtained Grade 10 Flute and Piano with the Royal Conservatory of Music and a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Alberta.

Jayne’s bands consistently received awards at local and provincial music festivals and many times were also awarded the “Adjudicator’s Choice” for both Concert and Jazz Band. She was awarded the Alberta Band Association Band Director Award, the Phi Beta Mu Peterkin Music Education Achievement Award, and was nominated for an Alberta Excellence in Teaching Award for 3 consecutive years. In February 2018 she was invited to conduct the Alberta Band Association Southern Honor Band. Since her retirement in June 2018, Jayne is continuing her journey as a music educator with substitute teaching, guest conducting and flute clinics, adjudicating at local music festivals, and continued performances with the Edmonton Winds.

Samantha Whelan Kotkas Top

Samantha Whelan Kotkas is a professional trumpet player, teaching artist, storyteller and award-winning children’s book producer with over 20 years working in the Alberta, Canada and International Arts communities.

She performs regularly with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Rosa Barocca, the Red Deer Symphony, Altius Brass and has authored several works which she has performed with Symphony Orchestras and Canada’s top jazz musicians.

In conjunction with her active career as a performer, Samantha is the education advisor for Calgary Pro Musica and a teaching artist for the oNational Arts Centre of Canada (NAC) where she finds the cross-cultural work she does with Walter MacDonald White Bear, as part of the Music Alive Program, very meaningful. She has written outreach and music teaching guides for the NAC, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. She is also the brass instructor at Central Memorial High School in Calgary, Alberta Canada.

Kevin Willms Top

Kevin Willms was born and raised in Calgary. In June of 2018, he “graduated” after teaching instrumental and choral music for the Calgary Board of Education for the last 31 years. During this time his ensembles consistently performed at “Superior” levels and have received much recognition for their outstanding performances at local and international music festivals. His ensembles commissioned several new works for wind band and jazz ensemble and performed across Canada and the USA as well as in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain, China and Cuba.

Mr. Willms has been the Artistic Director of the Westwinds Music Society for 22 years. Westwinds is an adult community music organization dedicated to providing exceptional music education to adults of all levels of experience.

The Calgary Association for the Development of Music Education, recognized internationally as CADME was formed in 2003 with Mr. Willms as its founding President. He continues to serve in this role. CADME is a not-for-profit charity born from the vision of dedicated music educators committed to enhancing and expanding music education for all students in the Calgary region and beyond.

Mr. Willms is active as a clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the “Elkhorn Award” from the Alberta Band Association, “David Peterkin Memorial Award” from Phi Beta Mu, Pan Canadian Students Choice Award, Excellence in Teaching Award and the Tommy Banks Award, recognizing his long-term contribution to music education in Alberta. He was named “Educator of the Year” by the Calgary Educational Partnership Foundation. In December, 2017, Mr. Willms was inducted as Laureate to the John Philip Sousa Legion of Honour.

Mentorship and contributing to the broader development of music education has always been an important priority. Mr. Willms is very proud to be a Senior Adviser with “Music Mentors International”. This unique organization specializes in providing music educators with intensive workshops in rehearsal techniques as well as pedagogical concepts designed to assist teachers in building the best ensembles and musical communities possible.