All-State Middle School Band
Thomas L. Dvorak

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Thomas Dvorak is Professor Emeritus of Music/Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, a position he held for 28 years, beginning in 1979 until his retirement in 2007. Currently he serves as Conductor Laureate of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, the first such appointment in the history of the Youth Symphony. Beginning in 1988, he assumed the position of Director of Wind Ensembles for the Youth Symphony and in this position was responsible for developing young middle school-aged students in rehearsals, masterclasses and concerts.

Professor Dvorak has had a very distinguished career, appearing as a conductor/guest lecturer in 30 states as well as Canada, Europe, Norway, Japan and Australia. In 1994, he became the first American university conductor to serve at the University of Lauceston’s Summer Music School in Tasmania, Australia, conducting and performing on trumpet with the faculty brass quintet; subsequently, and near that same time period, he served as Principal Conducting teacher for the Australian Band and Orchestra’s Conducting Symposium held in Melbourne, Australia. Following this initial appearance in Australia, he was invited along with the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band in 1996, to perform a concert tour of Australia, culminating in a performance for the Ninth Annual Conference of the Australian Band and Orchestra’s Conference held in Melbourne.

He began his teaching career in the public schools of Wisconsin, where he is a native and graduate of the University of Wisconsin. During his teaching career, the McFarland High School Band Program, and Elementary Band Program under his guidance, became a nationally recognized instrumental music program with performances and clinics/lectures at two National MENC Conferences and several performances at the Wisconsin Music Educator’s Conference. In 1973, he was awarded a graduate fellowship for Doctoral Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In 1974, he won a faculty position at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor as an Assistant Professor of Music, where one of his primary roles was the conducting and directorship of the University of Michigan Youth Wind Ensemble. In 1978, he led the UM Youth Wind Ensemble in a performance at the Music Educator’s National Conference in Chicago, IL; during the summer of 1978, and prior to his appointment as Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, he was appointed conductor of the Summer Wind Ensemble and teacher of conducting at his Alma Mater, the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Thomas Dvorak has received numerous awards during his career, including an “Outstanding Secondary Educator of America” for his distinguished achievements with the McFarland High School Band Program. He has six times been presented the “Citation of Excellence” by the National Band Association; his biography is listed in the “International Who’s Who in Music” and in the “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.” In September 2004, Professor Dvorak was honored by the Instrumentalist Magazine, with a cover photo and interview discussing his music making and philosophy of teaching. In July 2014, he was honored with the “A.  Austin Harding Award” for his valuable and dedicated service to the school bands of America, given by the American School Band Directors Association, Inc.

He has held offices as President of the North Central Division of CBDNA and as Second Vice-President of NBA; within NBA, he served as Chairman of the Composition Contest for fourteen years. He has during his career, authored many articles concerning repertoire, composers and conducting; he is the senior author of a repertoire series for schools bands published by Manhattan Beach Music, New York, and is the co-editor/author of “Teaching Music through Performance in Beginning Band” published by GIA Publications, Chicago, IL.

At the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, a scholarship for music majors bears his name, and each year a deserving student is awarded with this scholarship.

Finally, within the State of Georgia, he has been honored to guest conduct at various times during his career, notably, the Georgia Intercollegiate Band, the University of Georgia’s Summer Music Camp, numerous appearances at Armstrong University’s Winterfest, and most recently, as guest conductor for the Gwinnett County High School Honor’s Band.

All-State Middle School Band
Linda J. Gammon

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Linda J. Gammon is the director of the Virginia Winds Academy Junior Band. Prior to assuming this position, she directed middle school bands in Fairfax County, VA for over 30 years. She is a native of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine and received her Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts degree in conducting from George Mason University.  

Under Ms. Gammon’s direction, her middle school bands enjoyed state, regional and national recognition including four appearances at the Virginia Music Educators Association Professional Development Conferences and the 1993 and 2000 Mid-West Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. In 1997 Ms. Gammon and the Robinson Middle School Symphonic Band were awarded the prestigious John Philip Sousa Foundation Sudler Silver Cup Award, the highest honor bestowed on a middle school band program.

Ms. Gammon currently serves as the State Executive for the Virginia Music Educators Association.  Before this appointment she served as the VMEA Conference Coordinator, Past President of the Virginia Music Educators Association, Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association, and Fairfax County Band Directors Association. She is a member of NAfME, VMEA, Phi Beta Mu, the American School Band Directors Association, the National Band Association, and the Women Band Directors International Association. . Currently she is a university supervisor for interns at George Mason University, James Madison University and Shenandoah Conservatory.

Ms. Gammon is active as an adjudicator, guest conductor, and clinician across the country. She is a contributing author to the music curriculum “Band Expressions” published by Alfred and “Teaching Music through Performance in Band” published by GIA. She was the 2003 recipient of Women Band Directors International Scroll of Excellence, 2007 Virginia Outstanding Music Educator of the Year Award, and 2014 Fairfax County Band Director of the Year. In 2018 she was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame.

All-State Concert Band
Scott S. Hanna

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Scott S. Hanna is Music Director and Conductor of the Wind Symphony, and Director of the Longhorn Band at The University of Texas.  A member of the Butler School of Music faculty since 1999, he teaches courses in conducting, literature and score study, and was from 2003 to 2008 Associate Director of the Butler School of Music.  As Music Director of the UT Chamber Winds, Dr. Hanna has led performances of that ensemble at the 2002 and 2004 College Band Directors National Association Southwestern Division Conferences. Dr. Hanna is also Editor of the College Band Directors National Association Report, and is President of the Big XII Band Directors Association.  He is the arranger and editor of numerous works for winds, has served as the host of From the Butler School on KMFA radio, and regularly authors program notes for a wide variety of performances, including recordings released by the Cavell Trio.

Dr. Hanna holds the Master of Music Education and Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting degrees from The University of Texas at Austin.  Prior to his appointment at The University of Texas, he taught in the public schools of New Braunfels and Austin, Texas. Dr. Hanna has been recognized for his campus work with the Eyes of Texas Excellence Award for outstanding contributions to student life, the Texas Blazers Pillar Award for Spirit, and is a frequent guest speaker at campus and community functions.  His professional memberships include the College Band Directors National Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta Mu, Phi Kappa Phi, and Pi Kappa Lambda.

All-State Concert Band
Dr. Scott C. Tobias

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Scott C. Tobias currently holds the position of Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at West Virginia University where his responsibilities include conducting the WVU Wind Symphony, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting, and providing administrative leadership for the WVU Bands program. Prior to his appointment at West Virginia University, Dr. Tobias served on the faculties of the University of Central Florida and Appalachian State University.  He also previously served as a high school band director in the public schools of Georgia and South Carolina.  Additionally, Dr. Tobias has worked with a number of community music organizations including the Youth Band of Orlando, the Macon Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the Appalachian Youth Wind Ensemble. 

Bands under Dr. Tobias’ direction have performed nationally and internationally at events such as the New York Wind Band Festival at Carnegie Hall, the Western International Band Clinic, the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival, the London New Year’s Day Parade, and the Cabalgata de Reyes (Madrid, Spain).  Dr. Tobias is a recipient of the National Band Association Citation of Excellence, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award, and has been named to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.  He remains active conducting honor bands and presenting clinics throughout the United States.

A native of South Carolina, Dr. Tobias earned the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Furman University, the Master of Music Education degree from the University of Georgia, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Georgia.  Dr. Tobias presently serves as President of the National Band Association and Vice-President of the Big 12 Band Directors Association.  Additional professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, College Band Directors National Association, West Virginia Music Educators Association, Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, Sigma Alpha Iota, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

All-State Symphonic Band
Jamie L. Nix

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Dr. Jamie L. Nix is director of wind ensemble activities, professor of music, and holds The Hal J. Gibson Distinguished Chair in Conducting at the Columbus State University Schwob School of Music. Nix, who was the first recipient of the Sam and Jacquie Rawls Distinguished Music Professorship, conducts the Schwob Wind Ensemble and Wind Orchestra, heads the graduate wind band conducting program, and hosts the Annual Conductors Workshop. Previous posts include serving as associate director of bands and the Donald R. Shepherd Assistant Professor of Conducting at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance and assistant director of bands at The University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music.

Under his direction since 2010, the nationally acclaimed Schwob Wind Ensemble has performed at the 2015 CBDNA National Conference, the 2012 CBDNA Southern Division Conference, and the 2018 and 2012 GMEA State Conferences. Nix has recently conducted concerts with the famed Eastman Wind Ensemble, United States Army Field Band, CBDNA North-Central Intercollegiate Band, Alberta International Band Festival, International Double Reed Society Conference, International Trumpet Guild Conference, and the International Trombone Festival Conference. He has conducted the All-State Bands in Texas, Virginia, Florida, and will conduct the Georgia All State Band in 2020. Nix has led performances at the Music For All Summer Symposium and at numerous region and honor bands throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has also been a clinician for the summer conducting symposiums at Michigan State, UMKC Conservatory, The University of Texas, and LSU. As an orchestral conductor, he has led performances with the CSU Philharmonic, was music director and conductor of the Advanced Young Musicians String Orchestra in Coral Gables, FL, and in 2008 participated in the two-week International Mahler/Brahms Conducting Festival with the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic in the Czech Republic.

Nix, elected into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association in 2016, holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Miami Frost School of Music (Gary Green), two Master of Music degrees, in trombone performance and conducting, from the University of Michigan (H. Robert Reynolds), and a Bachelor of Music Performance degree from Auburn University. Nix is a conductor or producer on the following CDs: Vital Signs (George Curran, New York Philharmonic), Atlanta Chamber Winds, Psychedelia (James Markey, Boston Symphony bass trombone), A Beautiful Noise (featuring trombonists Joseph Alessi, Charles Vernon, Paul Pollard, and others), Wolf Rounds, The Blue Album, Brooklyn Bridge, The Victors Valiant, and the newest, a Schwob Wind Ensemble CD entitled Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs, released on the Summit Records label in 2017.

All-State Symphonic Band
Dr. Damon Talley

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Damon Talley serves as Director of Bands and the Paula G. Manship Associate Professor of Conducting at Louisiana State University School of Music, where he oversees all aspects of the LSU Department of Bands, conducts the Wind Ensemble and teaches graduate conducting. The nationally recognized Band Department at LSU serves as an integral component of the thriving School of Music. Under his leadership, the Department has established an annual conducting symposium, high school and middle school camps that serve hundreds of students annually, and numerous outreach events for public school educators. The Golden Band From Tigerland has been selected to present at national conferences on multiple occasions, and most recently, the LSU Wind Ensemble performed at the CBDNA College Band Directors National Association nNational cConvention. Dr. Talley is a strong supporter and advocate of music in the public schools. He regularly serves as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the United States and abroad, including appearances engagements in Germany, Switzerland, England, and Spain, among others.

Prior to his appointment at LSU, Dr. Talley held the position of Director of Bands at Shenandoah Conservatory, where he was responsible for guiding the wind band program, conducting the EDGE New Music Ensemble, and teaching graduate conducting. He has also taught on the faculties at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan. He has recorded on Best Classical Records, and received favorable reviews from publications including Gramophone magazine and the American Record Guide. He has also served as producer or associate producer on commercial recordings by the Naxos, Klavier, and Equilibrium, record labels, and is published in the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series, distributed by GIA Publications.

As an avid supporter of new music for the wind medium, Dr. Talley has conducted numerous world premier performances and has commissioned composers to write for the wind band. He has won praise for his work by composers such as William Bolcom, Steven Mackey, Kevin Puts, Joseph Schwantner, David Maslanka, Donald Grantham, and Michael Daugherty, among others. He regularly hosts visiting composers of national and international status on the campus of LSU, and is a strong advocate for young composers, often premiering pieces by student composers.

Prior to teaching at the university level, Dr. Talley taught in the public schools in Texas at both the middle school and high school levels. He earned the Master of Music degree in Wind Conducting from the University of Michigan and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting from The University of Texas. His principal conducting teachers are Jerry Junkin, Michael Haithcock, and H. Robert Reynolds. Dr. Talley is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma, and holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, the Texas Music Educators Association, the Virginia Music Educators Association, and the Louisiana Music Educators Association. He is also and an Educational Consultant and Clinician for the Conn-Selmer Corporation.