I have been a wind and percussion technician for 13 years. I’ve been a band director for 8 years (from 6-12 and university levels). I have been an adjudicator for concert, jazz, and marching for 9 years. I have a drill and visual designer for 12 years.
Mr. Coakley has been the Director of Bands for the Biloxi Public School District and Department Chair for the Performing Arts at Biloxi High School since 2011. Beginning in 2015 he will serve the Biloxi Public School District as the Fine & Performing Arts Director. In that time, the Biloxi Band has consistently received the highest ratings for marching band and concert band performances. Biloxi High School was awarded the Sweepstakes Award for the first time in school history in 2012-2013. Biloxi High School was recently named a Grammy Signature School Semi-Finalist for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years and the Biloxi Public School District was named by the NAMM Foundation as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” in 2014. In 2015 Biloxi High School was named by the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education as its “School of Excellence” for making arts an essential part of education and received the SupportMusic Merit Award by the NAMM Foundation.
Mr. Coakley directs the 200-member Biloxi High School Marching Band and the Biloxi Wind Ensemble. He is currently serving as the National Treasurer for the American School Band Director’s Association, the Awards Chairman for the National Band Association, and as President of the Gulf Coast Band Director’s Association.
Mr. Coakley was recently named the “Thad Cochran Distinguised Arts Educator for Music” in the state of Mississippi (2013), the Biloxi Bay Chamber of Commerce Secondary Teacher of the Year (2013-2014), Biloxi Public School District Teacher of the Year (2013-2014), Biloxi High School Teacher of the Year (2013-2014), the Gulf Coast Band Director’s Association High School Band Director of the Year (2013-2014), and one of SBO’s 50 “Director’s Who Make a Difference” in 2014.
Mr. Coakley is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi (Bachelor of Music Education, 1999, Master of Music Education, 2002). He has memberships that include Phi Beta Mu (PBM), the American School Band Director’s Association (ASBDA), National Band Association (NBA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Mississippi Bandmaster’s Association (MBA), Gulf Coast Band Director’s Association (GCBDA) and the International Trombone Association (ITA).
Shawn Halquist is native of northwestern PA and holds degrees in trumpet performance from Edinboro University and SUNY Binghamton, and a teaching certification from Edinboro. From 1985-1997 he taught in the Millcreek Townhship School district in Erie, PA and had the opportunity to teach at all levels. At McDowell HS, he was in charge of the instrumental music program. The McDowell Marching Band was a frequent competitor in BOA events and was a regional finalist several times. In 1997, Shawn became band director at Brockport NY HS. Bands from BHS have garnered accolades on the stage in both concert and jazz performances. In addition to the Band duties at BHS, he teaches music theory and is department chair.The Brockport Schools have been recognized as a NAMM best school district for music education in 2013 and 2015. Shawn was named the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s Outstanding HS Band director for the 2015 school year.
Shawn has written arrangements for all types of ensembles across the country and has designed marching band shows since 1984. He has marched with several drum corps including the Johnsonburg PA Diplomats and Rochester Crusaders and was an original member of the Empire Statesmen in 1983 and was brass caption head in the early 2000’s. He has been judging marching bands, drum corps, and concert and jazz groups for the past 17 years and has served as guest conductor for jazz and concert groups in NY, PA and MD. Shawn currently performs with the Brockport Big Band and the Eastman Music School’s Educators Wind Ensemble.
Shawn and his wife Dee live in Brockport and are proud parents of twin sons Noah-a freelance clarinetist, pianist and composer; and Cody-currently studying french horn performance at Yale University.
Todd Tucker is the Director of Bands at Archbishop Alter High School in Kettering, OH. At Alter, he directs all aspects of the music department and band programs and is the Fine Arts Department Chair. Mr. Tucker has taught in Arizona, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio. As the director at a small private high school, Mr. Tucker has built the program to succeed and the program prides itself on it’s uniqueness and ability to thrive in the marching arts as a small program. With less than 50 people in their wind, percussion and color guard, the Alter marching band and color guard have learned how to maximize everything they have to create unique, high quality, entertaining award winning shows each year. The focus is always quality over quantity and staying true to the program identity. The Alter HS marching band is the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 Mid States Band Association Class Champion and Bands of America 2013 and 2014 Grand National Semi-Finalists.
Phil currently serves as a band director for the Waconia School district in Waconia, Minnesota. His duties include conducting 8th- and 9th-grade bands, team teaching high school Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, and Jazz band.
Phil is currently on the instructional staff for the Colts drum and Bugle Corps where he has taught for 8 of the past 11 years. He has also served on the brass staff for Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle corps from 2009 through 2015. During his time with Minnesota Brass, the corps enjoyed two DCA brass titles as well as a DCA World Championship title in 2011.
In the marching band realm, Phil has become an accomplished drill designer and instructor writing 8-10 competitive and non-competitive field shows each year throughout the country. Bands that have used Phil’s designs have been responsible for eleven state championships.
Phil is an outspoken advocate for music education at all levels and enjoys a busy schedule as a guest clinician, adjudicator, and freelance trumpet player. He studied trumpet performance at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and music education at the University of Minnesota.
Outside of the music world Phil enjoys distance running, Nordic skiing and spending time with friends in the greater twin cities area.
Dr. Dominick Ferrara currently serves as Associate Professor of Music Education, Director of the Day Sessions Young Performers Summer Program, and Conductor of the Symphonic Winds at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where he teaches courses in instrumental music education and conducting. For his work at Berklee, Dr. Ferrara was awarded the Professional Education Division’s Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2008.
Formerly, Dr. Ferrara served as the Founding Director (2003-2006) of the Fairleigh Dickinson University (Teaneck, NJ) Pep Band, the Founding Director (1997-2009) of the Wind Ensemble at Montclair State (NJ) University’s Stokes Forest Music Camp, and Director of Bands (1996-2006) at Lenape Valley Regional High School (Stanhope, NJ). While at Lenape Valley Regional High School, Dr. Ferrara’s bands won 2 USSBA (now USBands) Group I-A All-States Marching Band Championships and received numerous Superior ratings at concert festivals throughout the United States. For his public school teaching, Dr. Ferrara was awarded a Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award by the State of New Jersey Department of Education in 2000 and was named as a 2005 Finalist for the Princeton University Prize for Distinguished Secondary School Teaching.
He holds a BA in Music Education, Summa Cum Laude, from Montclair State University and both an MAT in Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education from Rutgers University, where his specializations were Educational Administration/Supervision and Wind Conducting. He is an active adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor, educational consultant, and free-lance performer. Among his many performance credits are concert appearances with The Temptations; Broadway star, Bernadette Peters; the Portland (ME) Symphony Orchestra; and the United States Coast Guard Band and Chamber Players. He is a life member of the National Eagle Scout Association.
Bill Ratcliff holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Music from the University of Arkansas. Mr. Ratcliff is a frequent guest clinician and adjudicator in Arkansas and surrounding states. Recently retired, Mr. Ratcliff served as the Director of Bands at Alma HS in Alma Arkansas. Previously he taught at Northside HS in Fort Smith AR , Kimmons Junior High School in Fort Smith AR and at Jonesboro HS in Arkansas. As a professional musician he has performed with the North Arkansas Symphony, Fort Smith Symphony, Ozark Mountain British Brass Band, and The Marshals of Swing Big Band. Mr. Ratcliff’s professional affiliations include the Arkansas Bandmaster’s Association, Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association, National Band Association, Texas Bandmaster’s Association, Phi Beta Mu International Bandmaster’s Fraternity, American School Band Director’s Association, and was included in the 2002, 2004, and 2006 editions of “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.”