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Midwest Map 2021

Celebrate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago this year with these inspirational presentations!

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Wednesday December 15

PRESENTERS: William L. Lake Jr., LoToya A. Webb, Emily Mariko Eng

TIME: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

ROOM: W181

This session empowers minoritized students by equipping them with professional resources to help them advance their music careers. The founders of I See You-Affirming Representation in Music and Lift Music Fund partner in this program designed to set our VIP students up for success, both at the MidWest Clinic and globally in their development. Educators will walk away with resources and tactics to foster a more equitable learning environment for their students.

PRESENTERS: Dr. Caroline Hand, Douglas Droste, Amy Hourigan

TIME: 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

ROOM: W185

“Sensory Friendly” Concert Series have proven successful in creating a space where people with intellectual disabilities can experience a concert in a way that best meets their needs. Oftentimes, the traditional concert setting can be unsettling for people with disabilities. The sensory overload of new places, loud sounds, velvet chairs, light changes, etc. can be a challenge for making people with special needs feel included in our concert offerings, but all students deserve the benefits of emotional connection through music especially as we emerge from the pandemic.


A sensory friendly concert is a live concert put on specifically for people with diverse sensory needs; accommodations respect their needs and consider things such as sound, sight, and touch. These concerts provide an entry point for your students and their parents on interacting with people with disabilities and can also provide an entry point for students in special education, their teachers, and their parents into the arts. Consider how these concerts can promote inclusion of people with diverse sensory needs.


The presenters will showcase the Sensory Friendly Concert Series at their institution and provide practical ways to make these concerts accessible for all types of schools and situations.

PRESENTER: Dr. Sixto Montesinos

TIME: 3:45 PM - 4:45 PM

ROOM: W181

  • Common stereotypes that contribute to specific and sometimes offensive generalizations and inaccurate depictions of Mexican culture in Mexican-inspired repertoire

  • Evidence of lack of thematic diversity in Mexican-themed repertoire for instrumental ensembles (e.g. bands and orchestras) as of December 15, 2021

  • The importance of diversifying Mexican-themed repertoire for our students in 2021

  • Ideas for composers, arrangers, editors, and educators to help  diversify this repertoire and surpass overused and stereotypical thematic materials like “Fiesta” “La Cucaracha” or “Viva Mexico”

PRESENTERS: Craig Kirchoff, Shanti C. Simon

TIME: 3:45 PM - 4:45 PM

ROOM: W185

The intent of this clinic is to explore the following three questions:


Do we make an emotional connection, from within our own lives and from

what we have observed and experienced from others, that drives the notes we

play, or do we simply play the notes with great skill, and then hope for some

emotional connection in ourselves and in our audiences?


Why, when a great conductor or musician presents a familiar composition, do

we hear the notes as though it were for the first time?


How do we teach our students to make public to their audiences, the

monumental feelings, emotions, and truths awakened within their souls when

performing great works of music?


“The moment of performance is a delicate creature.”

Bud Beyer

PRESENTERS: Jason Nam, Catharine Sinon Bushman, Vu Nguyen, Viet Cuong, Cait Nishimura, Jennifer Jolley, Aakash MIttal

TIME: 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

ROOM: W176

This clinic will bring together a panel of three college band directors (Cathrarine Sinon Bushman, St. Cloud State University, Jason Nam, Indiana University, and Vu Nguyen, University of the Pacific) and four composers (Viet Cuong, Jennifer Jolley, Aakash Mittal, and Cait Nishimura) to discuss perspectives on topics such as cultural identity, diversity in programming, authenticity—as well as cultural sensitivity and appropriation—all through the lens of experience as Asian/Asian American artists and teachers.

Discussion will address such questions as: What cultural/societal/musical narratives surrounding Asian heritage should music educators know about? How can teachers be aware of the challenges faced by students of color and help them to navigate these spaces as a musician? How can we help to provide opportunities for more individuals for who may not have the opportunity otherwise? What ways can we empower future students, create pathways to leadership, and bring more voices into the field of band music? How can we create a space to listen to, understand, and validate students’ experiences?

As is the case for many minority and underrepresented groups in the field of band music, questions of identity and representation within the seemingly small population of Asian American conductors and composers have led to shared feelings or varying degrees of discomfort, unseen pressures, and potentially harmful assumptions. The panel will present a thoughtful dialogue particular to the Asian experience in the field of music teaching and composing to stimulate wider understanding and sensitivity towards these issues.

Thursday December 16

PRESENTER: Lori Schwartz Reichl

TIME: 8:30AM - 9:30 AM

ROOM: W181

Lori Schwartz Reichl, author and educator (Maryland, USA), will present her session “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Am I Providing Opportunities Reflecting All?” at The Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday, December 16 @ 8:30 am in room W181. During the presentation, Lori will encourage attendees to reflect on the diversity and inclusivity of their music programs: Are we as music directors focusing on the needs of students as learners and global citizens, rather than only as musicians? Has our vision and vocabulary evolved to reflect a changing society? Are we diversifying people and repertoire and differentiating instruction? Have we implemented a curriculum that validates the framing of mirrors and windows for students to see, hear, and experience the world, cultures, music, and education in more than one way? These opportunities are crucial for acceptance, development, and unity.


This presentation is loosely based on Lori's doctoral dissertation to be defended in December 2021, “The Student Voice: Perceptions of Students’ Representation of Themselves in the Secondary Band Curriculum.” Her research is rooted in perspectives from students and effective strategies of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) for learners and leaders of all ages, abilities, and cultures.

PRESENTERS: Dr. Nola Jones, Dru Davison, Jager Loyde, Thomas Turpin, Ollie Liddell

TIME: 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM


While the Round Rock, TX and Shelby County, TN districts differ demographically, both focused on developing Discovery Mindsets during the pandemic. They seized the opportunity to reimagine their programs to facilitate students' SEL and musical success. Attendees will enjoy a lively panel discussion with four exemplary music educators including administrators' and directors' experiences, lessons learned, how the two programs collaborated, and how they will scale the work moving forward. The session will include video examples of the collaborations with composer Richard Saucedo and Student Leadership consultant Cameron Jenkins. The session will also include an activity to connect and communicate with other attendees and facilitate ongoing collaborations. The session is relevant for music administrators and music teachers at all levels. 


Panel moderator is Dr. Nola Jones, retired Director of Visual and Performing Arts for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and former Conn-Selmer Director of Education. Panelists include Dr. Dru Davison, Performing Arts Administrator for Memphis Shelby County Schools, Dr. Ollie Liddell, Director of Bands at Memphis Central High School, Jager Loyde, Director of Fine Arts for Round Rock, Texas Schools, Thomas Turpin, Director of Bands at Westwood High School. 

PRESENTERS: Vanessa Rose, Weston Sprott, Christopher Yee, Jasmine Britt, Jonathan Villela, Jennifer Jolley

TIME: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


We already know how influential the experience of playing in a band can be for a kid, college student, or adult. The opportunities to be part of a community, to make music together, and to perform for others have a tremendous impact on each individual. But what about the composer? What if the piece you were playing was written by someone in your community? What if it was written by someone who looks like the people playing the music (i.e. the same race)? Imagine what that impact could be.

PRESENTERS: Joshua Johnson, Barry Houser

TIME: 2:45 PM - 3:45 PM


Every student in our program should feel as if they have the ability to exist in a space that values their whole-cultural self. Establishing an open & honest dialogue about diversity, equity, and inclusion gives us the insight necessary to create an inclusive community. In this presentation, we will reflect on systems and structures that negatively affect underserved and marginalized communities. The goal of this session is to give educators the tools needed to help challenge systemic racism and social inequities in our profession, empowering our colleagues to be better allies for all students, while supporting more authentic and powerful relationships and musical experiences for all.

Friday December 17

PRESENTERS: Dr. Erik Leung, Dr. Courtney Snyder, Dr. Robert Taylor, Mr. Alfred Watkins, Ms. Alex Shapiro. Dr. Jodie Blackshaw

TIME:  8.30-9.30am


Join the authors of the book “The Horizon Leans Forward… ” for a panel discussion on the issues of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in the Wind Band Field. Topics to be discussed include: - Challenges faced by underrepresented groups within the wind band field and strategies to elevate these issues - Equitable Programming - Ways to promote BIPOC, women, and LGBTGIA2S+ artists, composers, and conductors.


"This reviewer, a cisgender, white, male band director, was moved and inspired by the stories relayed within these chapters. Simultaneously, many of the deeply personal experiences that the authors shared also led to anger and disappointment. While the honesty of a particular contributor is challenging within some of these chapters, reading each experience provides more resolve to do all that is possible to assist in the advocacy and positive recognition of the incredible diversity already present within the wind band community.” 

Review of the Horizon Leans Forward, Canadian Association of Music Librarians, Dec. 2021

Darrin Oehlerking, DMA

Interim Associate Dean Student Affairs
University of Saskatchewan

PRESENTERS: Cliff Croomes, Kaitlin Bove, Kelvin Jones, Benjamin Lorenzo

TIME: 8:30-9.30am


Music is a remarkable avenue for students to explore and discover various cultures. As teachers, it is our responsibility to celebrate diversity in our band halls, provide equitable treatment and experiences for all students, and ensure that many cultures are represented. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the band hall matter for many reasons. All aspects of a program can encompass DEI from student relationships, instructional staffing, repertoire selection, social media presence, and recruiting. As directors, we must be committed to ensuring that each member of the band community has an equal opportunity to succeed and benefit from the resources available to the program. Our session will discuss strategies to include DEI as an essential foundation of any music program.

PRESENTERS: Ingrid Larragoity-Martin

TIME: 10:15-10:45 am


This session will provide attendees a platform from which to discuss the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity in our music classrooms. Topics will include the appropriate language used for inclusivity, honoring the diversity in your programs, and strategies on music selection with a cultural lens.

"Not everyone comes to diversity, equity and inclusion at the same point. We have to acknowledge and value those who are coming to the table with questions, apprehension, and most importantly, the willingness to learn. I boldly admit my ignorance on the topic and how essential my circle of peers/friends are to my evolution as a musician, teacher, artist and human. As a music educator for most of my life, I feel it is imperative to offer a little more introductory strategies and terminology to help everyone get a baseline in a safe space. We can lend a hand in embracing everyone on this journey by simply being open to the difficult discussions, questions, change, and self-reflection."

Read the full article by Dr. Ingrid Larragoity-Martin in the December edition of the ColourFULL Good News Guide.

PRESENTERS: Scott Edgar, Brian Balmages, Cait Nishimura, Bob Morrison, Richard Saucedo, Alex Shapiro, Jim Stephenson, Omar Thomas

TIME: 10:30-11:30 am


Band and orchestra students are experiencing an unparalleled level of challenges. Without skills to confront these challenges, students will be unable to be successful musically. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a construct that can be implemented in music classrooms to build the skills of self-awareness, social awareness, and responsible decision-making. In our classrooms, it involves having our students reflect on their identity, facilitating a safe space conducive for belonging, and amplifying student voice resulting in their ability to affect change. 

This session will provide practical lessons from the instrumental music classroom by a panel of successful music educators and composers sharing specific experiences for SEL implementation to help students be more socially emotionally competent and ready to learn music. The experiences presented have been designed to augment and enhance traditional music instruction, not “add one more thing.” Included will be an introduction of SEL as a construct, interpreting it for music educators, and resources to help administrators and instrumental music teachers implement SEL at the district and classroom levels. Primary resources include the New Jersey SEL/Arts Education Standards Framework and the Center for Arts Education and Social Emotional Learning. 

For SEL to be organically embedded into instrumental music classrooms, it needs to be based in music where students can make a personal connection. Composers Brian Balmages, Cait Nishimura, Richard Saucedo, Alex Shapiro, Jim Stephenson, and Omar Thomas will be joining us to discuss how they view the creation of music that can serve as an entry point to making students relationship with music and each other deeper, through SEL.

PRESENTERS: Jared Cassedy, Alley Lacasse, and Matthew Arau

TIME: 2:30-3:30 pm


As ensemble directors, we must navigate the balance between conducting a program that provides high quality music-making experiences while also investing in the social, emotional, and supportive needs of our students. Playing excellent repertoire at a high level is only part of the experience. Nurtured relationships help all members be mindful and present, which elevates the program as a whole. During this presentation, we will examine pragmatic ways of building a positive and engaging culture that focuses on intentional conversations and collaborative experiences that inspire the overarching goals of our programs. By embedding self-reflection, being willing to be vulnerable, and integrating student voice and identity within the fabric of the music program, a more authentic and meaningful experience for both the students and director will exist.


Presenters will use their experience in creating a conversation centered on ensemble culture to inform best practices and share how this can be transformative for your students and yourselves at every level in the program. Attendees will be given the opportunity to reflect on how well their own values and priorities align with their students in order to develop a pathway forward that honors the voices of all while creating positive community and culture.

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