6254 Symposium: Teaching the Middle School Band

Leading music educators and composers will provide you with materials and methods aimed at improving the middle level band experience. You'll be involved in discussion and experiences centered around iPad/technology in the band room, building lessons using the CMP model, curriculum development, age-appropriate repertoire, motivation techniques, recruitment, retention, advocacy, commissioning, and creative warm-ups and rehearsal techniques, all aimed at improving performance and developing comprehensive musicianship in musicians.

Instructors: Stacey Larson Dolan, Brian Balmages, Rachel Maxwell, Corey Ames & Chris Gleason

Stacey Larson Dolan

Stacey L. Dolan is the dean of undergraduate studies and associate director of bands at VanderCook College of Music where she teaches music education courses, conducting courses and ensembles at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Prior to teaching
at VanderCook, Dean Dolan had a successful 12-year career in both private and public education. Originally from Itasca, IL, Dean Dolan received her bachelor of music education degree from Millikin University in Decatur, IL, and her master of music education from VanderCook. She has acted as a guest conductor and clinician for over 400 bands from
15 states and several ensembles from Canada and Europe. Dean Dolan has presented workshops and/or conducted at Music Educators Association Conferences and Festivals in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Texas and Missouri, and has been published in β€œThe Instrumentalist.”


Brian Balmages is an award-winning composer and conductor. His music has been performed throughout the world, including premieres at the College Band Directors National Conference, the Midwest Clinic, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center. His commissions have included the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Miami Symphony Orchestra, University of Miami Wind Ensemble, Boston Brass, and countless others including professional musicians from leading orchestras throughout the world. His music was also performed as part of the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service, which was attended by both President Obama and Vice President Biden.
As a conductor, Mr. Balmages enjoys regular engagements with all-state and regional honor bands, orchestras, university g
roups, and professional e
nsembles throughout the country. Notable guest conducting appearances have included the Midwest Clinic, College Band Directors Eastern Division Conference, Mid-Atlantic Wind Conductors Conference, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra Brass Ensemble, and venues including Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the Kennedy Center. A recipient of the prestigious A. Austin Harding Award from the American School Band Directors Association, he has also served as an 
adjunct professor of instrumental conducting and Acting Symphonic Band Director at Towson University in Maryland. Currently, he is Director of Instrumental Publications for The FJH Music Company. He resides in Baltimore with his wife Lisa and their two sons.


Rachel J. Maxwell currently serves as the Director of Bands at Traughber Junior High School and as the Junior High Band Coordinator for Oswego District #308. She has taught music education courses at North Central College in Naperville, IL and has been invited to be a  guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator at a number of music camps and festivals including ISYM, Il State Univ. Junior High Camp and IMEA District 
Level Festivals.
Rachel J. Maxwell attended Illinois State University and graduated in 1993 (Summa Cum Laude) with a Bachelor`s Degree in Music Education. She received a Master of Music Education d
egree from the University of Illinois in 1997. In 2003 she completed a Master of Educational Leadership degree from Aurora University. During 2006 Mrs. Maxwell also completed additional coursework in team-building and leadership and in working with diverse students. Mrs. Maxwell has taught band in the West Aurora School District (1993-95) and in the Oswego School District (1995-present).
Additional information about the Traughber JHS Band program may be found at

Chris Gleason earned his BME at UW-Eau Claire in 1997 and his Masters Degree from UW-LaCrosse in 2002. He has taught band in the East Troy School District and the LaCrosse School District. He currently teaches concert band and jazz ensemble at Patrick Marsh Middle School in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. The Patrick Marsh Middle School Band has commissioned composers such as Samuel R. Hazo (Blue and Green Music -2009), Brian Balmages (Sun Cycles – 2012), Michael Sweeney (Particles - 2013), Erik Morales (One Giant Leap - 2014) and John Mackey (TBA – 2015). He has been guest conductor of numerous camps and festivals in the Midwest. He is the past-chair of the Wisconsin Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (CMP) Committe
e, chair of the Wisconsin State Middle Level Honors Band and chair-elect of the Wisconsin State Middle Level Honors Program. He has taught CMP Workshops at VanderCook College of Music, the Los Angeles Unified School District in California, The Total Music Educators Workshop, numerous school districts and state music conferences in the Midwest, and recently in Hong Kong. Mr. Gleason was the recent recipient of the Vi Miller Award for Excellence by Dane Arts. Mr. Gleason is the founder and organizer of the Band Festival at the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells. 
Email - (  Website - (

Corey Ames




Course Information

6254 Symposium: Teaching the Middle School Band

3 graduate credits
Location: De La Salle Institute Band Room

Click HERE for a campus map.

Tuition: $900 (includes $75 resource fee)
A $75 deposit is required at time of registration. Tuition balance is due in full by the first day of class.

July 14 - 18
Monday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

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