Concert Band Festival

2018 Festival

February 12th - 15th, 2018

Le Parc Conference and Banquet Centres
Markham/Thornhill Banquet Hall

8432 Leslie Street, Thornhill ON


Note: this schedule is subject to minor changes


2018 Adjudicators


Dr. Michael S. Butler
Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP)


Dr. Butler’s responsibilities include conducting the University’s Wind Ensemble and Concert Band, teaching Conducting and Instrumental Methods, and hosting an annual honour band for high school students. Before teaching at UWSP, he had a multitude of experiences that included teaching and conducting at the University of Florida, serving as the Associate Director of Bands & Orchestra at Spruce Creek High School, and the Director of Bands at Boone High School. Ensembles under his leadership flourished and received invitations to perform at the Florida Music Educators Conference and the prestigious Carnegie Hall.

An ardent student of the art of conducting, Dr. Butler regularly attends conducting symposiums and has studied with David Waybright, Joseph Hermann, H. Robert Reynolds, Jerry Junkin, Michael Haithcock, Mallory Thompson, Craig Kirchoff, Rodney Dorsey, Jamie Nix, Steve Davis, Allan McMurray, and Tom Leslie. In 2015, he attended the Miami Summer Music Festival where he studied conducting with Grzegorz Nowak, Permanent Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Dr. Butler is an active clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor for wind bands nationwide. Most recently, he guest conducted the United States Army Band Pershing’s Own. He has collaborated with numerous composers including Peter Van Zandt Lane and Daniel Kellogg that received commendations for their interpretation and spirited performance. An advocate of new music for the wind band, he regularly joins commission projects to ensure talented composers are contributing to the wind repertoire. Additionally, he remains active as a researcher and academic writer and has contributed articles to the Florida and Wisconsin music educator journals.

As a performer, Dr. Butler has performed with the Johnson City Symphony, the Bryan Symphony, the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra, the Appalachian Brass Orchestra, Wisconsin Collegiate Faculty Brass, and as a freelance trumpet performer. He appears on two CDs produced by Mark Custom Records entitled Slide Ride and Raise the Roof. His arrangements for trumpet and brass ensembles have been performed at national and international music conferences and received high praise.

The National Band Association has awarded Dr. Butler a Citation of Excellence for his contributions to bands and band music. He is affiliated with many professional organizations including Kappa Kappa Psi, Mu Phi Epsilon, the College Band Director’s National Association, the National Band Association, the National Education Association, Kappa Delta Pi, and is also an honourary member of Tau Beta Sigma, a National Honorary Band Society.


Dr. Jason Caslor
Associate Director of Bands and Orchestras
Arizona State University


Dr. Caslor was appointed to his current position in 2015. In addition to directing various instrumental ensembles, he also mentors graduate conducting students, and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting courses.

From 2010-2015, Dr. Caslor served as Assistant Professor of Instrumental Conducting at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland where he conducted the Wind Ensemble and oversaw the undergraduate and graduate instrumental conducting programs. Prior to that, Jason spent three seasons as Resident Conductor with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra (TBSO). During his tenure with the TBSO, he conducted over 75 concerts (including a CBC Radio national broadcast), designed and implemented numerous education and outreach initiatives, was instrumental in helping secure numerous local, provincial, and national grants, and recorded a full-length, internationally distributed CD with Canadian blues artist Rita Chiarelli.

Recipient of an “Excellence in Teaching Award” from the Memorial University of Newfoundland Students’ Union in 2012, Dr. Caslor also spent several years teaching in the public school system as an instrumental and choral instructor. His commitment to conductor training stemmed from being a faculty member with the annual Canadian Wind Conductors Development Program from 2005-2011. He is active as a clinician, adjudicator, and conductor for festivals, honour bands and music camps.

Dr. Caslor’s current research interests include developing a user-friendly iPad application that will allow for the transmission of high quality audio over the internet for the purposes of internet-based rehearsals/clinics, and spontaneous improvisation as it pertains to both conducting pedagogy and large ensembles.

In addition to numerous regional engagements, he has presented his research at the 2016 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the 2013 College Band Directors National Association National Conference, and the 2015 World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles International Conference.

Dr. Caslor completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts (Conducting) at Arizona State University. Prior to earning a Master of Music (Conducting) degree from the University of Manitoba, Jason earned his Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Saskatchewan.


Dr. Paula Holcomb

Dr. Holcomb came to the State University of New York at Fredonia in 1999 as Director of Bands, after serving in a similar position for 20 years at Central College in Pella, Iowa. Under her direction at Central College, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic Band toured internationally to Canada, Europe, and Mexico and performed at the Alice Tully Hall of New York City’s Lincoln Center. At SUNY Fredonia, the extensive band program consists of four concert bands. Dr. Holcomb conducts the Wind Ensemble and musicals, and teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting. Additionally, she initiated the conducting program as part of the Master of Music in Performance.

Highly sought after as an adjudicator and guest conductor, Dr. Holcomb has conducted bands and orchestras in 42 states, South America, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Mexico, Europe, and Canada. She has presented conducting symposiums in Canada, South America, Asia, Australia, and the United States. Dr. Holcomb is former assistant horn of the Des Moines Symphony and past-president of the Iowa Music Educators Association. Recently, she was presented with the A. Frank Miller award from Kappa Kappa Psi, served on the Council and Artistic Planning Conference Committee for the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, is Vice President of the Conductors Guild, and is Past-President of the Northeastern Division of the College Band Directors National Association.


Dr. Doug Keiser
Associate Director of Bands
Indiana State University


Dr. Keiser has been Associate Director of Bands and a member of the Music Education faculty since 1990. He has served as the director of the Symphonic Band, the Marching Sycamores, and the Sycamore Basketball Band. He teaches the Marching Band and Jazz Ensemble Procedures and the Undergraduate Conducting classes. He was acting chair of the School of Music during the 1995-96 year.

During his stay at Indiana State (ISU), the marching band and basketball band have grown by over 60% in membership and the symphonic band has more than doubled in size. The Marching Sycamores have given several guest performances at college, high school, and professional football games in Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana and is the featured group for the opening ceremonies for the Brickyard 400 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Dr. Keiser is the founder and director of the ISU Drum Major Clinic, and has served as contest director of the Mid-States Marching Band Contest, and assistant director of the Hoosier Boys State band. He is a former Drum Major at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, has a master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Iowa and a doctorate in Instrumental Conducting from Michigan State University. He has served as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator in ten states and Canada.

He is past-president of the Indiana Bandmasters Association and is the former faculty advisor of the local chapters of the Music Educators National Conference and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. In 2017, the National Band Fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi awarded him the prestigious A. Frank Martin award in recognition of “important contributions in the fields of band and music education.”

Dr. Keiser holds a D.M.A. in Wind Conducting, Michigan State University, an M.M. from University of Iowa, and a B.M. University of Nebraska-Omaha.


John Lam
Bandmaster, Canadian Staff Band of the Salvation Army
Toronto, ON


John Lam is an accomplished musician and passionate music educator. He holds degrees in performance and education from Western University and is currently completing his Masters in Music Education at the University of Michigan. After many years of teaching instrumental winds and guitar at both elementary and secondary levels, he is currently the Head of Performing Arts at Glendale High School in Tillsonburg. He was appointed Bandmaster of the London Citadel Salvation Army Band in 1995 and Bandmaster of the internationally-acclaimed Canadian Staff Band in 2008. During the summer months, John enjoys teaching at numerous Salvation Army music camps across Canada and the United States.


Dr. Timothy Mahr
Professor of Music
St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN


Dr. Mahr is the Conductor of the St. Olaf Band and teaches courses in composition, conducting, and music education. Previous to his 1994 appointment at St. Olaf College, he was Director of Bands for ten years at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and taught instrumental music at Milaca High School (MN) for three years. Dr. Mahr is the principal conductor of the Twin Cities-based Minnesota Symphonic Winds and, while in Duluth, was the founder and conductor of the Twin Ports Wind Ensemble. He is Past President of the North Central Division of the College Band Directors National Association (1999-2001), and has served on the Board of Directors of the National Band Association (1996-98) and was a founding board member of the Minnesota Band Directors Association. He is presently the North Central Division Representative on the CBDNA Commissioning Committee.

Active in 35 states as a guest conductor and clinician, Dr. Mahr has also appeared professionally in Norway, Mexico, Singapore, and Canada. He has been in residence as a guest composer/conductor on over 30 college and university campuses and has twice conducted performances with the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra. In the past five academic years, Dr. Mahr conducted all-state bands in Montana, Massachusetts, California, Colorado, Wyoming, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Kansas, and North Dakota, and he has been engaged to conduct the Delaware All-State Band and the Florida 9th and 10th Grade All-State Band in 2006. Under Mahr's baton, the St. Olaf Band performed at the 1997 American Bandmasters Association Convention in San Diego, gave its New York City debut at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in 2003, and performed in Minneapolis at the 2004 National Convention of the Music Educators National Conference. Since 1994, the St. Olaf Band has produced nine compact disc recordings, four of which have received international acclaim.

Dr. Mahr is well known as a composer and has over 50 works to his credit, many of which are published for band. He received the 1991 ABA/Ostwald Award for his piece, The Soaring Hawk. Five other works have been finalists in national band composition contests. His works have been programmed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, numerous national and international music conferences and in twenty countries on four continents. This year he will premiere commissioned works with a consortium of the high schools of the Lake Conference in the metro area of the Twin Cities, and the Northfield High School Concert Band. He has recently contracted commissions with the Shakopee (MN) and Bowling Green (OH) high school bands, The University of Iowa Symphony Band and the Lawrence University (WI) Wind Ensemble. His works are recorded on the Sony, Citadel, Crest, Mark, GIA, Cafua and St. Olaf labels. He has been the subject of interview articles and has authored articles for major music journals. He is a contributor to the new text, Composers on Composing for Band (2002).

Dr. Mahr was the first recipient of a commission from the American Bandmasters Association Commissioning Project and he has received over 30 commissions, is a recipient of the National Band Association's "Citation of Excellence", and was elected in 1993 to membership in the American Bandmasters Association.

Mahr graduated with two degrees summa cum laude from St. Olaf College in 1977 and 1978 (B.M. Theory/Composition and B.A. Music Education). In 1983, he received the Master of Arts degree in Trombone Performance from the University of Iowa, where in 1995 he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Instrumental Conducting.


Dr. Darrin Oehlerking
Assistant Professor of Music Education and Director of Bands
University of Saskatchewan


Dr. Oehlerking conducts the Wind Orchestra and teaches courses in Conducting and Music Education. He earned his DMA in Wind Conducting at The University of Iowa (Welch), and a Masters in Music Performance with an emphasis in Conducting (Lonis) at the University of Manitoba, where he holds separate Bachelor degrees in both Music and Education.

In addition to experience teaching primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels, Darrin has served as Director of Bands and Jazz at Bemidji State University (Bemidji, MN), and as Music Coordinator for the Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg, MB, as well as post-secondary assignments at the University of Manitoba and Iowa Wesleyan College. Dr. Oehlerking's ensembles consistently garner outstanding performance awards and showcase invitations at both the local and national levels.

Dr. Oehlerking is an active member of several other professional organizations including the Canadian Band Association, Saskatchewan Music Educators Association, Manitoba Band Association, College Band Directors National Association, WASBE, Pi Kappa Lambda, and was elected to a term as President of the Saskatchewan Band Association. He continues to serve as adjudicator, workshop presenter, and clinician across western Canada, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa and is an authority on the history of the bands of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

As an instrumentalist, Darrin continues to perform with various professional and community ensembles across Western Canada and the mid-western United States.



Click here for a list of previous years' adjudicators.