Allan McMurray is Distinguished Professor and Emeritus Professor of Conducting at the University of Colorado-Boulder College of Music. He served for 35 years as Director of Bands and Chair of the Conducting Faculty before retiring from the university in 2013.
Prior to this position he was on the faculty of the University of Michigan, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Considered one of the world’s leading teachers of conducting, McMurray has guest conducted and taught conductors in 48 states and 16 foreign countries. He has been a featured guest conductor at over 200 universities and conservatories internationally.
McMurray’s internationally acclaimed published series on the Art of Conducting includes three DVDs. Conducting from the Inside Out: Gesture and Movement provides an innovative approach to the basics of expressive movement in conducting and incorporates aspects of theatre, dance, and mime into the teaching of conducting. Conducting from the Inside Out: Conductor and Composer with Frank Ticheli examines the relationship between the inspiration of the composer and the informed intuition of the conductor in preparation and performance. Kindred Spirits is a collaborative DVD with well-known conductors Richard Floyd, H. Robert Reynolds, and Craig Kirchhoff, revealing four different approaches to rehearsal of wind ensemble music. McMurray remains active as a guest artist around the world.
Scott Laird, a native of Indiana, Pennsylvania, is on the faculty of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics where he is Fine Arts Coordinator and Instructor of Music. He earned his B.S. in music education and his M.A. in violin performance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has been an active string educator, clinician, and conductor for over 30 years, and his orchestras have been recognized for their superior and musically mature performances. Laird is in demand as a guest conductor, has conducted many honors orchestras throughout the United States, and has presented at numerous regional, state, and national conferences, including Indiana All-State Orchestras and at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp.
Laird was the recipient of the North Carolina Symphony’s 2016 Maxine Swalin Award for Outstanding Music Educator and the 2015 NCSSM Excellence in Teaching Award. He earned his National Board Certification in 2004 and recertified in 2013. He has served as President of the North Carolina chapter of the American String Teachers Association and chair of the NCMEA Orchestra Section. He has chaired ASTA’s National Committee on School Orchestras and Strings and was co-chair of ASTA’s 2013 National Solo Competition. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors for KidZNotes, an El Sistema USA program in Durham, N.C. Laird is an active performer on acoustic and electric violins and is known for his ability to lead and perform in both the classical and improvisatory arenas.
Conductor, teacher, and composer, Andrea Ramsey serves as the associate director of choral studies and assistant professor of conducting at the University of Colorado Boulder. She conducts the University Choir and Men’s Chorus and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting. Prior to her appointment at CU, she held an appointment in choral music education at the Ohio State University.With a doctorate from Michigan State University, Ramsey studied conducting with David Rayl, Sandra Snow, and Jonathan Reed. Prior to university teaching, she enjoyed considerable public school and children’s choir teaching experience.
An ASCAPlus award-winning composer, Ramsey has over 70 published choral works in print. In demand for regular commissioned works, she also enjoys guest residencies with choirs and continues to serve as composer-in-residence to the Allegro Choirs of Kansas City where she has toured with the choirs to Austria, the Czech Republic, and Italy. Ramsey is honored to guest conduct all-state and honor choruses and to present sessions of interest to conductors and music educators in the United States and Canada.
Patrick Ware is an active Orff-Schulwerk clinician and choral conductor at the local, state, and national levels. A 19-year veteran teacher, he holds a B.A. in music from Westfield State Univ, an M.S. Ed from Radford University and a DMA from the Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University.
Ware is a national board certified teacher in music/elementary and middle childhood. He completed his Level III Orff-Schulwerk certification and movement apprenticeship at George Mason University and subsequently completing his basic pedagogy apprenticeship at University of Nevada Las Vegas. He teaches movement and recorder for the Central Florida University Orff Certification Program and basic pedagogy for the Virginia Commonwealth University/Collegiate School Orff Certification Program.
He is a former President of the Virginia Elementary Music Educators Association. Ware has several compositions in print through Beatin’ Path Publications, including works for treble choir and works for Orff Ensemble. Ware teaches K–5 general music and chorus in Prince William County Virginia. Special focuses in his classroom and courses include jazz in the elementary setting and the use of children’s literature.
Micheál Houlahan is a professor of music theory and aural skills and chair of the department of music at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. After graduating from St. Patrick’s College, National University of Ireland, he was awarded an Irish Arts Council Scholarship for graduate studies in Hungary and a Fulbright Scholarship for doctoral studies at the Catholic University of America in the United States.
Additionally, his research has been supported by an International Research Exchange Grant awarded through the National Endowment of the Humanities. He holds a PhD in music theory with a minor in Kodály studies from the Catholic University of America, a Kodály diploma from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music/Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music in Hungary and the Kodály Center of America, and fellowships in piano performance from Trinity College and London College of Music, London.
Along with his administrative and editorial board responsibilities, he has lectured extensively on music theory and Kodály studies in Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Estonia, Netherlands, and England. In March 2016 he, along with Philip Tacka, was awarded the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE) Lifetime Achievement Award.
Philip Tacka received his doctorate from the Catholic University of America and completed postdoctoral work at the Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest/Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute in Hungary. He is a professor of music at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. His research interests center on all the aspects of music education though he has a particular emphasis on music perception and cognition. He has served on editorial boards and is currently a grant evaluator on the American Fellowship Panel for the American Association of University Women.
Prior to his current position, he taught music in the department of art, music, and theatre at Georgetown University and worked with the Georgetown University Medical School’s Institute for Cognitive and Computational Science in the neuropsychology of music perception.
He regularly presents papers and workshops nationally and internationally on aspects of music education, music perception and cognition, and Kodály studies. In March 2016 he, along with Micheál Houlahan, was awarded the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE) Lifetime Achievement Award.
Colleen Conway is Professor of Music Education at the University of Michigan. She taught elementary general and instrumental music in upstate New York before beginning a career in higher education. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Columbia University and has written extensively on preservice and inservice music teacher education. Conway has published over 80 research articles in music education. Book publications include: Great Beginning for Music Teachers: A Guide to Mentoring and Induction (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003); Handbook for the Beginning Music Teacher (GIA, 2006); Teaching Music in Higher Education (Oxford, 2009); Handbook for the Music Mentor (GIA, 2010); Handbook of Qualitative Research in American Music Education (Oxford, 2014) and Musicianship-Focused Curriculum and Assessment (GIA, 2015). Her most recent book, The Oxford Handbook on Preservice Music Teacher Education in the United States, will be available from Oxford in 2018.
Conway will present best practices for helping our students and their mentors at several crucial phases of their development as novice educators, including the student-teaching semester, their first years of teaching, and navigating the micropolitics of the typical school campus.
Named the 2012 National TI:ME Technology Teacher of the Year, Barbara Freedman has been teaching Electronic Music & Audio Engineering at Greenwich HS in Connecticut since 2001 and is the author of the book Teaching Music Through Composition: A Curriculum Using Technology published by Oxford University Press. She is a technology trainer, professional development leader, graduate course instructor, and consultant to schools and districts seeking to create technology labs and integrate technology into curricula. Barbara is on the music technology education advisory boards for MusicFirst, Spotify, and the International Baccalaureate Organization and is the Co-President of the Connecticut Chapter of TI:ME. She holds a bachelor of science and master of music in performance from Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music and City University of New York, and Professional Studies Diploma from the Mannes College of Music. She studied conducting at the Hartt School of Music, Westminster Choir College, and the Juilliard School. Best known as a music technology educator and trainer, Barbara’s motto, “Teach music. The technology will follow” has become the rallying cry for music technology teachers around the world.