16000 Theme Park Way
P.O. Box 2000
Doswell, VA 23047
(804) 876-5000



Festival of Music Advisor

Tracia Everton Austin - Tracia has taught in both public and private schools and served as the Director of the City Singers, a Richmond based children’s choir, and New Song, the middle school ensemble at First Baptist Church Richmond. Mrs. Austin frequently serves as a clinician and adjudicator and in addition to guest conducting in the U.S., has served as the Head Choral Director for the Virginia Ambassadors of Music, a high school touring group that performs in England, France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Tracia is currently a Music Director for CYT Richmond, a private vocal instructor and has been associated with the Choral Festival at Kings Dominion for over 20 years.

2017 Adjudication Panels

Date Instrumental Choral
Fri. April 21 Fri. April 29  Michael Oare, Arnald Gabriel, Angela  Burns  Daniel Toven, Samuel Bonds, Beth Mercer
Sat. April 22  Michael Oare, Arnald Gabriel, Angela Burns  Daniel Toven, Samuel Bonds, Beth Mercer
Fri. April 28  Jason Fettig, Dennis Zeisler, Laura Thomas  David Schwoebel, Carole Ott, Wanda Kensinger
Sat. April 29    Jason Fettig, Dennis Zeisler, Laura Thomas  David Schwoebel, Carole Ott, Wanda Kensinger Sally Albrecht, Barbara Geer, Samuel Bonds
Fri. May 5  Matt Conaway, Terry Austin, Sandy Goldie  Sally Albrecht, Rebecca Tyree, Susan Ellis
Sat. May 6  Matt Conaway, Terry Austin, Sandy Goldie  Sally Albrecht, Rebecca Tyree, Susan Ellis Phil Mitchell, Pam McDermott, Rebecca Tyree
Fri. May 12  James Curnow, Roy Holder, Laura Thomas  Pam McDermott, Samuel Bonds, Wanda Kensinger
Sat. May 13  James Curnow, Roy Holder, Laura Thomas Johnnie Vinson, Arnald Gabriel, Allen Hall  David Schwoebel, Roma Prindle, Sherri Matthews Pam McDermott, Samuel Bonds, Wanda Kensinger
Fri. May 19  David Holsinger, Terry Austin, Sandy Goldie  David Schwoebel, Barbara Geer, Susan Ellis
Sat. May 20  David Holsinger, Terry Austin, Sandy Goldie  David Schwoebel, Barbara Geer, Susan Ellis  Andy Beck, Carole Ott, Curtis Kinzey
Fri May 26  Johnnie Vinson, Terry Austin, Sandy Goldie  Andy Beck, Heather Buchanan, Samuel Bonds
Sat. May 27   Brian Balmages, Terry Austin, Lucy Manning Johnnie Vinson, Terry Austin, Sandy Goldie  Andy Beck, Heather Buchanan, Samuel Bonds  Phil Mitchell, Heather Buchanan, Lisa Bass
Fri. June 2  Brian Balmages, Terry Austin, Laura Thomas  David Schwoebel, Wanda Kensinger, David Clatterbuck
Sat. June 3   Mike Oare, Terry Austin, Dave Webb Brian Balmages, Terry Austin, Laura Thomas  David Schwoebel, Wanda Kensinger, David Clatterbuck  David Schwoebel, Janna Frank, David Clatterbuck



Instrumental Biographies

Terry Austin has been the Director of Bands at Virginia Commonwealth University for 31 years. He founded and conducts the Greater Richmond Youth Wind Ensemble and the Commonwealth Winds, an ensemble comprised of Richmond area teachers and professional performers.  Dr. Austin was the 78th President of the American Bandmasters Association and has served in leadership in various band and music education organizations. He is a regular guest conductor at the Musashino Academia Musicae in Tokyo and is a Guest Professor at Guangdong University of Technology in Guangzhou, China.

Adjudicating Dates: May 5 & 6, May 19 & 20, May 26 & 27, June 2 & 3


Brian Balmages is the Director of Instrumental Publications for The FJH Music Company Inc., Associate Director of Bands and Orchestras at Towson University, and an active composer / conductor.  His compositions have been performed throughout the world by groups ranging from elementary schools to professional orchestras. As a conductor, he has worked with numerous bands and orchestras throughout the USA, Canada, Italy and Australia.

Adjudicating Dates: June 2 & 3


Angela D. Burns earned her undergraduate degree in Music Education from Norfolk State University and her graduate degrees in Administration and Curriculum and Instruction from Regent University.  A veteran music educator, Ms. Burns has taught orchestra on the elementary, middle and high school level and served as a guest conductor and adjudicator for both all-city and district events.  She currently teaches orchestra at Northside Middle School in Norfolk, Virginia, resides in Virginia Beach and when her schedule allows, enjoys performing viola with the Cappriccio String Quartet.

Adjudicating Dates: April 21 & 22


Matt Conaway is an Assistant Professor of Bands at Purdue University and a Composer/Arranger with the C.L. Barnhouse Company and the Hal Leonard Corporation.  He earned his Bachelor of Music Education With Distinction from Indiana University, and completed his Masters in Music from the American Band College of Sam Houston State University.  Matt is highly active as a clinician and guest conductor at concert band events across the country.

Adjudicating Dates: May 5 & 6


James Curnow is a fulltime composer for Hal Leonard Publishing/Curnow Music Press, Inc. As a conductor, composer and clinician, Curnow has traveled throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Europe where his music has received wide acclaim. Mr. Curnow has taught in all levels of instrumental music, been commissioned to write over 400 works for concert band, brass band, orchestra, choir and various vocal and instrumental ensembles and has published works numbering well over eight hundred.

Adjudicating Dates: May 12 & 13


Jason Fettig was appointed the 28th Director of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in 2014 after serving as Assistant Director for 13 years.  He regularly conducts the band at the White House and across the country during their national concert tours. Fettig has remained deeply committed to music education through his career, crafting innovative, educational programs and frequently serving as a clinician and guest conductor nationally. His participation as adjudicator is in an unofficial capacity and does not constitute or imply endorsement of this festival by "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, the U.S. Marine Corps nor any other component of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

Adjudicating Date: April 28 & 29


Col. Arnald D. Gabriel retired from the United States Air Force in 1985 following a distinguished 36-year military career.  He served as Commander/Conductor of the internationally renowned U.S. Air Force Band, Symphony Orchestra, and Singing Sergeants from 1964 to 1985. In 1990, he was named the first Conductor Emeritus of the USAF Band at a special concert held at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.  Col. Gabriel is a popular guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician throughout the world and was chosen to direct the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of D-Day Band in Normandy due both to his illustrious career and for being a D-Day survivor and WWII vet.

Adjudicating Dates: April 21 & 22


Sandy Goldie is an Assistant Professor of Music Education at Virginia Commonwealth University where she teaches music education and string pedagogy courses. Before coming to VCU, Dr. Goldie taught at the University of Florida where she received the David Wilmott Prize for Excellence in Music Education and taught orchestra in the public schools for 14 years. She completed her PhD in Music Education at the University of Florida, her Masters in Music Education at the University of Georgia and her Bachelor of Music and Music Education at the University of South Carolina.

Adjudicating Dates: May 5 & 6, May 19 & 20, May 26 & 27


Roy Holder taught in the public schools of Tennessee, Georgia and Virginia for 42 years.  He continues to be active as a clinician, lecturer and adjudicator throughout the country.  Mr. Holder also continues to enjoy serving the profession through his responsibilities with the American Bandmasters Association, National Band Association and the Sousa Foundation.

Adjudicating Dates: May 12 & 13


David R. Holsinger has served as the inaugural conductor of the Lee University Wind Ensemble since 1999.  In addition, he heads the university's graduate wind conducting program and teaches various classes appropriate to that degree.  Holsinger holds degrees from Central Methodist University, University of Central Missouri, and the University of Kansas.  He also composes for band and has well over 200 pieces published.

Adjudicating Dates: May 19 & 20


Michael Oare earned undergraduate degrees in Music Composition and Music Education from Old Dominion University. A veteran music educator, he remains active as a composer, arranger, performer, conductor and adjudicator. Mr. Oare has written numerous arrangements and compositions, with a special interest in music for the young band. He maintains state and national memberships, is a member of ASCAP, Phi Beta Mu, and performs with the Virginia Wind Symphony. He resides in Chesapeake, VA and in his spare time enjoys offshore fishing in VA and NC.

Adjudicating Dates: April 21 & 22


Laura Mulligan Thomas has served as the director of the Charlottesville High School Orchestra for the past 34 years.  During her tenure, the program has grown from 8 students to an ensemble of 150.  Many CHSO graduates are professional musicians in the U.S. and Europe. Mrs. Thomas serves on the executive board of the VBODA and is an active performer who plays piano and cello with chamber ensembles and with her three siblings as the Mulligan String Quartet.  Ms. Thomas holds degrees from James Madison and Shenandoah Universities, and for several years directed the University of Richmond Orchestra.

 Adjudicating Dates: April 28 & 29, May 12 & 13, june 2 & 3


Johnnie Vinson is Director of Bands and Professor of Music Emeritus at Auburn University.  Prior to joining the Auburn faculty, he taught in the public schools of Columbus, Georgia and served as a graduate assistant with the bands at the University of Texas and the University of Mississippi.  With nearly 500 published works, Dr. Vinson is a widely recognized arranger/composer of music for band, writing exclusively for the Hal Leonard Corporation.  He received Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Education from Auburn, and a Doctoral degree in Music Theory from the University of Mississippi.

Adjudicating Dates: May 26 & 27


Dennis J. Zeisler has been on the faculty of Old Dominion University for more than three decades, serving as Director of Bands, Professor of Clarinet and Saxophone, and Chairman of the Music Department.  He has a B.M., B.M.E., and M.M. from the University of Michigan, where he was solo clarinetist of the Symphony Band under the direction of Dr. William D. Revelli.  Zeisler is the founder and conductor of the Virginia Wind Symphony, a professional wind group made up of primarily music educators from throughout the southeastern Virginia area, on the Board of Directors of the Midwest Clinic and is the 77th President of the American Bandmasters Association.

Adjudicating Dates: April 28 & 29



Choral Biographies


Sally K. Albrecht is a popular choral composer, conductor, and clinician, especially known for her work with choral movement. An annual recipient of the ASCAP Special Music Award since 1987, Sally has over 500 chorals, songbooks, musicals, and movement DVDs in print. She has conducted honor choir events across the country, including festivals at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and The Kennedy Center. For over three decades, she was the Director of School Choral Publications for two major educational music publishing companies.

 Adjudicating Dates: May 5 & 6


Andy Beck is the Director of Choral Designs, Classroom, and Vocal Publications for Alfred Music. For more than a decade, Andy has been a prolific writer in the educational choral music field with over 500 publications currently in print, including the warm-up collection Vocalize! and Sing at First Sight: Foundations in Choral Sight-Singing. Andy is in demand as a guest conductor, choreographer, and clinician for both educators and students throughout the country and spends much of his time appearing at music events, conducting honor choirs, and singing with the North Carolina Master Chorale Chamber Choir.

 Adjudicating Dates: May 26 & 27


Samuel L. E. Bonds earned a BME and Master of Vocal Performance from Howard University and has done additional studies in Graz, Austria, The Boris Goldovsky Opera Institute, University of Cleveland and Catholic University of America. Mr. Bonds was the Choral Director at The Duke Ellington School of the Arts and has taught voice at Catholic University of America, Morgan State University, University of the District of Columbia, Prince Georges Community College, University of the West Indies in Kingston Jamaica and most recently, George Mason University. After forty-four years, as a music educator in the D.C. School System, Bonds retired in 2011. Presently, he serves as Co-Chair of the Vocal Department at The Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Director of Choral Music at Zion Baptist Church in Washington D.C.

Adjudicating Dates: April 21 & 22, May 12 & 13, May 26 & 27


Australian born conductor Heather J. Buchanan is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Montclair State University, where she conducts choirs ranging in size from 24 to 180 voices.  Ensembles under her direction have won critical acclaim and the MSU choral program is celebrated for its superb artistry, creative programming and cutting-edge collaborations with distinguished National and International composers, conductors and performing artists. Dr. Buchanan also specializes in the teaching of Body Mapping for musicians and has published with GIA and Springer. A vibrant teacher, dynamic performer, and passionate musicians’ health advocate, she is in demand as a guest conductor, somatic educator, and choral clinician in the USA and abroad.

 Adjudicating Dates: May 26 & 27


J. David Clatterbuck teaches vocal music at Godwin High School in Henrico County, VA.  In addition, he is the Director of Music and organist at Laurel Presbyterian Church. Prior to Godwin, Mr. Clatterbuck taught at Pocahontas Middle, Waynesboro High School and was Music Associate at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He has a BA from Bridgewater College, a Master of Music Education from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and has pursued post-graduate studies at Westminster Choir College. Mr. Clatterbuck has an extensive background in musical theatre, both as an actor and director in Virginia and Florida.

 Adjudicating Dates: June 2 & 3


Susan Ellis is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Music Education.  She was a middle school chorus teacher for 35 years with Chesterfield County Public Schools.  Mrs. Ellis is now retired and still participates in music through singing, adjudicating, and accompanying for both schools and churches in the greater Richmond area.

 Adjudicating Dates: May 5 & 6, May 19 & 20


Barbara L. Geer is a retired music consultant from the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County (North Carolina) School System. She has taught elementary, middle, and high school vocal, instrumental, and general music. Mrs. Geer received the BME degree from St. Andrews Presbyterian University in Laurinburg, NC and the MM degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has a distinguished record of state and national leadership experience, having served as president of The National Association for Music Education and both the Southern Division of MENC and the North Carolina Music Educators Association.

 Adjudicating Dates: May 19 & 20


Wanda Kensinger is a graduate of Bluefield College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music.  She taught middle school chorus in the Richmond area for 31 years, retiring in 2014.  Wanda has worked in area churches with children, youth and adult music programs over the past 33 years, served as a guest director for local All-County Choral events, and adjudicated in local festivals.

 Adjudicating Dates: April 28 & 29, May 12 &13, june 2 & 3


Pamela McDermott is the Director of Choral Activities at Longwood University and president-elect of Virginia ACDA. She serves as choir director at Farmville United Methodist Church, as chorus master for the Farmville Summer Garden Opera, and she sings with the Piedmont Singers, an eight-voice a cappella ensemble in Central Virginia. Dr. McDermott completed her DMA in Choral Conducting at UNC-Greensboro, with a cognate in Choral Pedagogy. She earned her B.M. in Education at ECU and her M.M. in Theory/Composition at JMU. Dr. McDermott enjoys serving as clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor for church, school, and community festivals.

Adjudicating Dates: May 12 & 13


Beth Mercer received her BME with a concentration in voice from Virginia Commonwealth University.  She taught choral music in Chesterfield County for 33 years and retired in 2012. Beth has directed All-County Chorus, Dominion Show Choir Camp and has judged Choral Assessment and All-State Chorus.  She spends a lot of her time working in musical theater where she has directed and choreographed numerous shows for various schools and local churches.

 Adjudicating Dates: April 21 & 22


Carole Ott is Associate Professor of Choral Music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Her degrees include a BM from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and an MM and DMA from the University of Michigan.  At UNCG, she directs the Chorale and teaches undergraduate and graduate level conducting. An active soprano, Ott has appeared with several early music ensembles in MI and NC, participated in master classes with Early Music Vancouver, and premiered works of Susan Botti in Rome. Recent research interests include free improvisation in the traditional concert setting, vocal chamber music, and the music of Josquin des Prez.

 Adjudicating Dates: April 28 & 29


David Schwoebel is Minister of Music / Composer in Residence at Derbyshire Baptist Church in Richmond, VA. He is a graduate of McKendree College and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Voice and Organ Performance, and a Master of Church Music - Composition.  Mr. Schwoebel oversees a comprehensive music ministry of six choral organizations, four handbell choirs, and a 32-piece orchestra. Many of his hymn tunes have been included in the 1991 Baptist Hymnal, Celebrating Grace Hymnal and Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal.

Adjudicating Dates: April 28 & 29, May 19 & 20, June 2 & 3


Daniel Toven, an active duty U.S. Army music officer, currently serves as the Deputy Commandant of the U.S. Army School of Music in Virginia Beach, VA. Major Toven has conducted and prepared choruses around the world both prior to and during his military career, including The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, the Boston Pops Holiday Chorus, The U.S. Army Soldiers' Chorus, and the U.S. Army Europe Soldiers' Chorus, and has collaborated with such conductors as Robert Page, Keith Lockhart, and Marvin Hamlisch. Major Toven holds degrees from Indiana University of PA, the Eastman School of Music, and the Command and General Staff College and is in demand as a guest conductor for district, region, and All State honor choirs throughout the eastern United States.

 Adjudicating Date: April 21 & 22


Rebecca Tyree currently serves as the Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at Virginia Commonwealth University where she conducts the VCU Women’s Choir, coaches vocal chamber ensembles and teaches music education curriculum for graduate and undergraduate students.  Ms. Tyree taught in secondary choral positions for over 25 years before coming to VCU. Choirs under her direction have toured nationally and internationally and performed at VMEA and ACDA conferences. In 2011 she founded the VCU Vocal Arts Project, a weeklong summer choral and performing arts camp for grades 6 – 12.  Ms. Tyree is a frequent guest conductor and adjudicator/clinician throughout the Commonwealth.

Adjudicating Dates: May 5 & 6