Capital University Band Festival | Capital University, Columbus Ohio


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    Virtual BandFest

  • Capital University 2020 Virtual Band Festival

    November 13, 2020

    12:00-4:30 PM
  • In this section..

    • Event Overview

      Entering its 19th year, the Capital University Band Festival is a multi-faceted event designed to provide students and directors the opportunity to engage with internationally recognized composers and conductors. The annual festival is traditionally held on the beautiful Capital University campus and past guests have included John Mackey, Frank Ticheli, Michael Markowski, Craig Kirchhoff, Paula Crider, and Ray Cramer. This year, to best ensure the safety of our participants, the Band Festival will be held virtually. Because of this new format, students and directors will have the opportunity to interact with six world-class guest artists.

      Guest Artists

      Composer Panel
      Frank Ticheli
      Alex Shapiro
      Omar Thomas

      Performer Panel
      Master Gunnery Sergeant Susan Rider
      “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band

      J. Michael Weiss-Holmes
      Chicago Symphony Orchestra
      Roosevelt University
      North American Saxophone Alliance

      Cameron Leach
      Internationally Recognized Solo and Chamber Percussionist

      Event Highlights for Students

      Accepted students will have the opportunity to interact with both guest panels, as well as the Capital University Conservatory faculty.

      Student highlights include:
      • Participate in Q&A sessions with the guest artists on the Composer and Performer panels.
      • Perform in master classes led by Capital Conservatory faculty and alumni.
      • Explore collegiate-level musical opportunities for music majors and non-majors.
      • Participate in a virtual performance by the Honors Festival Band.

      Event Highlights for Directors 

      Directors will have the opportunity participate in a Virtual Retreat, where they will interact with both guest panels, as well as attend sessions on repertoire and programming.

      Director highlights include:
      • Participate with accepted students in Q&A sessions with the guest artists on the Composer and Performer panels.
      • Attend Director-only sessions with Jerry Junkin, Director of Bands at The University of Texas at Austin and Artistic Director of the Dallas Winds and Jeff Gershman, Director of Wind Ensembles at Capital University. 

      Student Nomination for the Virtual Band Festival

      Directors may nominate up to eight students to participate in the Virtual Band Festival. To nominate students, please complete the online nomination form. So that we can complete the selection process in a timely manner, nominations must be submitted by no later than Friday, October 9 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 e-mail regarding which students have been selected to participate in the Virtual Band Festival by Friday, October 16 and your selected students will be contacted soon after that. The registration cost for each student is $50. 

      Director Registration for the Virtual Retreat

      Directors who would like to participate can register for the event at the end of the student nomination form (see paragraph above). For those Directors wanting to attend the Virtual Retreat, but not nominate students, just select “0” under the “Number of Students to Nominate” dropdown menu. As a courtesy, there will be no registration fee to participate. The deadline to register for the Virtual Retreat is Friday, October 30

      Frequently Asked Questions

      1. I am interested in participating in the Virtual Band Festival (VBF), what is my next step??

       Talk with your band director. Participation is based on director nominations and instrumentation needs. We take nominations for the VBF in September and October.

      2. When will a schedule for the VBF be available?

      A final schedule for the VBF will be available in mid-late October. The event will last from 12:00-4:30 PM on Friday, November 13.

      3. Will I be given a note to be excused from school?

      Yes. We will email you a letter that you can turn in to your school, which explains our event, and that asks your school to excuse you from class that day.

    • Composer Panel

      Frank Ticheli

      frank ticheli 2Frank Ticheli’s music has been described as being “optimistic and thoughtful” (Los Angeles Times), “lean and muscular” (The New York Times), “brilliantly effective” (Miami Herald) and “powerful, deeply felt crafted with impressive flair and an ear for striking instrumental colors” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel). Ticheli (b. 1958) joined the faculty of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music in 1991, where he is Professor of Composition. From 1991 to 1998, Ticheli was Composer in Residence of the Pacific Symphony.

      Ticheli’s orchestral works have received considerable recognition in the U.S. and Europe. Orchestral performances have come from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Dallas Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, the radio orchestras of Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Saarbruecken, and Austria, and the orchestras of Austin, Bridgeport, Charlotte, Colorado, Haddonfield, Harrisburg, Hong Kong, Jacksonville, Lansing, Long Island, Louisville, Lubbock, Memphis, Nashville, Omaha, Phoenix, Portland, Richmond, San Antonio, San Jose, Wichita Falls, and others.

      Ticheli’s Flute concerto recently received its world premiere at the National Flute Association Convention in Minneapolis, with the composer conducting and Thornton colleague Jim Walker as soloist. In February, 2018, Ticheli’s third symphony, THE SHORE, will receive its East Coast premiere at New York’s Carnegie Hall by NYChoral Society and Orchestra.

      Ticheli is well known for his works for concert band, many of which have become standards in the repertoire. In addition to composing, he has appeared as guest conductor of his music at Carnegie Hall, at many American universities and music festivals, and in cities throughout the world, including Schladming (Austria), Beijing and Shanghai, London and Manchester, Singapore, Rome, Sydney, and numerous cities in Japan.
      He is the recipient of a 2012 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, his third award from that prestigious organization. His Symphony No. 2 was named winner of the 2006 NBA/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest. Other awards include the Walter Beeler Memorial Prize and First Prize awards in the Texas Sesquicentennial Orchestral Composition Competition, Britten-on-the-Bay Choral Composition Contest, and Virginia CBDNA Symposium for New Band Music.

      Ticheli was awarded national honorary membership to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, “bestowed to individuals who have significantly contributed to the cause of music in America,” and the A. Austin Harding Award by the American School Band Directors Association, “given to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the school band movement in America.” At USC, he has received the Virginia Ramo Award for excellence in teaching, and the Dean’s Award for Professional Achievement.

      Ticheli received his doctoral and masters degrees in composition from The University of Michigan. His works are published by Manhattan Beach, Southern, Hinshaw, and Encore Music, and are recorded on the labels of Albany, Chandos, Clarion, Klavier, Koch International, Mark and Naxos. 

      Alex Shapiro

      alex shapiroAlex Shapiro aligns note after note with the hope that at least a few of them will actually sound good next to each other. Her persistence at this activity, as well as non-fiction music writing, public speaking, arts advocacy volunteerism, wildlife photography, and the shameless instigation of insufferable puns on Facebook, has led to a happy life. Drawing from a broad musical palette that giddily ignores genre, Alex's acoustic and electroacoustic works for small chamber groups and large ensembles are published by Activist Music LLC, performed and broadcast daily, and can be found on over thirty commercial releases from record labels around the world. Shapiro is known for her seamless melding of live and recorded sounds that often include striking visual and physical elements, and for her innovative uses of technology throughout the composing, rehearsing, and performance of her music.

      Ms. Shapiro is the Symphonic & Concert writer member on the Board of Directors of ASCAP, and a board member of the ASCAP Foundation. She also serves as a board member of The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and is a former board member of other U.S. non-profit organizations including The American Music Center, the American Composers Forum of Los Angeles, The MacDowell Colony, and The Society of Composers & Lyricists.
      Educated at The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music as a student of Ursula Mamlok and John Corigliano, Shapiro moved from Manhattan to Los Angeles in 1983, beginning her career composing for commercial media before switching her focus to the concert music world in the late 90s. In 2007 Alex traded the traffic and wildfires of Malibu for the puddle jumpers and wildlife of Washington State's remote San Juan Island. From her home on the water's edge, Alex procrastinates on her next piece by pointing her camera at anything with paws, claws, hooves, tentacles or fins. The resulting, award-winning photos are increasingly part of Shapiro's multimedia electroacoustic works and her website, where just as on her blog,, and Facebook page,, Alex's music and images can be experienced separately, and together. 

      Omar Thomas

      omar thomasDescribed as "elegant, beautiful, sophisticated, intense, and crystal clear in emotional intent," the music of Omar Thomas continues to move listeners everywhere it is performed. Born to Guyanese parents in Brooklyn, New York in 1984, Omar moved to Boston in 2006 to pursue a Master of Music in Jazz Composition at the New England Conservatory of Music after studying Music Education at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He is the protégé of lauded composers and educators Ken Schaphorst and Frank Carlberg, and has studied under multiple Grammy-winning composer and bandleader Maria Schneider.

      Hailed by Herbie Hancock as showing "great promise as a new voice in the further development of jazz in the future," educator, arranger, and award-winning composer Omar Thomas has created music extensively in the contemporary jazz ensemble idiom. It was while completing his Master of Music Degree that he was appointed the position of Assistant Professor of Harmony at Berklee College of Music at the surprisingly young age of 23. He was awarded the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award in 2008, and invited by the ASCAP Association to perform his music in their highly exclusive JaZzCap Showcase, held in New York City. In 2012, Omar was named the Boston Music Award's "Jazz Artist of the Year." Following his Berklee tenure, he served on faculty of the Music Theory department at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Composition at The University of Texas at Austin.

      Omar's music has been performed in concert halls the world over. He has been commissioned to create works in both jazz and classical styles. His work has been performed by such diverse groups as the Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, the San Francisco and Boston Gay Mens' Choruses, and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, in addition to a number of the country's top collegiate music ensembles. Omar has had a number of celebrated singers perform over his arrangements, including Stephanie Mills, Yolanda Adams, Nona Hendryx, BeBe Winans, Kenny Lattimore, Marsha Ambrosius, Sheila E., Raul Midon, Leela James, Dionne Warwick, and Chaka Khan. His work is featured on Dianne Reeves's Grammy Award-winning album, "Beautiful Life."

      Omar's first album, "I AM," debuted at #1 on iTunes Jazz Charts and peaked at #13 on the Billboard Traditional Jazz Albums Chart. His second release, " We Will Know: An LGBT Civil Rigths Piece in Four Movements," has been hailed by Grammy Award-wining drummer, composer, and producer Terri Lyne Carrington as being a "thought provoking, multi-layered masterpiece" which has "put him in the esteemed category of great artists." "We Will Know" was awarded two OUTMusic Awards, including "Album of the Year." For this work, Omar was named the 2014 Lavender Rhino Award recipient by The History Project, acknowledging his work as an up-and-coming activist in the Boston LGBTQ community. Says Terri Lyne: "Omar Thomas will prove to be one of the more important composer/arrangers of his time."

    • Performer Panel

      Master Gunnery Sergeant Susan Rider

      susan riderTrumpeter/cornetist Master Gunnery Sergeant Susan Rider joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in July 1997. Master Gunnery Sgt. Rider began her musical instruction at age 10. Upon graduating in 1985 from Northern University High School in Cedar Falls, she earned a bachelor’s degree in music in 1989 from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. She continued her studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, where in 1991 she earned a master’s degree in music and in 2000 earned a doctorate of music in brass pedagogy. Her trumpet instructors were Keith Johnson and Randy Grabowski of the University of Northern Iowa, and Charles Gorham and Edmund Cord of Indiana University.

      Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Master Gunnery Sgt. Rider performed with the Midland/Odessa Symphony in Texas, the Owensboro Symphony in Kentucky, and the Evansville Philharmonic and Columbus Indiana Philharmonic in Indiana. She also played in the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra in Charleston, S.C., and was a substitute with the New World Symphony in Miami. In addition to performing, she also taught studio trumpet in Odessa and at Purdue University in Indiana, and was an associate instructor at Indiana University for the brass and music education departments.

      Master Gunnery Sgt. Rider has appeared as a Marine Band guest soloist with various groups including the Louisville Male High School Symphonic Band from Kentucky in 2001, and the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony in 2005, both at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. She has performed with Monarch Brass at the International Women’s Brass Conferences in Toronto, Canada in 2010 and Cincinnati, Ohio in 2014; the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Columbus, Ohio in 2015; and the International Trombone Festival in New York in 2016. In addition to her musical duties, Master Gunnery Sgt. Rider has served as a Tour Coordinator since 2003, advancing and serving as on-site manager during the band’s annual concert tour.

      J. Michael Weiss-Holmes

      Michael HolmesDr. J. Michael Weiss-Holmes is a talented solo and chamber musician who “… is one of the rising young saxophone stars in the United States” (Saxophone Journal). He “ranks among the very finest of today’s young intellectually and musically gifted saxophonists” (Dr. Frederick Hemke). Professor Weiss-Holmes’ active playing career has seen him performing at some of the most prestigious venues around the United States, China, Australia, Taiwan, and Europe – notably, recent performances at Carnegie Hall with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

      Dr. Weiss-Holmes has received international acclaim as an orchestral saxophonist, and has performed as principal saxophonist with numerous orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Grant Park Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony. Weiss-Holmes has worked with such renown conductors as Riccardo Muti, Jaap van Zweden, Leonard Slatkin, David Robertson, Michael Tilson Thomas, Stéphane Denève, and Marin Alsop… just to name a few. He has also shared the stage with artists such as Ben Folds, Jane Lynch, Sutton Foster, the Temptations, Manhattan Transfer, and Idina Menzel.

      Dr. Weiss-Holmes is the Head of Woodwinds and Artist-Teacher of Saxophone at Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA), where he was also the Assistant Dean during the 2017-18 academic year. During his tenure at CCPA, Dr. Weiss-Holmes co-founded the Chicago Saxophone Day, along with Taimur Sullivan from Northwestern Unversity, and is the founding director of the Chicago Saxophone Institute at CCPA. He was previously on faculty at the University of Illinois, the College of Wooster, and the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Weiss-Holmes is the Marketing Director for the North American Saxophone Alliance and served as Director of Marketing for Saxophones at Conn-Selmer, Inc. and as Artistic Advisor and Product Specialist with Vandoren. Professor Weiss-Holmes’ diverse background as a performer, educator and former member of the music industry have provided him with unique insight in preparing the next generation of music students for successful careers in their chosen field. As such, he has been invited to present clinics, masterclasses, and performances at some of the most prestigious saxophone programs both nationally and internationally. Weiss-Holmes is an active soloist of contemporary music and has commissioned and premiered numerous works for the saxophone.

      His performances have received great accolades and can be heard on the CSO Resound, Mark, NAXOS, Aucourant, SEAMUS and Klavier Record labels. Dr. Weiss-Holmes is the saxophonist on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Resound album’s release of a recording featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Riccardo Muti, playing an extended suite drawn from Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet ballet score. The Chicago Tribune describes this recording as “played here with a brilliance and panache that brought the dramatic narrative alive.” 
      Weiss-Holmes holds a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) and Master of Music (MM) in Saxophone Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois where he studied with Professor Debra Richtmeyer, and a Bachelors in Music Education (BME) from Bowling Green State University where he was a student of Distinguished Research/Artist Professor John Sampen. He had additional studies with saxophonists Jean-Marie Londeix, Fred Hemke, Claude Delangle, Griffin Campbell, Daniel Kientzy, and Eugene Rousseau. Dr. Weiss-Holmes is a member of the North American Saxophone Alliance and has performed in many of the national and regional conferences, as-well-as at the World Saxophone Congress.

      Dr. Weiss-Holmes was the co-host of the 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference which was be held at the University of Illinois. He was recently a featured artist in the “We Are Vandoren” international ad campaign, appeared on the cover of the Sept/Oct 2012 Saxophone Journal, and is a Selmer Artist/Clinician as well as Vandoren Performing Artist.

      Weiss-Holmes is married to Brad Weiss-Holmes and resides in Chicago, IL.

      Cameron Leach 

      cameron leachAmerican percussionist Cameron Leach is a bold performer recognized for his expressive virtuosity, musical athleticism, and daring interpretations. As a soloist and chamber musician, Leach has concertized in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. He has appeared at some of the world’s finest institutions, including the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Sibelius Academy, and the Norwegian Academy of Music, and notable halls such as the Meyerson Symphony Center, Lila Cockrell Theater, Ohio Theatre, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, and China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts. Leach is the winner of both the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) International Solo Artist Competition and Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition, and was awarded the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. He is a member of the Northern California-based percussion quartet Orphic Percussion, one half of the Leach | Peters Percussion Duo, and an Associate Musician with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Leach formerly held a professorship at Kent State University’s Hugh A. Glauser School of Music, and now teaches primarily as a guest artist at universities across the United States. Leach proudly endorses Black Swamp Percussion, Beetle Percussion, Sabian Cymbals, Rustic Percussion, and Malletech.



    • Virtual Retreat Clinicians

      Jerry Junkin

      jerry junkinArtistic Director and Conductor of The Dallas Winds since 1993, Jerry Junkin is recognized as one of the world’s most highly regarded wind conductors. He has served as Music Director and Conductor of the Hong Kong Wind Philharmonia since 2003, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music Wind Symphony in Tokyo since 2007. Additionally, 2020-21 marks his 33rd year on the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Vincent R. and Jane D. DiNino chair for the Director of Bands. There, he also holds the title of University Distinguished Teaching Professor. Previously, he served on the faculties of both the University of Michigan and the University of South Florida. In addition to his responsibilities as Professor of Music and Conductor of the Texas Wind Ensemble, he serves as Head of the Division of Conducting and Ensembles and teaches courses in conducting and wind band literature. He is a recipient of multiple teaching awards, and students of Mr. Junkin hold major positions throughout the world

      Performances under the direction of Mr. Junkin have won the praise of such notable musicians as John Corigliano, David Del Tredici, Gunther Schuller, Karel Husa, William Kraft, Jacob Druckman and Michael Colgrass, among many others. Mr. Junkin has released over 30 compact disc recordings for the Reference, Klavier and Naxos labels. The New York Times named his release on the Reference Recordings label, Bells for Stokowski, one of the best classical CD's of 2004. His performance of Circus Maximus with The University of Texas Wind Ensemble was released on the world’s first Blu Ray audio disc in 5.1 surround sound by Naxos and was nominated for a GRAMMY. During the summer of 2014, Mr Junkin led The University of Texas Wind Ensemble on a four-week tour around the world.

      Mr. Junkin is an enthusiastic advocate of public-school music education, having conducted All-State bands and festivals in forty-eight states and on five continents. He spends his summers in residence at the lnterlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, as well as appearing at major music festivals throughout the world.

      Mr. Junkin has served as President of the Big XII Band Director’s Association and is a member of the Board of Directors of The John Philip Sousa Foundation, is Past-President of the American Bandmasters Association, and is Past President of the College Band Directors National Association. Regularly making guest appearances with ensembles such as the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra and the Taipei Symphonic Winds, he continues to conduct throughout the United States in addition to multiple appearances in Japan, China, and Europe. In 2005, he was presented the Grainger Medallion by the International Percy Grainger Society in recognition of his championing of Grainger's works, and he has received numerous career awards from Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Beta Mu, and the Midwest Clinic, among others. Mr. Junkin is a Yamaha Master Educator.

      Jeffrey D. Gershman

      jeffrey gershmanDr. Jeffrey D. Gershman is the Director of Wind Ensembles and a Professor of Music at the Capital University Conservatory of Music. His responsibilities include conducting the Symphonic Winds, Wind Symphony, and teaching advanced conducting and instrumental pedagogy. His past positions include serving as the Associate Director of Bands at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the Director of Instrumental Activities at Texas A&M University-Commerce, and the Co-Director of Instrumental Music at Monroe-Woodbury High School in Central Valley, New York. Dr. Gershman holds two degrees from Indiana University: a Bachelor of Music Education with High Distinction and the first Master of Music in Wind Conducting degree conferred by the institution. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting degree at The University of Texas at Austin. His principal conducting teachers include Jerry F. Junkin and Ray E. Cramer.

      Dr. Gershman maintains an active guest conducting schedule with both professional ensembles and high school honor bands throughout the country, including an annual series of concerts with the Dallas Winds (formally the Dallas Wind Symphony). He has presented lectures at many state and national conventions and is in high demand as adjudicator, having judged band festivals throughout the United States as well as in Singapore and Australia. In addition, Dr. Gershman has published articles on repertoire, programming, and score study which have been hailed as “groundbreaking.” As an arranger, his transcriptions of works by Frank Zappa, John Corigliano, and Eric Whitacre have received critical acclaim, with performances at Carnegie Hall as well as regional and national conventions.


Virtual Bandfest