Mount Vernon Nazarene University: Life Changing

MVNU to Host OMEA Honors Bands

December 7, 2013

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio -- Mount Vernon Nazarene University is proud to host the 2013 Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) District 10 middle school and high school honors bands for a day of education and performance on Saturday, Dec. 7th.

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The event will feature over 200 young musicians from Ashland, Coshocton, Delaware, Holmes, Knox, Licking, Morrow, and Richland Counties and over 60 participating schools. To be eligible for the OMEA Honors Band, students must be nominated by their director. High school students must also submit an audition piece featuring scales and an etude excerpt. Those chosen also take part in a rehearsal one week prior to the performance.

The day will feature a morning full of instruction for both bands and will culminate with a final concert at 3:30 p.m. in the R.R. Hodges Chapel Auditorium on the MVNU campus. The concert is free and open to the public. This event will feature guest conductors for both the middle school and high school bands.

Dr. Russell C. Mikkelson, Professor of Music and Director of Bands at The Ohio State University, will serve as the High School Honors Band director.

Dr. Russel C. Mikkelson is director of University Bands, professor of music (Conducting), and area head of Conducting and Ensembles at The Ohio State University, where he conducts the Wind Symphony, chairs the graduate conducting program, and oversees all aspects of the university's band program. Under his direction, the Ohio State Wind Symphony has performed at the 2003 College Band Directors National Association Convention, the 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2013 Ohio Music Educators Association Conventions, and has recorded five CDs: Rest (Naxos 2012), Southern Harmony (Naxos 2009), Winds of Nagual (Naxos, 2007), Jubilare! (Mark Records, 2003), and Sounds, Shapes and Symbols (Mark Records, 2000). In a 2010 review of the Southern Harmony recording, Fanfare magazine proclaims, "The Ohio State musicians play their collective hearts out and conductor Mikkelson shapes the music with a loving hand, wringing every last drop of emotion out of the music. If this does not give you goose-bumps, nothing will."

Director of The Ohio State University Contemporary Music Festival and a staunch advocate for the creation of new works, Mikkelson also serves on the American Bandmasters Association Commissioning Committee and has instituted a program of regular commissioning projects for the Ohio State Bands. He has received praise from composers Leslie Bassett, Krzysztof Penderecki, John Corigliano, Michael Colgrass, Joseph Schwantner, Jennifer Higdon, Gunther Schuller, Lukas Foss, Augusta Read Thomas, Frank Ticheli, and Michael Daugherty, among others, for his musical realization of their compositions. Corigliano wrote, "Russel Mikkelson is a conductor who really understands my music, and that's rare."

Dr. Mikkelson is past president of the Big Ten Band Directors Association, a member of the College Band Directors National Association, NAfME, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Phi Beta Mu, and is an elected member of the American Bandmasters Association. An enthusiastic advocate of public school music education, Dr. Mikkelson has conducted All-State Bands, Festivals, and Honor Bands across the United States and internationally. Additionally, he serves as music director and conductor of the Heisey Wind Ensemble, a highly skilled community band based in Newark, Ohio.

He was the recipient of the 2005 Ohio State University School of Music Distinguished Scholar Award and has published articles in The Instrumentalist and The Journal of the Conductor's Guild. As a composer/arranger, he is published through C. Alan and Daehn Publications.

Mr. Jim Dowdy will serve as the Middle School Honors Band director.

James Dowdy is retired from public school teaching after completing 30 years of service. He started his career in 1976 in the Canal Winchester Local School District. After 9 years, he accepted a position in the Worthington City Schools where he worked for 21 years, retiring in 2006. He is currently an adjunct faculty member in Capital's Music Education Department where he teaches and supervises student teachers and field experience candidates. He holds both a BM degree in Music Education from the Capital University Conservatory of Music and a MA degree in Educational Administration from The Ohio State University.

Mr. Dowdy is a member of OMEA, having served as a district president, state treasurer and has chaired several committees. He currently holds the state position of Immediate Past-President. His bands have performed at the 1999 ASBDA State Conference, the 2001 and 2007 OMEA Professional Development Conferences, the 2003 ASBDA National Conference, the 2004, 2010, and 2012 Capital New Music Reading Clinics, and the 2006 and 2009 OAAE Arts Days. He has conducted OMEA honor bands for Districts 1, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, and 16, the West Virginia Region 1 Bandmasters Association, and the 2009 ASBDA Middle School Honor Band.

Additional affiliations include ASBDA, Phi Beta Mu, Phi Mu Alpha and Phi Delta Kappa. He remains active as an OMEA adjudicator and performs with the Rick Brunetto Big Band and The Vintage Brass Quintet.

Mr. Dowdy has been a clinician at Capital University's "The Complete Band Director Workshop" and has served as a guest lecturer in graduate courses at The Ohio State University. He is a conductor with the Capital University Winds and Percussion Camp.

Mr. Dowdy was recognized by OMEA as their Outstanding Music Educator in 1999 and received the Columbus Symphony Orchestra's Secondary Schools Music Educator Award in 2001. He is married to Susan Dowdy, a music educator. They have one child, Adam, who is an engineer with Northrop Grumman in Baltimore, Maryland.

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students and working adults. With a 400-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,200 students from 29 states and 12 countries/U.S. territories.

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