Colonel Timothy J. Holtan was appointed Leader and Commander of The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in December 2014 until his retirement in February 2017. He holds the distinction of being the first officer to command all three of the Army’s premier bands.
He is a native of Bismarck, North Dakota, and a former school music educator in Montana. An active conductor, adjudicator and clinician, Col. Holtan has presented concerts and clinics in all 50 states, Canada, Japan, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Europe.
Col. Holtan’s other military assignments include: Commandant, U.S. Army School of Music, Virginia Beach, VA, where he served as the primary Proponent for all 100 Army Bands, and oversaw the training of over 500 professional musicians annually; 22nd Leader of the United States Military Academy Band, West Point, NY; Deputy Commander of The U.S. Army Field Band; Department of the Army Staff Bands Officer; tours as Commander and Executive Officer of the U.S. Continental Army Band, Fort Monroe, Virginia; and Executive Officer of the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” Washington, D.C., where he served in overlapping capacities as Director of the Ceremonial Band, Brass Band, Chorale and Chorus.
In 2000, Col. Holtan was selected for the Army’s “Training with Industry” program. He served as the Director of Operations and Associate Conductor of the Dallas Winds, while concurrently pursuing doctoral studies at the University of North Texas. Col. Holtan holds music education degrees from Montana State University and the University of Montana, and has pursued additional conducting studies with Elizabeth Green, H. Robert Reynolds, John Paynter, Larry Rachleff, Jerry Junkin and Eugene Corporon.
Col. Holtan’s ensembles have been seen on many nationally televised broadcasts and diverse stages such as the Kennedy Center, Avery Fisher Hall, DAR Constitution Hall, the Mormon Tabernacle, the Myerson Symphony Center and the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Under his leadership and after a 44-year absence, the West Point Band reestablished a partnership with the New York Philharmonic, which resulted in five Lincoln Center joint performances. Col. Holtan also led the West Point Band in the Emmy-nominated “Marina at West Point” PBS television production that has reached over 160 million viewers.
Col. Holtan has been honored as Alumnus of the Year by Bismarck (North Dakota) State College, and was inducted into the Bismarck High School Hall of Fame. Col. Holtan served for twelve years on the National Band Association Board of Directors and has received multiple Citations of Excellence. In 2011, he was the University of Montana’s School of Visual and Performing Arts “Odyssey of the Stars” honoree, and was inducted into their Hall of Honor. Col. Holtan also holds membership in the prestigious American Bandsmasters Association and serves on the Advisory Committee to the Midwest Clinic. He is married to Laurie Matheson Holtan and they have two daughters, Elizabeth and Katherine.
Loras John Schissel has served as conductor of the Blossom Festival Band since 1998. He also regularly conducts the Blossom Festival Orchestra and led The Cleveland Orchestra’s free annual community concert on Public Square in 2009, 2011 (a special 9/11 tenth anniversary concert), and 2014.
Mr. Schissel has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia conducting orchestras, bands, and choral ensembles in a broad range of musical styles and varied programs. A native of New Hampton, Iowa, Loras John Schissel studied brass instruments and conducting with Carlton Stewart, Frederick Fennell, and John Paynter. In the years following his studies at the University of Northern Iowa, Mr. Schissel has distinguished himself as a prominent conductor, orchestraor, and musicologist. He has served for over two decades as founding music director of the Arlington-based Virginia Grand Military Band, an ensemble comprised of current and former members of the four major U.S. service bands. In 2005, Mr. Schissel was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association.
As a composer and orchestrator, Mr. Schissel has created an extensive catalogue of over 500 works for orchestra, symphonic wind band and jazz ensemble, published exclusively by Ludwig/Masters Music. His musical score for Bill Moyers: America’s First River, The Hudson, which first appeared on PBS in April 2002, received extensive coverage and critical acclaim. He also created musical scores for two films for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Home in Hyde Park, New York. As a recording artist, Mr. Schissel has amassed a large discography with a wide variety of ensembles and various musical genres.
Loras John Schissel is a senior musicologist at the Library of Congress and a leading authority on the music of Percy Aldridge Grainger, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, and Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor Serge Koussevitzky. Schissel and John Philip Sousa IV (great-grandson of the composer) recently co-authored a book titled The Stars and Stripes Forever in conjunction with the Sousa-Schissel book. Mr. Schissel is currently writing a study of the famed impresario Sergei Diaghilev.
Deeply committed to young musicians, Loras John Schissel has appeared as conductor of All-State music festivals and of festival bands and orchestras in more than thirty states. He has conducted the Berea All-County Orchestra Festival and regularly visits Baldwin Wallace University as conductor of the Summer Band Camp there. He frequently appears with the Patriot Band of Avon Lake, Strongsville Community Band, Lakewood Hometown Band, and the Packard Band of Warren, Ohio. In July 2008, Mr. Schissel made his debut with “Pershing’s Own,” the United States Army Band, on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
Clinic Description: This talk is designed to provide musicians with guidance on how to prevent and manage playing related injuries and will include interactive demonstration and audience participation. Risk factors that are unique to instrumental musician will be discussed along with suggestions for safe practice habits to prevent pain and injury. The demonstration will include exercises and stretches to perform prior to playing, onstage and back stage as well as practical strategies for warm up, breaks, posture, playing position, technique, repetition and pacing. The talk will conclude with information on what to do in case of injury and how to return to safe playing.
Bio: Aviva Wolff, EdD, OT, CHT is an occupational therapist clinician and researcher with a particular focus in musician’s injury and rehabilitation. She has a strong background in motor control and movement analysis with extensive experience working with performing artists and individuals with neuromuscular conditions and musculoskeletal injuries. She currently consults for the Julliard School, and runs the upper extremity clinical movement analysis programs and hand and wrist biomechanics research at the Leon Root, MD Motion Analysis Laboratory at Hospital for Special Surgery.
Clinic Description: The European tour of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, the “Greatest Show on Earth,” was one of the great entertainment adventures at the turn of the twentieth century. The newspapers compared it with Noah loading the ark with animals; the golden age of circus music had begun a few years earlier, and several of the finest musicians and band composers of the time were important participants in this unique journey. Led by one of the most talented circus bandmasters in history, Carl Clair, the band performed in front of hundreds of thousands of circus fans and a few heads of state. Famed march composers Russell Alexander and W. P. English were members of the band and wrote music used during the trip. The paper will include musical examples and the careers of several of the musicians in the band will be described.
Bio: An Indianapolis native and current Carmel resident, Dr. Conrad has committed his educational and performance career to the study and performance of music in Indiana. He graduated from Arlington High School and attended the Indiana University School of Music, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Trumpet Performance, studying with legendary trumpet professor William Adam. He earned the first Master’s degree in Conducting ever granted by Butler University and a Doctorate in Conducting from Ball State University, where his dissertation about Hoosier composer and conductor Fred Jewell was named Distinguished Dissertation by the BSU Alumni Association.
In addition to bringing music to the Hoosier state, Dr. Conrad has conducted ensembles in many other states and countries including Scotland, England, Germany, Bulgaria, Austria, Italy, Poland, Holland, France, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. A respected musicologist and author, he has presented lectures at music history and performance conferences in the United States, Germany, Slovakia, Italy, Austria and Luxemburg.
Dr. Conrad served for twenty years as choir director for John Knox Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, IN. He currently maintains a large private trumpet studio, and is a faculty artist, adjudicator and conductor for the National Trumpet Competition. He contributed a number of articles for the new edition of Groves Encyclopedia of Music and Musicians – American Edition, and served as the historical musical consultant for the 20th Century Fox film Water for Elephants, released in 2011. Additionally he is working on a major book on the history of American circus music.
Dr. Conrad enjoys collecting antique brass instruments and historic band photos. He is married to soprano Ann Conrad. They are the proud parents of three-legged Daphne, a sweet rescued Boxer mix who loves attending outdoor IWS concerts in the summer.
Directed by Associate Professor of Tuba Don Harry, Tuba Mirum consists of the combined euphonium and tuba studios at the Eastman School of Music. The ensemble gives a variety of concerts, with repertory ranging from Bach to Zappa. Many original compositions are welcomed and any student is welcome to conduct or arrange anything. During the past year, the ensemble accompanied guest artist David Zerkel and was conducted by James Gourlay of the Royal Northern Conservatory.
Tuba Mirum hosts two events a year: an Autumn Tuba Conference and a Spring Tuba Conference. During these all participants are invited to perform solo repertory on a recital, and play as an ensemble on another concert, usually involving guest artists from the ranks of the tuba and euphonium world at large.
Tuba Mirum was founded by Cherry Beauregard, former Professor of Tuba, and was named The Tuba + so that other instruments could be included. After about a year the name was changed to Tuba Mirum (“wondrous war-trumpet”, from the Latin Requiem Mass) at the suggestion of Eastman’s former Director and Dean, James Undercofler.
Clinic Description: In late 1861, one of every forty-one Union Soldiers was in a band. By February, 1862, all Union regimental bands were mustered out of service. Many brass instruments used in Civil War band had bells that faced backwards. Clarinets were very rare in bands of that period. Bands sometimes played during combat on the battlefield.
These and many other items of interest will be discussed by historian and bandsman Edmund A. Moderacki as he presents his talk on Civil War bands. The presentation will cover the history of Union and Confederate bands, instruments, organizational structure and music with period photographs and recorded performances by recreated military bands.
Several handouts will be available at the conclusion of the presentation including a listing of available recordings by recreated civil war bands and a list of modern band arrangements of Civil War era music.
Bio: Edmund A. Moderacki assumed the conductorship of the Waldwick Band in 1978. He holds a BA from Montclair State College and a MA from Hunter College (CUNY). Mr. Moderacki specializes on tuba and euphonium and has performed with many ensembles throughout North Jersey. In addition to his responsibilities with the Waldwick Band, Moderacki is the assistant conductor of the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra and the announcer for the Teaneck Community Band’s summer concert series. As a music educator, Moderacki taught in the River Vale (NJ) Public Schools for forty-five years. He is still active as a member of the steering committee of Bergen County Teen Arts and is on the Executive Committee of the Music Educators of Bergen County, Inc. He has conducted both the Bergen County Middle School Band and the Bergen County High School Band, and also made an appearance as a guest conductor with the United States Air Force Band. Mr. Moderacki is the Township Historian for River Vale New Jersey. For a number of years, he was active as a Revolutionary War re-enactor with the Brigade of the American Revolution. He is the author of Images of America: River Vale, published by Arcadia Press, and a contributor to several other books on 18th and 19th century historical topics. Popular as a lecturer, Mr. Moderacki has appeared before numerous historical, civic and fraternal organizations in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
As a music educator, Moderacki taught in the River Vale (NJ) Public Schools for forty-five years. He is still active as a member of the steering committee of Bergen County Teen Arts and is on the Executive Committee of the Music Educators of Bergen County, Inc. He has conducted both the Bergen County Middle School Band and the Bergen County High School Band, and also made an appearance as a guest conductor with the United States Air Force Band.
Mr. Moderacki is the Township Historian for River Vale New Jersey. For a number of years, he was active as a Revolutionary War re-enactor with the Brigade of the American Revolution. He is the author of Images of America: River Vale, published by Arcadia Press, and a contributor to several other books on 18th and 19th century historical topics. Popular as a lecturer, Mr. Moderacki has appeared before numerous historical, civic and fraternal organizations in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Clinic Description: Ms. Sterrett will present the history of women in professional orchestras and other large performing ensembles and tie that to her own experience as the first (and still only) woman to earn tenure at the Philharmonic. Ms. Sterrett sincerely believes that a world of opportunities is opening up to more and more deserving young people of all identities and it’s important for them to be ready when those opportunities come knocking.
Bio: Leelanee Sterrett joined the New York Philharmonic in June 2013; she currently serves as Acting Associate Principal Horn. She was previously a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and a regular substitute with the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Sterrett is also an alumna of The Academy, Carnegie Hall’s collective of young professionals and music advocates, and a former member of Ensemble ACJW. A northern-Michigan native, Ms. Sterrett grew up in a musically enthusiastic family and attended Interlochen Arts Academy. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music. Her primary teachers include William Purvis, Douglas Hill, and Julie Schleif. Ms. Sterrett has spent summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Pacific and Sarasota music festivals, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Banff Centre for the Arts. She is a past prizewinner in the International Horn Competition of America and the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program. In recent seasons, Ms. Sterrett has made solo appearances at Carnegie Hall, with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and at the 2015 International Horn Symposium with her Philharmonic colleagues. She currently serves on the horn faculties of Rutgers University and New York University.
A northern-Michigan native, Ms. Sterrett grew up in a musically enthusiastic family and attended Interlochen Arts Academy. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music. Her primary teachers include William Purvis, Douglas Hill, and Julie Schleif. Ms. Sterrett has spent summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Pacific and Sarasota music festivals, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Banff Centre for the Arts. She is a past prizewinner in the International Horn Competition of America and the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program.
In recent seasons, Ms. Sterrett has made solo appearances at Carnegie Hall, with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and at the 2015 International Horn Symposium with her Philharmonic colleagues. She currently serves on the horn faculties of Rutgers University and New York University.