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Capital University Band Festival

Event Overview

Entering its 21st year, the Capital University Band Festival is designed to provide students the opportunity to work with the Conservatory’s internationally recognized faculty and renowned guest conductors. The festival is held annually on the beautiful Capital University campus and past guest artists have included Frank Ticheli, Steven Bryant, John Mackey, Michael Markowski, Craig Kirchhoff, Paula Crider, and Ray Cramer.

Featured Guest Conductors for this year’s Band Festival

  • Dr. Stephen Peterson, Director of Bands, University of Illinois (retired)
  • Dr. Elizabeth Peterson, Associate Director of Bands, University of Illinois (retired)
  • Prof. Tony Zilincik, Capital University
  • Dr. John Climer, Interim Director of Wind Ensembles, Capital University

Performances by 

  • Capital University Symphonic Winds
  • Capital University Wind Symphony
  • Capital University Chamber Ensembles

Special Performance by:

  • Olentangy Orange High School Wind Ensemble, Ishbah Cox, conductor 

Student highlights include: 

  • Participate in one of three outstanding honor bands
  • Participate in masterclasses led by Capital Conservatory faculty and alumni
  • Attend performances by Conservatory performing groups

Student Nomination for the Band Festival

students playing instrument

Directors may nominate up to eight students to participate in the Honors Wind Ensemble, Honors Symphonic Band, and Honors Concert Band. So that we can complete the selection process in a timely manner, nominations must be submitted no later than Friday, September 23 and no nominations will be accepted after this date. When nominating students, we ask that you list them according to ability, regardless of instrument, and that they are available and express an enthusiastic desire to participate in the event. Directors will be notified by email regarding which students have been selected to participate in the Band Festival on or around Friday, September 30 and your selected students will be contacted soon thereafter.

Nomination form 

Participation Fee

Each student selected to participate in the band festival must pay a $85 non-refundable participation fee to complete the registration process. This is not due until after the nomination process is complete, and students, directors, and parents are notified of the results.

Featured Guest Conductors

Dr. Stephen Peterson (Honors Wind Ensemble)

Steven Peterson Headshot

Stephen Peterson has enjoyed a forty-three-year career teaching and conducting throughout the United States and around the world. Most recently, he served as director of bands at the University of Illinois, where he served from 2015 until his retirement in 2022. At Illinois, he conducted the Illinois Wind Symphony, led the graduate wind conducting program, taught courses in wind literature, and guided 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.

Peterson maintains a busy schedule as a conductor and clinician, and, as such, has appeared on four continents and in forty-four states. He is a member of the College Band Directors National Association and has been honored with membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, where he has served on the Board of Directors. He is also a 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.

The first to receive the doctor of music degree in wind conducting from Northwestern University, Peterson also 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 (three times), the College Band Directors National Association (twice), the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, the American School Band Directors Association, and at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City.

Dr. Elizabeth Peterson (Honors Symphonic Band)

Elizabeth Peterson Headshot

Dr. Elizabeth Peterson recently retired from her position as clinical professor of music, and associate director of bands, University of Illinois School of Music where she joined the faculty in 2015. Dr. Peterson conducted the Illinois Wind Orchestra, served as the placement coordinator for student teachers and taught several courses in instrumental conducting. Prior to her appointment at the University of Illinois, Peterson was a tenured professor of music education at the Ithaca College School of Music. During the seventeen years she spent at Ithaca College, Peterson 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. Peterson was the co-conductor of the Ithaca Concert Band (community band) for fifteen years.

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. 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, Peterson was an arts administrator and director of bands in the public schools of Ohio and Illinois. Dr. Peterson holds a number of professional memberships including the College Band Directors National Association and the National Band Association. Peterson is a member the American Bandmasters Association and the Midwest Clinic Board of Directors.

Professor Tony Zilincik (Honors Concert Band)

Tony Zilincik Headshot

Tony Zilincik is currently an associate professor of music at Capital University where he teaches tuba and euphonium, composition, theory, and directs Capital Thunder, the University's tuba/euphonium ensemble. He is the principal tubist for the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra, and maintains a large private low brass studio.

He is the tubist in the Capital Brass quintet, the faculty quintet at Capital University, the Cathedral Brass quintet at St. Joseph Cathedral in Columbus, and is the director and coordinator of Merry TUBACHRISTMAS Columbus. He is the E-flat tuba soloist and assistant conductor of the Brass Band of Columbus and has performed with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, and The Columbus Jazz Orchestra. He is the sousaphone player for the New Orleans inspired New Basics Brass Band and has performed with many touring shows including Annie, The Lion King, Mary Poppins, The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Game of Thrones Live.

He is active as a soloist and composer and is a champion of improvised music. His compositions have received performances in the United States and abroad and many are published by Cimarron Music. Mr. Zilincik is in demand as a tuba and band clinician throughout the Midwest.

Dr. John Climer, guest conductor

John Climer Headshot

John Climer is serving as Interim Director of Wind Ensembles at Capital University for the 2022-23 academic year. John recently completed a fourteen-year tenure as Director of University Bands and Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts. At UW-Milwaukee, John led the graduate wind conducting area, and served as conductor of the Wind Ensemble, the University's premiere wind band. Before his appointment in Milwaukee, he served as Director of Bands and conductor of the Wind Ensemble and New Music Ensemble at Ohio University. As a guest conductor and clinician, Dr. Climer has led performances at festivals, universities, and concert venues nationally and internationally including the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Eastman School of Music, and the Conservatorio di Musica in Salerno, Italy. Ensembles under his direction have performed for four conferences of the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), including the 2013 National Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina, five conferences of the Ohio Music Educators Association, the Wisconsin State Music Conference, and the Society of Composers Inc. In the summer of 2015, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wind Ensemble performed for the 16th International Conference of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) in San Jose, CA. The recipient of three university teaching awards, John was recently named the 2021 Phi Beta Mu Wisconsin Bandmaster of the Year. He is Past-President of the North Central Division of CBDNA and an elected member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association.

Dr. Climer earned degrees from the University of Akron, the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. He has held teaching appointments at Ohio University, the University of North Dakota, Ohio Northern University, and Emory University where he also served as the conductor of the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony.