Symposium 2019 Clinicians and Ensembles


Martin T. AllenMartin Allen

Martin Allen has taught instrumental music in the Grand Island Schools for thirty-two years.  After four years at the elementary level, Mr. Allen is in his twenty eighth year at the high school. Under his baton, Grand Island High School Ensembles have been recognized for their excellence at State and National Music Festivals, including performances at NYSBDA, NYSSMA, and MENC All Eastern Conventions.  They have received level five and six Gold Medals ratings at the New York State School Music Associations Major Organization festivals from 1994 - 1998 and level five and six Gold with Distinction ratings from 1998 to the present. They have also performed at Dixie Classic National Music Festivals since 1994 where they have been awarded Superior Ratings as well as Festival Honors at the Classic Festivals and The National Adjudicator’s Invitational Festivals.  The group also performed at the Grand National Adjudicator’s Invitational in 2000 and 2004 and 2008, where they received Superior ratings and awards for the Outstanding Percussion Sections. Additional honors awarded at these festivals have been Outstanding Brass, Outstanding Woodwind, Outstanding Percussion Sections and five Outstanding Solo Awards.

A graduate of SUNY at Buffalo, Mr. Allen has his MM in Education from VanderCook College Of Music in Chicago with additional graduate work at SUNY Buffalo and SUNY Fredonia.  He has guest conducted at various levels in Erie, Monroe, Niagara, Wayne, Genesee Wyoming, Genessee Valley, Malone and Saratoga counties and has been a guest clinician with several area school districts.   An accomplished pianist, Mr. Allen has served as Organist and Choir Director at area churches and as a trombonist and baritone with the Buffalo Silver Band. He has served on the Executive Board of the Erie County Music Educators Association where he has chaired the Instrumental Committee and served as Vice President.  He has also served on the executive board of the New York State Band Directors Association.

Mr. Allen was honored with the American School Band Directors Association Regional and National Directors award for Outstanding Service to the American Band Movement in 1998 as well as the ECCMC/Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Award for excellence in music education in 2004.


Mandy BoonshaftMandy Boonshaft


Mandy Fara Boonshaft is a member of the music education faculty of the Syosset Central School District. She is currently a band director at South Woods Middle School. Prior to her appointment in Syosset, she was a band director at both Commack Middle School and George W. Hewlett High School. In addition, Mrs. Boonshaft is the conductor of the Nassau-Suffolk Performing Arts Honor Band, a select ensemble comprised of outstanding seventh and eighth grade instrumentalists from across Long Island.

Mrs. Boonshaft is a graduate of Hofstra University, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education with a concentration in flute performance, graduating cum laude with departmental honors.  Mrs. Boonshaft also holds a Master of Arts degree in Wind Conducting from Hofstra University, where she served as the Graduate Conducting Associate from 2005-2008, conducting both the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. 

Ensembles under Mrs. Boonshaft’s direction have received numerous Gold with Distinction ratings at NYSSMA Major Organization Festivals, have been invited to perform at the New York State Band Director’s Symposium, and have performed at clinics and workshops for composers and conductors such as Robert W. Smith, Christian Wilhjelm, and Sean O’Loughlin.  In addition to performances on Long Island, The Nassau-Suffolk Honor Band commissioned and premiered a work by renowned composer Richard Saucedo, and was recently chosen to perform at the prestigious National Association for Music Education Eastern Division Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

A composer of works for concert band and percussion ensemble, Mrs. Boonshaft is currently published by Row-Loff Publications. In addition, she continues to keep an active performance schedule. She is a founding member of the Long Island Flute Quartet and has performed with a number of regional orchestras and ensembles. She has studied flute and piccolo with Carol Wincenc, Patricia Spencer, Susan Deaver, Mindy Kaufman, John Oberbrunner, Ted Mordoff, John Littlefield and John Wion. 

Mrs. Boonshaft maintains a private flute and conducting studio and is an active member of the Nassau Music Educators Association, the New York State Band Directors Association and the New York State School Music Association, for which she is a certified Major Organization and Woodwind Adjudicator. Extremely active as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator and workshop presenter for band festivals, universities, schools and conferences, she has served as guest conductor for the Hampton Music Educators Association High School Honors Band Festival, Suburban Council (Albany) Music Festival, Suffolk County Music Educators Association Division 2 East All-County Band, Orange County High School All-County Band, and the Bristol Township School District Honors Band in Bucks County, Pennsylvania; has twice served as an adjudicator for the prestigious New South Wales School Band Festival in Sydney, Australia; was a session presenter at the Sydney Music Education Conference, Maryborough Music Conference and the New York State School Music Association Conference; and presented masterclasses in flute performance in Queensland, Australia.

Central WindsCentral Winds Trumpet Section

The Central Winds: A Music Educators’ Wind Ensemble was established in 1984.  Central New York Music educators Jeff Renshaw, Mark Ponzo, and Don Carducci envisioned an ensemble comprised of exceptional local musicians eager for more opportunities for performance. The ensemble was originally named the Syracuse Wind Symphony and included public school and university educators alongside other professional musicians. The Syracuse Wind Symphony performed its first concert in 1985.

In 1987, the group reorganized under the auspices of the Onondaga County Music Educators’ Association and created our existing mission statement:  It is the mission of our Ensemble to provide the instrumental music educator with professional level Wind Band performance opportunities that will result in personal growth, camaraderie, satisfaction, and enjoyment. Existing primarily for its membership, the Ensemble shall engage the best conductors available and perform a variety of high quality literature. The Ensemble will pursue the planning of educational activities that will benefit student-musicians, other music educators, and the community at large.

In 2000, the group was revitalized and refreshed with the addition of an advisory board and a name change to the Central New York Music Educators’ Wind Ensemble and later to Central Winds: A Music Educators’ Wind Ensemble, to better reflect its membership. The group is now run by a nine member advisory board, which consists of the General Manager, Personnel Director, Secretary, Treasurer, Webmaster, Publicity Chairperson, and three Members at Large.  The board is responsible for hiring quality conductors, setting the rehearsal and performance schedule, seeking performing opportunities, and serving other organizational aspects of the group. Mr. Andrew Perry (West Genesee High School) serves as the Central Winds Artistic Director and he and Dr. James Tapia (Syracuse University) are our named Co-Conductors of the ensemble.

Central Winds offers four to five local concerts yearly, and has also traveled to perform at the Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College, the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and presented concerts at the New York State Band Directors’ Association (NYSBDA) Winter Symposium and New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Winter Conference.  In both 2009 and 2016, the Central Winds performed at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. In 2019, the Central Winds performed at the the Texas Bandmasters Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Our ensemble has worked with exceptional guest conductors and artists including Charles Peltz, John Laverty, Timothy Topolewski, Scott LaVine, Stephen Peterson, Donald Hunsberger, David Waybright, the Boston Brass, J. D. Shaw, and Timothy McAllister. Aside from our yearly concerts, the Central Winds is proud to sponsor educational initiatives across Central New York including summer study for young instrumentalists, youth wind ensembles and orchestras, side-by-side playing experiences, masterclasses and chamber programs, and concerto competitions.


Miles DeCastro

Miles DeCastro is the instrument repair technician at The Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam, where he teaches courses in instrument repair, and is responsible for the repairs, maintenance, and inventory of over 1,000 instruments. In addition to his work at Crane, he owns and operates North Country Winds, a repair shop specializing in artist-level clarinet repairs and USA warranty work for Backun clarinets. Miles has been an active member of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians since 2007. In that time, he has at- tended every national conference and will be presenting at his fth national conference in a row this April. He currently serves as Vice President and Director of Region 1, and in the past has served on the nance committee and has hosted clinics at the regional and national level. On top of all of this, Miles is a Straubinger Certified Technician, Yamaha Certified Sales Professional, graduate of the Yamaha Service Advantage Pro- gram, and he has studied instrument repair with Morrie Backun.


Julianne  Kirk  DoyleJulianne Kirk Doyle

Julianne Kirk Doyle is Professor of Clarinet and Director of Crane Youth Music at the Crane School of Music. Dr. Doyle has had conference appearances at the Midwest Clinic, International Clarinet Association, International Double Reed Society, New York State School Music Association, New York State Band Directors Association, Mid-America Center for Contemporary Music and the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium and serves as editor for the clarinet repertoire section of the NYSSMA manual. An active soloist and chamber musician, Dr. Doyle performs regularly with the Aria Reed Trio, Northern Symphonic Winds and Orchestra of Northern New York. She holds the DMA and MM degrees in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music and a Bachelors of Music from the University of Oklahoma. Her primary teachers include Jon Manasse, David Etheridge and Bradford Behn. She is an artist with Backun Musical Services and DANSR/Vandoren.


Ithaca  College Jazz  EnsembleIthaca College Jazz Ensemble

The Ithaca College Jazz Ensemble is the premier instrumental jazz band at Ithaca College. In recent years, the group has performed with dozens of guest artists, including Roxy Coss, Matt Wilson, Vincent Gardner, Braxton Cook, Grace Kelly, Branford Marsalis, New York Voices and many others. The group has performed at several state and national conferences, including NYSSMA, NYSBDA and at the JEN conference in Dallas.

The ensemble’s director is saxophonist/composer/arranger Mike Titlebaum, who has served as Director of Jazz Studies at Ithaca College since 2008. At Ithaca, he also teaches jazz arranging, standards and repertoire and pedagogy. Titlebaum has played in many of New York City's world-famous musical venues, including the Blue Note, Smalls, and the infamous CBGB's as well as the pit orchestra of the Broadway musical "Cats" at the Winter Garden Theater. He has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, and with dozens of internationally recognized artists and groups including Jason Robert Brown, the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, the Mingus Big Band, Cab Calloway, Jeff Tyzik, Natalie Cole, and many others. He is the co-editor of the textbook “Teaching School Jazz: Perspectives, Principles and Strategies” published by Oxford University Press in 2019.

The Ithaca College School of Music features three jazz ensembles, two vocal jazz ensembles and numerous jazz combos, in addition to several wind bands, choirs and orchestras. Students earn B.M. degrees in a diverse range of fields including Jazz Studies, Music Education, Performance, Sound Recording Technology, and Composition.

Gary Rohman

Matthew Maslanka

Matthew Maslanka is a clinician, publisher, music engraver, performer, and composer. Matthew is the foremost authority on his father David Maslanka’s music and is in demand as a clinician and educator worldwide. He publishes his father’s music through Maslanka Press and heads the David Maslanka Foundation. As a music engraver and copyist, he regularly works on such hit films and video games as Shazam!, The Incredibles 2, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. With performance degrees from Michigan State University and Indiana University, he has performed as a euphoniumist and trombonist on Broadway’s Fiddler on the Roof and with New York’s Chelsea Symphony.

Matthew is an avid photographer and lives in New York City with his two dogs, Cassie and Max.


Andrew PeaseAndy Pease

Andrew D. Pease serves as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Instrumental Music at Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY, where he directs the Wind Ensemble and Brass Ensemble and teaches conducting, orchestration, composition, and brass methods. He is also co-conductor of the Catskill Valley Wind Ensemble, a community band also based in Oneonta. His guest conducting work has taken him to several states, including two appearances at Carnegie Hall with bands from Hartwick College and Columbia University. He completed his DMA degree in wind conducting at Arizona State University, studying with Gary Hill, Wayne Bailey, and William Reber. While there, he conducted large ensembles and various chamber groups, including the professional Sun Valley Chamber Winds, which he founded in 2015. His work with these groups earned him the 2017 American Prize in Wind Band Conducting at the collegiate level. His other past teaching positions include South Mountain Community College (Phoenix, AZ), Ironwood High School (Glendale, AZ), and Lakewood Elementary School (Congers, NY). He started his career in New York City. While music director of the Columbia University Wind Ensemble from 2002-2013, he helped to start the Columbia Festival of Winds, now in its second decade. Concurrently, he conducted the community band Columbia Summer Winds, which inaugurated its Outdoor Composition Contest under his watch. He has degrees from Dartmouth College, Teachers College at Columbia University, and Hofstra University. His past conducting teachers include Max Culpepper, Melinda O’Neal, Dino Anagnost, and Peter Boonshaft, as well as clinics with other leading figures in the conducting world. Dr. Pease runs two websites dedicated to the music of the wind band. Wind Band Literature ( has been used as a resource for bands around the world. The Wind Band Symphony Archive ( is a dynamic record of all known symphonies written for wind band.


Craig PoissantCraig Poissant

Craig Poissant is currently in his 14 th year at Huth Road Elementary in the Grand Island Central
School District. Mr. Poissant's combined 4th and 5th grade band performs extensively throughout
the year and has, for all 12 years of his participation, earned Gold and Gold with Distinction at the
New York State School Music Association's Major Organization Festivals. As a clinician, Craig has
presented at several state and local conferences, including the 2018 NYSSMA Winter Conference,
the NYSBDA Region 1 Conference Day, and the Erie County Music Educator’s Association’s
Conference Day for Music Educators. As a mentor, Mr. Poissant has regularly hosted student
teachers from local colleges, each of which have moved on to successful careers as educators in
local public schools and colleges. In 2018, he was awarded the State University College at Buffalo's
"Instrumental Band Teacher of the Year". Craig holds a M.M. in Saxophone Performance from Ithaca College and a B.M. in Music Education from SUNY College at Fredonia. His teachers and mentors
include Dr. Steve Peterson, Dr. Paula Holcomb, Dr. Steve Mauk, and Dr. Wildy Zumwalt. Mr.
Poissant's professional affiliations include NAfME, New York State School Music Association, New York State Band Director's Association, and the Erie County Music Educators Association.


Michael RobertsonMichael Robertson

Michael Robertson has been teaching beginning instrumental music for 29 years, the last 14 of which have been at William Kaegebein Elementary School in the Grand Island Central School District in Grand Island, New York.  The Kaegebein Concert Band and Jazz Band have actively participated in New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Major Organization Festivals during Mike’s tenure, and have earned Gold and Gold With Distinction ratings in every year of their participation.  A native of Salt Lake City, Mike holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Utah, and a Master of Music Education degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia. Mike enjoys serving local and state music education associations. He has served the Erie County Music Educators Association (ECMEA) as the Chair of Government Relations, and currently serves NYSSMA as the Director of Adjudicators.  Mike holds membership in both associations, with additional memberships in the National Association for Music Education and the New York State Band Directors Association. Mike served for 24 years in the United States Army National Guard as a member of many Army bands, retiring in 2010. As part of his Army career, he served a 16-month deployment in Tikrit, Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Mike continues to actively play the horn, and has played with many Western New York community ensembles.  He currently performs with the Cheektowaga Community Symphony Orchestra, the Orchard Park Symphony Orchestra, and the Ovation Wind Quintet. Mike and his wife, Nora, live in Hamburg, New York. They are the proud parents of five children.


Sarah Russo Sarah Russo

Sarah Russo has taught instrumental music in the Grand Island schools for 22 years. She graduated from SUNY at Buffalo with a Masters in Education degree. In recognition of her work at the middle school, she was recognized with the PTA Honorary Lifetime Membership. She co-directs the middle school musical and holds her iTheatrics level 1 certification.  Mrs. Russo has been active in the Erie County Music Educators Association and has served as festival host, ensemble chairman and conductor.

Mallory ThompsonMallory Thompson

Mallory Thompson is director of bands, professor of music, coordinator of the conducting program, and holds the John W. Beattie Chair of Music at Northwestern University. In 2003 she was named a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence. As the third person in the university's history to hold the director of bands position, Thompson conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting, and administers all aspects of the band program. She has recorded five albums with the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble on the Summit Records label. 

Thompson received the Bachelor of Music Education degree and Master of Music degree in conducting from Northwestern University, where she studied conducting with John P. Paynter and trumpet with Vincent Cichowicz. She received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Donald Hunsberger. 

Maintaining an active schedule as guest conductor, conducting teacher, and guest lecturer throughout the United States and Canada, Thompson has had the privilege of teaching conducting to thousands of undergraduates, graduate students, and professional educators. She has served as a conductor or clinician at the College Band Directors National Association regional and national conventions, the Midwest Clinic, the Interlochen Arts Academy, numerous state music conventions, and the Aspen Music Festival. In addition to conducting all-state ensembles throughout the United States, she has had professional engagements as guest conductor with the United States Air Force Band, the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” the United States Army Field Band, the United States Coast Guard Band, the United States Navy Band, the West Point Band, the Dallas Wind Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Monarch Brass Ensemble, and Banda Sinfônica in Sao Pãulo, Brazil. Her professional affiliations include Pi Kappa Lambda, the College Band Directors National Association, and the American Bandmasters Association. 

Dr. Thompson is especially proud of her 53 graduate conducting students and the hundreds of outstanding Symphonic Wind Ensemble members with whom she has had the joy of making music at Northwestern. She treasures her relationship with the Wildcat Marching Band and is honored to preserve and grow Northwestern’s legacy.


Katie Struzik

Katie Struzik has been Chairperson of the NYSSMA Manual since January 2001. She is a graduate of the Crane School of Music and Hartt School of Music. Her professional a liations include NYSBDA, NYSSMA, NAfME and Sigma Alpha Iota. She taught instrumental music in the Pine Bush and Tuckahoe School Districts and has been a substitute music teacher in the Webster and Brighton school districts since 1994. She is also a professional accompanist. She lives in Webster with her husband Mike and dog “Lucky.” She and Mike have two sons, Chris and Matt.

Ronald Sutherland

Ronald Sutherland retired from the Clarence (NY) Central School District in 1996 after twenty-five years of teaching instrumental music and conducting the Clarence Wind Ensemble. Ron also taught at Williamsville North High School for two years and started his teaching career at Silver Creek Central School in September of 1961. The Clarence High School Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band featured many artists including Vaclav Nelhybel, Karel Husa, Sigurd Rascher, Carl St. Clair, Williams Willet, Donald Schleicher, Frank Erickson, Alan Vizzuti, and Rhythm and Brass. Under Mr. Sutherland’s direction, the Clarence Bands toured throughout the Eastern United States and Canada. In 1976, a combined Clarence High School Band participated in an International Youth Festival in Aberdeen, Scotland and London, England. In the summer of 1990, the band toured and performed in Austria and Italy. In addition to many guest conducting, clinics, consulting, and adjudication appearances, Ron has led many student leadership workshops throughout New York State. Each summer Mr. Sutherland travels to Europe with a select Band and Chorus under the auspices of American Music Abroad. Ron was active in the New York State School Music Association having served as president in 1984-1985. He and his wife Cathy are currently the co-head chaperones for NYSSMA’s 900 All-State students at the Winter Conference