Matthew Banks graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. After graduating from ISU, Matthew performed with the Broadway musical show Blast! both on Broadway in New York City and with their international touring cast. During his time with the show, it received a Tony Award for best special theatrical event and an Emmy Award for best choreography for a television musical. Matthew is a music teacher in the St. Louis area. His band program has received numerous awards and honors throughout the Midwest region. Matthew has completed his Master of Arts in Educational Leadership Administration at McKendree University. Outside of working at the public level and college level, he has also had the opportunity to work with Cavaliers and Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps brass staff.
Dr. Dawn M. Farmer
Dr. Dawn M. Farmer is an Assistant Professor of Music Education at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Previously, she has held similar positions at the University of Oklahoma and at Boise State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Music Education from Arizona State University, a Master of Arts degree in Music Education from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelors Degree of Music in Music Education from the University of Arizona. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. Farmer has taught public school music in Tucson, AZ and the Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. areas. Having experience in three diverse school systems, Dr. Farmer has taught band, orchestra, and general music in grades 3-12, and also undergraduate and graduate coursework in music, education, and music education. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Tau Beta Sigma, the National Band Sorority. Dr. Farmer’s bands have amassed many achievements in performance and sportsmanship, and her Tri-M clubs have received local recognition within the school and community. Her high school teaching experience includes working with the outstanding award-winning Mira Costa High School Band Program in Manhattan Beach, CA. She has also served as a clinician for marching bands.
Gary Hall just retired after serving nine years as the coordinator of the Instrumental Music program at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne WY. He has a BA in Music and Masters in Music Education from Adams State College, and has taught high school bands for 32 years in Colorado. Jazz and symphonic band ensembles under Mr. Hall’s direction have flourished, earning superior ratings annually at regional and state festivals, and achieving national and international exposure. Marching bands under Gary’s direction have performed in the Colorado Bandmasters Association state finals twenty-two times, winning seven state championships. His bands have earned other awards at marching band championships at the University of New Mexico, the University of Utah, the BOA Super Regional in San Antonio, and the BOA Nationals in Indianapolis. Mr. Hall’s groups have also appeared in other venues including the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Washington DC, the Portland Rose Festival, The Fiesta Bowl, Hollywood Christmas Parade and the Independence Day Parade. Mr. Hall is a strong advocate for music education, promoting the career of teaching music to his students. In recognition of his many years of service to bands, Mr. Hall was elected to the Colorado Bandmasters’ Hall of Fame by the Colorado Bandmasters Association in 2005.
Ron LaGrone is a music educator and marching percussion specialist residing in the Portland, OR metro area. He consults and judges percussion all over the U.S. He is currently the percussion consultant to the West Linn-Wilsonville School District and is the band/orchestra director at Rosemont Ridge Middle School in West Linn, OR. He has served as percussion arranger and caption head for the Colt Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps from Dubuque, IA, as well as consultant, percussion arranger, and caption head of percussion with the award-winning Westview High School Percussion Ensemble, the Oregon Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps. He has also worked with groups such as Grenada High School, Tupelo High School, Vicksburg High School, Southridge High School, the University of Mississippi Drumline, The Northern Lights Summer Marching Band, and Oregon State University Percussion. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1995 from the University of Mississippi where he majored in Percussion Performance and attended the University of Oregon Graduate School for further studies in music education and percussion performance. Ron plays professionally in the Portland metro area and is also a Dynasty, Latin Percussion, OFFWORLD PERCUSSION, REMO and PROMARK artist.
Mark Martin marched with the Madison Scouts Drum Corps and Madison Scouts Alumni Corps, and has been involved in color guard and choreography teaching and show design for over 25 years. Color guards under his teaching and show design have accumulated many Mid Continent Color Guard Association and WGI championships and awards. They have been WGI Regional Finalists for the past eight years. Mark has served as a past consultant/designer for several high schools, as well as Tapestry Winter Guard, Madison Jr Scouts Drum Corps, McKendree University. He has also participated in the Orange Bowl, Gator Bowl, Champs Bowl, Outback Bowl, Alamo Bowl and Dallas Bowl half-time shows. Mark serves nationally as color guard and visual judge for USSBA(PA) and CSJA(IN). He is currently the color guard and visual designer for several Illinois and Missouri high schools, and a visual tech for Alchemy Winterguard and Gold Drum Corps.
Dave Matthys has been involved in music education for 35 years as a band director, clinician, and adjudicator. His concert, marching and jazz bands have garnered many awards throughout the northwest, and he is in demand as an adjudicator and clinician. His accolades include being the 2014-2015 National Federation of High Schools Outstanding Music Educator (Oregon), Dodge Outstanding School Music Program (Lake Oswego High School), and being a presenter and performer at multiple Oregon Music Educators Conferences. Recently retired from Lake Oswego High School (Oregon) where he was the band director as well as district music coordinator, he is now the wind ensemble conductor for the Portland Youth Philharmonic Association and also supervises student teachers for Portland State University.
Roxanne Narachi holds a Masters in Art in Education from California State University Dominguez Hills and a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from California State University Long Beach. Roxanne has choreographed, taught, and consulted throughout southern California for over twenty years. She taught dance at Fullerton College from 1987 to 1992, and has been a Winter Guard Association of Southern California (“WGASC”) and Southern California Judging Association (“SCJA”) judge from 1982 to 1990 and 2010 to present. In 2009, Roxanne was inducted into the WGASC Hall of fame. At a competitive level, Roxanne taught the Velvet Knight Drum and Bugle Corps from 1981 to 1984, 1987 to 1988, and 1992 to 1993. She also taught Argonauts from Salem, Oregon in 1985. Roxanne is a highly sought-after clinician, adjudicator, designer, and instructor for marching bands and drum and bugle corps throughout the country.
Josephine (Jo) Smith has a B.A. Social Sciences, B.M.E, and Masters in Education. Mrs. Smith has over 25 years of teaching experience, including many years of involvement in the pageantry activity, as performer, clinician, instructor, program design, and coordinator for various drum corps and marching bands. She is currently director and instructor of the colorguard and winterguard program at Mascoutah High School, Mascoutah, Il. Mrs. Smith is an adjunct Professor at McKendree University where she teaches and has developed a curriculum for students who wish to earn a minor in colorguard instruction. Her judging experience includes Drum Corp International, Drum Corps Midwest, Central States Judging Association, Bureau of Marching Music Adjudicators, and Marching Roundtable Academy Member.