More Conductors

  The first conductor and organizer of the Marshall Community Band sponsored by the Rotary Club was John Beery, in 1979, who was also Marshall Public Schools Director of Bands at that time. Dave Conklin took over both positions from 1984 until 1996. Duane Sitkiewicz was conductor for the 1997 season. Since then, guest conductors have been invited for each concert. Guest conductors have included Ken Bauman, John Madden, Martin Erickson, Alison Shaw, Christien Rupp, Ed Zentera, David Conklin, Ross VanNess, Phil Clissold, Dick Day, Dan Phillips, David Larzelere, John Beery, Tony Bush, Daniel Alt, Josh Eash, Tom Evans, Jeananne Nichols, Brian Shetterly, and Sam McIlhagga.


  Brooks Grantier, recently retired as Director of Music at Trinity Episcopal Church in Marshall, a position he had since1965. Known for his expertise on the piano and organ, Brooks is who you call if you have an accompaniment no one else can play. He was also the Battle Creek Boy Choir Music Director for 21 years, starting in 1989. Brooks grew up playing clarinet and saxophone in the Minot Municipal Band in North Dakota. He earned his B.S. degree in music education from Minot State University and his Master of Music degree from the University of Colorado at Bolder. Brooks has an interest in all kinds of music, and he composed a new march for concert band, Rotary Special. That march premiered at the July 4 concert in 2007; and it was the opening march of 2008. In 2010, Brooks composed a concert band suite with three movements (Fountains and Memories) , and it was premiered by the band during that summer season.


  Dr. VanNess lives in Muncie, Indiana for most of the year, but he spends his summers at Coldwater Lake with his wife, Harlean. Ross was director of bands for Marshall Public Schools from 1961 to 1968 and Assistant Principal at Marshall High School during his last year in Marshall (1968-1969). Since his retirement from Ball State University as a Professor of Continuing Education, he has been playing and conducting for Marshall Community Band.
  Ross holds a Bachelor of Music degree (Magna Cum Laude) from Western Michigan University, and a Master of Arts in Music and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Michigan. Since 1970, he has made over 1000 appearances as a speaker, consultant, seminar leader, facilitator, and guest presenter throughout the United States and abroad. He has written three self-help books, and he is currently president of Growth and Effective Management Associates, a training and consulting firm in Muncie.
  Ross remains active in Indiana where he sings in a 70-voice choir and plays his trumpet in the Westminster Orchestra as well as a brass quintet. Ross returned from New York a few years ago where he sang in a chorus of 180 voices at Carnegie Hall for Mendelssohn’s Elijah . He conducts for local musical theater productions and serves on the Board of Directors for the Muncie Academy for Community Leadership and Christian Ministries of Delaware County. And above all else, he likes participating in Marshall Community Band where he plays and sometimes conducts. Ross has been featured for the past several years in the trumpet trio of Conklin, VanNess, and Root for the Independence Day Celebration at Brooks Fountain.


Dr. Jeananne Nichols is Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she teaches courses in undergraduate music teaching methods and graduate research. Recently she was appointed as band conductor to the Illinois Summer Youth Music camp for 2013. Prior to her appointment to the faculty at the University of Illinois in 2010, she was Associate Professor of Music and Director of instrumental Studies at Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan where she conducted the Olivet College Wind Ensemble and Pep Band. Additionally, Dr. Nichols served as conductor of the Cereal City Concert Band located in Battle Creek for the 2010-2011 season. A school music educator for many years, Dr. Nichols taught middle and high school band in the Tattnall County schools in Georgia and the Roane County schools in Tennessee. In 1994, she founded the Knoxville Youth Concert Band, a pioneering effort to provide instrumental music education to home schooled students in the East Tennessee region.


Jeremy Duby is the Director of Bands at Olivet College (MI), where he conducts the college wind ensemble and the Marching Comets. He is also the Music Director for the Warren Concert Band, where he serves as only the third music director in the band’s 47-year history. Duby earned his Master of Music degree in wind conducting at Oakland University and his Bachelor of Music degree in music education from Wayne State University, where he also worked as a librarian and historian for the music department, while concurrently working as the library assistant for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to directing the bands at Olivet College, he works closely with the college admissions department, meeting with prospective families to guide them through the college selection process. Since his tenure as the director of bands, the program has undergone significant growth and is receiving national and international recognition. Duby began his career teaching music in the Michigan public schools at Sterling Heights and then L’Anse Creuse High School – North. Through the course of his 10 years in the public schools, Mr. Duby’s bands received consistent high ratings at both district and state festivals for marching and concert seasons. Duby’ s bands have performed, by invitation, in the coveted New Year’s Day Parades in London, England and Paris, France. While abroad, his wind ensembles have performed in the American Cathedral (Paris) and Cadogen Hall (London). His current Olivet bands have recently accepted an invitation to perform in Rome Italy in 2019.
Duby is an active adjudicator, guest conductor and clinician in the state, and has worked with many local groups including the: Royal Oak Symphony Orchestra, Oakland University Concert Band and Wind Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra Civic Wind Symphony, Detroit Metropolitan Chorale, Warren Consolidated School of Performing Arts, as well as many secondary school instrumental music programs.
Mr. Duby is the recipient of the Donald A. Morris Award from Olivet College, for being an influential professor to a top five graduate. He has also been honored with a proclamation from Macomb County for his “outstanding contributions and years of service” to students and the community. Duby has served the professional community as a Vice President for the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) District XVI, and currently serves MSBOA as an adjudicator for its festivals. He is a returning presenter at the Michigan Music Conference, and serves as the Instrumental Activities Coordinator with the Michigan Music Education Association (MMEA). Duby is an active member for the College Band Director’s National Association (CBDNA), MSBOA, as well as the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME).
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