Dr. Bianco brings a diverse background to the podium and to his students in the classroom. He has held positions at Libertyville High School in Libertyville, Illinois, Boise High School in Boise, Idaho, St. Francis High School in St. Francis Minnesota and Baylor University in Waco Texas. In those positions he was involved in all aspects of his students’ musical growth including Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band, Choir, Orchestra and Advanced Placement Music Theory. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. At Northwestern, Dr. Bianco played in virtually all of the concert ensembles including Don Owens’ Jazz I. While in the Chicago area Dr. Bianco maintained an active trumpet studio as well as holding the position of Artistic Director and Conductor of the Wilmette Community Band. He completed his formal training at The University of Texas at Austin as a student of Jerry Junkin where he served as a teaching assistant for the conducting program, UT Wind Ensemble, Chamber Winds and Longhorn Band. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Wind Conducting in December of 2004. In addition to his work with Jerry Junkin, Dr. Bianco has studied, conducting with John Paynter, Kevin Sedatole and Steve Bolstad. His trumpet teachers have included Vincent Cichowicz, Ray Sasaki, Steve Bolstad, David Coleman and Vince DiMartino. Dr. Bianco is President Elect of the Northwest Region of the College Band Director's National Association. Additionally, he recently completed a term as the Higher Education Curriculum Officer for the Executive Board of the Washington Music Educator's Association. Christopher now holds the position of Director of Bands at Western Washington University. He resides in Bellingham, Washington with his wife Laurie and their daughters Sophia and Elena.
Professor Larry Gookin
Larry Gookin is Distinguished Professor and Emeritus Professor of Music at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. He taught for 34 years as Director of Bands before retiring from CWU in 2015. Before coming to Central, Professor Gookin taught band in Montana and Oregon public schools for ten years. During his tenure at Central, the CWU Wind Ensemble performed by invitation at major conferences and conventions, including the College Band Directors National Association Conferences in Boulder and Seattle, the Music Educators National Conference in Minneapolis, the Western International Band Clinics in Seattle, the Western/Northwestern CBDNA Division Conferences in Reno, the Northwest Division NAFME conferences, and WMEA State Conferences. Larry Gookin has received numerous honors and awards. He has served as president of the Northwestern Division of the CBDNA, Divisional Chairman for the National Band Association, and Vice President of the Washington Music Educators Association. He is a member of the American Bandmasters Association and the WMEA Hall of Fame, and he is a past recipient of the NBA “Citation of Excellence Award,” the First Chair of America “Mac” Award, the ASBDA Stansbury Award, the WIAA/WMEA teacher of the year award, and the University of Oregon’s School of Music Distinguished Alumnus Award. Gookin was also named CWU Distinguished Professor of Teaching, and while at Central he served as Associate Chair and Coordinator of Graduate Studies. In 2016, Gookin was elected into the Northwest Bandmaster’s Association, and in 2017 he received the National Association for Music Education Distinguished Service Award. He is former principal trombone of the Eugene and Yakima Symphony Orchestras, and is Emeritus Artistic Director/Conductor of the Seattle Wind Symphony. Professor Gookin received the M.M. in Music Education from the University of Oregon School of Music in 1977 and the B.M in Music Education and Trombone Performance from the University of Montana in 1971. Professor Gookin has appeared as clinician, adjudicator, and conductor in the United States, Canada, Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He is a Yamaha Master Educator andremains active as a conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. Gookin resides in Ellensburg, Washington, with his wife Karen, who is Emeritus Professor of English at CWU and recently retired on piccolo and flute from the Yakima Symphony Orchestra.
Professor Gary Green
Gary D. Green is Emeritus Professor of Music and Director of Bands at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. While teaching at the University of Miami Frost School of Music in addition to supervising all band activities, he was the conductor of the Frost Wind Ensemble, supervised all graduate conducting students in the wind and percussion area and served as the Chairman of Instrumental Performance for eighteen years. Prior to coming to Miami, Professor Green served for ten years as Director of Bands the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. While at the University of Connecticut, Professor Green was influential in commissioning and recording new works for winds and percussion including Symphony No. 3by David Maslanka and A Cornfield in July and the Riverby William Penn. Mr. Green was a public school teacher in the Pacific Northwest for 20 years prior to moving to the University of Connecticut. During his tenure at the University of Miami, professor Green continued the commissioning and performance of important new repertoire for winds and percussion. Under his direction, the Frost Wind Ensemble has performed on two separate occasions for the convention of the American Bandmasters Association as well as twice for the national convention of the College Band Directors National Association. Recent commissions and consortia from composers include William Penn, Joel Puckett, Mason Bates, Michael Daugherty, David Maslanka, Paul Dooley, Steve Danyew, Steven Bryant, David Gillingham, James Stephenson, Christopher Theofanidis, John Harbison, James Syler, Eric Whitacre, Frank Ticheli, Thomas Sleeper, Kenneth Fuchs and others. Urban Requiemby Michael Colgrass was commissioned by the Abraham Frost Commission Series and has become a standard in the repertoire for wind ensemble. Among other new compositions written for winds and percussion was the commission for the Frost Wind Ensemble of Christopher Rouse’s Wolf Rounds. He is a member of the Florida Bandmasters Association and has served for numerous years on the Clinics Committee and the Music Committee. He is a member of the College Band Directors Association and has been elected into the American Bandmasters Association.
Professor Robert Ponto
Robert Ponto is the Assistant Dean for Admissions at the University of Oregon School ofMusic and Dance. Prior to this appointment he served as Director of Bands for 20 years. He has conducted ensembles through the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. His performing ensembles have been featured at the Bang on a Can contemporary music festival in New York, on National Public Radio, Oregon Public Radio, and have appeared regularly at state, regional and national music conferences. A self-described “musical omnivore,” Ponto is an advocate for original music in all genres and is actively engaged in the creation and performance of new works. He has collaborated with many influential composers including John Adams, Steven Stucky, Michael Daugherty, Gia Kancheli, Frank Ticheli, Scott Lindroth, Augusta Read Thomas, David Crumb, and many others. He conducted the world premiere of Justine F. Chen’s Philomel with soprano Lucy Shelton and a soon-to-be-released recording of David Crumb’s Primordial Fantasy, with pianist Marcantonio Barone. As an electronic music and sound design hobbyist, Ponto has contributed to unique projects in that genre as well. The contemporary music ensemble, Beta Collide has performed his Postmark Sirius: In Memoriam Karlheinz Stockhausen for trumpet and live electronics, Beta Bacher (for the Oregon Bach Festival’s Bach Remix V), and a digital realization of Stockhausen’s Solo. His sound design work was also used by British pop singer/songwriter Imogen Heap on her song, “Lifeline,” for the album, Sparks.
Patrick Sheridan is one of the most celebrated tuba soloists in his instrument’s history. He has performed more than 3,000 concerts in over 50 countries in venues ranging from the White House to NBA half-time shows to the Hollywood Bowl.At 20 years of age, Patrick became a member of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. Since then, Patrick has gone on to become an incredibly diverse artist with concert performances transcending stylistic genres and building fans around the world for his instrument, the tuba. He has been featured in television and radio broadcasts on 4 continents including appearances most recently on NBC’s Today Show and NPR’s All Things Considered and Performance Today. Beyond his busy performing life, Mr. Sheridan’s commitment to education is extensive. His wind students occupy principal positions in major international ensembles including orchestras in Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Paris, Madrid, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and many others. Mr. Sheridan has served on the music faculties at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, The Rotterdam Conservatory, The Royal Northern College of Music and The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Most recently, Patrick served on the music faculty at the University of California - Los Angeles where he was the Director of the UCLA Wind Ensemble, the UCLA Brass Ensemble and taught tuba and euphonium. In the Phoenix community, Patrick is the Music Director of The Salt River Brass. Patrick also frequently works across the United States as a guest conductor with university bands and orchestras as well as high school and middle school all-state and regional honor bands and orchestras. Along with Sam Pilafian, Patrick is the co-author of the world’s best selling breathing method for instrumental improvement, The Breathing Gym which was awarded the 2009 EMMY® Award for Instructional/Informational Video Production. As a composer and arranger, Mr. Sheridan's music and arrangements have been performed internationally by symphony orchestras, concert bands, marching bands, jazz bands and drum corps. Patrick’s music, arrangements, CDs, DVDs, and books are published by Focus on Music, GIA Publications, De Haske Music, Carl Fischer, Mythen Hollanda and Dillon Music Publishing. Mr. Sheridan has over 20 years experience in the music industry as a design consultant. Instruments influenced by Patrick’s designs are played in hundreds of professional orchestras, military bands and chamber ensembles around the world. Thousands of university, high school, middle school and elementary school students play on instruments in which Patrick has been involved in the design process. He currently works as the Chief Design Consultant for XO Brass, Jupiter Band Instruments, and Hercules Stands. Patrick is a member of ASCAP, an Honorary Member of Kappa Kappa Psi, and the Founder of The Band Director Academy, a continuing education program for music educators. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in finance and marketing from the University of Michigan and spends his free time with his family hiking and camping in beautiful Arizona.
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