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Honor Band Festival

2022 All-Colorado Honor Band, 69th Annual Festival

The festival is February 24-26, 2022. We are pleased to announce this year’s guests! Our conductor is Dr. Jacqueline Dawson, Director of Bands at University of Manitoba. Our Soloist/Clinician is Dr. Laura McLaughlin, Clarinetist and Faculty at Carroll University. We are also pleased to announce our two award winning Composers in Residence, Tom Davoren and Dr. Ben Justis

Highlights of the 69th Festival

Participation highlights for your students include:

  • Music making under the baton of Dr. Jacquie Dawson (Director of Bands, University of Manitoba)
  • Perform two World Premieres by our award winning Honor Band Resident Composers: Tom Davoren & Dr. Ben Justis
    • Including discussions with both composers at festival
  • Performance with Dr. McLaughlin as soloist
  • Sectionals with experts
  • Musician’s Health Clinic by Dr. McLaughlin
  • (Optional) Scholarship Auditions to attend WCU as a music major, music minor or non-major time slots are available
  • Social Activities

Performance highlights include: 

  • Western Colorado University Symphonic Band
    • Featured Soloists: Dr. Ben Justis & Dr. Laura McLaughlin (marimba and clarinet)
  • Colorado Brass Band
    • Soloist: Brett Keating (euphonium)
  • Faculty Recital including Woodwind, Brass and Percussion performers:
    • Drs. McLaughlin, Justis and Keating

Band Director Happenings:

  • Band Directors are invited to Perform with the WCU Symphonic Band concert on Thursday night
  • Band Director Banquet Friday Evening with guests artists
  • Band Directors are invited to perform with the Colorado Brass band concert on Saturday

About the Guest Artists

Guest Conductor – Dr. Jacqueline Dawson

Headshot of Jacquie DawsonDr. Jacqueline Dawson is in demand as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator across Canada, appearing at numerous festivals and conferences coast to coast. Engagements have included Musicfest Canada, the Alberta Band Asociation Wind Symphony, The Maritime Youth Wind Ensemble, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra New Music Festival, the International Music Camp, and numerous provincial, regional and divisional honour bands in Canada and the United States. She was awarded the 2003 University of Manitoba School of Music Excellence in Music Education Award, the 2013 University of Manitoba Teacher Recognition Award and the 2015 Manitoba Band Association Award of Distinction.

Dr. Dawson is currently the Director of Bands at the University of Manitoba Desautels Faculty of Music where she conducts the Concert Band and Wind Ensemble, teaches courses in music education and oversees the graduate wind conducting program. She also serves as a Faculty Advisor for music education teacher candidates. Prior to her appointment at the University of Manitoba, she taught in the public school system for twenty years and served as a sessional instructor at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Dawson served on the board of directors of the Manitoba Band Association from 1999 – 2005 and remains active with numerous MBA projects and initiatives. She was the Artistic Director of The Winnipeg Wind Ensemble from 2009-2020. Under her leadership the group has expanded in infrastructure, artistic standard and programming, and in 2016 launched a new division of the organization, The Winnipeg Youth Wind Ensemble. She continues to spend as much time as possible with young students and band programs and is a strong advocate for music education.

Dr. Dawson has been published in the Canadian Music Educator Journal and the Canadian Winds Journal and has presented at conferences internationally, including the Canadian Music Educators’ Association National Conference, the Kansas Music Educators Conference and the International Society for the Research and Promotion of Wind Music Conference. She is an active proponent in the promotion of new wind band works and has led or participated in numerous commissions and premieres of works by Gary Kulesha, Kenley Kristofferson, David Scott, Viet Cuong, Steven Danyew and Peter Meechan. Jacqueline Dawson received undergraduate degrees in music and music education from Memorial University of Newfoundland and holds a masters degree in conducting from the University of Manitoba where she studied with Dr. Dale Lonis and Earl Stafford. She completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Kansas under the tutelage of Dr. Paul Popiel.

Guest Soloist – Dr. Laura McLaughlin

Headshot of Laura McLaughlinLaura McLaughlin is an active soloist, chamber musician, orchestral performer and educator. Her playing has been described as “powerful,” she “plays with lots of conviction,” is a “brilliant entertainer” and continues to establish herself as a virtuosic clarinetist.

Dr. McLaughlin is on faculty at Carroll University. She is a founding member of the Chicago-based new music ensemble Lakeshore Rush, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the performance of traditional and contemporary music and serves as their executive director. Laura has been a featured performer at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest, the American Single Reed Summit, the Society of Composers Region V Conference, New Music Chicago’s Impromptu Fest, and Access Contemporary Music’s Thirsty Ears Festival. She is a member of the Wisconsin Wind Orchestra, acting principal clarinet of the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra, and performs regularly with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Dedicated to new music, Laura has commissioned and premiered chamber works by Chris Thomas, Roger Zare, Dane Crozier, Laura Schwendinger, Joshua Hintze, Jonathan Hannau, Griffin Candey, Pierre Jalbert, Beth Bradfish, and Amos Gillespie. Her articles “Tips from the Pros” and “Interview with John Bruce Yeh” were published in the Clarinet Journal, and her 12 progressive etudes for E-flat clarinet designed to help clarinetists make an effective transition to the mastery of the E-flat clarinet was published last year. As a D’Addario Clinician, Laura has presented clinics at middle and high schools across Wisconsin, as well as universities across the nation. Laura received a BM degree from Eastern Michigan University, a MM degree from Michigan State University, and a DMA degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her primary teachers include Dr. Linda Bartley, Dr. Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, and Dr. Kimberly Cole-Luevano.

Composer in Residence – Tom Davoren

Headshot of Tom DavorenWith performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, CBDNA, BASBWE, and WASBE conferences, and the Midwest Clinic, Tom Davoren (b.1986) is a conductor and composer with an international reputation. His music for band is been premiered, recorded and and performed wherever bands are in the world by artists including ‘The President’s Own’ United States Marine Band, Central Band of the Royal Air Force, Brass Band of Battle Creek, Cory Band, and soloists Jens Lindemann, Hiram Diaz, and Steven Mead.

He became Composer in Residence with the Band of the Welsh Guards 2019, composed a fanfare for the Royal opening of the fifth National Assembly for Wales in 2016, and his work ‘Legacy’,celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the British National Health Service through a performance at Westminster Palace, the Houses of British Parliament, in 2017.

Tom was a BASCA British Composer Award nominee in 2011, a prizewinner at the EBBA European Composers Competition 2012, the recipient of a Harvey Phillips Award for excellence in composition, presented by the International Tuba Euphonium Association, in 2014, and winner of the American National Band Association ‘Merrill Jones’ Composition Contest in 2020.

Composer – Percussion Artist – Dr. Ben Justis

Ben JustisAn active soloist and section player, Ben Justis has performed at the Aspen Summer Music Festival, Bravo! Vail, with the United States Air Force Band, and with the acclaimed Colorado State University Percussion Ensemble. He was a back-to-back winner of the CSU Concerto Competition and was a featured performer at the New York City Electro-Acoustic Festival. In 2019 he delivered a composition/performance on one of Harry Bertoia’s sounding sculptures for New York Museum of Art and Design curator Shannon Stratton’s talk at the Spencer Museum of Art. You can hear his drumming on Houseproud’s EP “Just Choose One,” Frank Nawrot’s “Enough is Enough” and Emma Piazza’s “Find Me Out.”

His compositions have been performed by the Portland Percussion Group, newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, the Donald Sinta Saxophone Quartet and the United States Air Force Band among others. In the summer of 2019, he was the Composer-in-Residence at Denali National Park and Homestead National Monument of America where he took field recordings, presented to the public and worked on new pieces to be donated to the parks.

Also a conductor of contemporary repertoire, Ben has directed works with the KU New Music Guild, Helianthus (the KU new music ensemble) and newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble (Kansas City).

Ben was educated at Colorado State University (music education and percussion performance) and The University of Kansas (DMA, music composition). His chief mentors were Eric Hollenbeck (percussion), Forrest Pierce, Ingrid Stölzel and Kip Haaheim.

At any given point you might find him skiing, stargazing, camping, cooking or, most likely, making music in his hometown of Gunnison, Colorado.

About the Host

Dr. Brett Keating

Brett KeatingAs a performer Brett Keating has appeared as a featured soloist with orchestra, brass bands, and wind bands in the U.S and Europe, including Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and the UK. His playing has been recognized at national and international competitions including: The Fischoff International & Plowman Chamber Music Competitions, Swiss National and North American Brass Band Championships. Brett performs in the award-winning Fountain City Brass Band and has recorded with the Gramercy Brass Orchestra. nominal duo, an experimental project with tubist Tom Curry, merges brass performance with electro-acoustic practices through their original compositions, improvisations, adaptations, thievery, and loads of wires. nominal has performed throughout the U.S. and in Canada and was recently featured in the 2021 Virtual Tuba Euphonium Conference. Their debut EP, s.i.p_1 was released in 2020. Nominalduo.wordpress.com

Brett Keating serves as Director of Bands and Brass at Western Colorado University. In this role he directs the Symphonic Band, Brass Ensemble, and Varsity Band. He teaches applied brass lessons and music education courses in conducting and brass methods. Additionally, Brett is the director of the Colorado Brass Band.

Prior to his appointment at WCU, Brett was Director of Athletic Bands at Carroll University. Additionally, he served as Interim Instructor of euphonium and tuba and on the Athletic Band Staff at the University of Kansas. Brett held simultaneous Graduate Teaching Assistantships with the wind conducting and the tuba/euphonium studios while earning his DMA in tuba/euphonium performance, an MM in wind band conducting, and a cognate in electro-acoustic composition at KU. Brett also holds an MM in performance and interpretation of classical & contemporary music from the Hochschule Luzern-Musik, where he lived in beautiful Lucerne, Switzerland for three years. He earned an Artist’s Certificate in low brass performance, as well as a BA in performance from the University of Wisconsin.


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