Faculty, Guest Artists and Staff
Timothy Robblee is the Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at Shenandoah Conservatory where he guides all aspects of the wind band program, teaches conducting and conducts the Wind Ensemble and EDGE Ensemble. Prior to his current appointment, he served as the Associate Director of Bands at Northwestern University where he was also music director and conductor of the Contemporary Music Ensemble. Previously, Robblee has also served as Director of Bands at Washington State University in Pullman, WA and Willamette University in Salem, OR. Prior to graduate study, he taught for eight years as an instrumental music educator in the Palo Alto, California public schools where his students and ensembles were recognized for excellence on a state and national level, including recognition from the 1997 Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards as the Outstanding High School Jazz Combo. Click here to learn more.
Allen Vizzutti has visited over 60 countries and every state in the union to perform with a rainbow of artists and ensembles as both a classical and jazz artist. He has appeared as guest soloist with symphony orchestras, in recital, on television and in jazz venues around the world. Allen's soaring trumpet sound can be heard on over 150 movie and game soundtracks including `Star Trek'. `Back to the Future', and `Halo' and `Medal of Honor'. Allen's love of expression through composition has led to premier performances by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Budapest Radio Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic of London, the Nuremberg Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Summit Brass, the US Navy and Air Force Bands.. Click here to learn more.
Geoffrey Pilkington was appointed principal horn of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in 2014, after ten years of holding the fourth horn position in the same orchestra. Pilkington completed his degree at The Juilliard School studying with Julie Landsman, and spent a year abroad at the Royal Academy of Music in London studying with Michael Thompson and Richard Watkins. Click here to learn more.
Mary Bowden Classical trumpeter and gold medal Global Music Award winner Mary Elizabeth Bowden has been described by Gramophone Magazine as brilliant and “radiant in new repertoire for trumpet. Bowden, a Yamaha Performing Artist, is highly regarded for her artistry and virtuosity as a soloist, and has been praised for the clarity, purity and power of her sound. Bowden released her debut album, Radiance, on Summit Records featuring new American works. She has been featured on MPR New Classical Tracks with Julie Amacher, which is being aired on NPR stations nationwide. Click here to learn more.
Andy Hitz is an internationally renowned soloist, clinician and speaker having appeared in over 40 states and 30 countries including Japan, Brazil, Russia and Singapore. In 2014, he ended a 14-year tenure as the tuba player for Boston Brass. Andrew has also appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound and as a soloist with the Marine Band of Mexico.Click here to learn more.
Garrick Zoeter serves as the Anna Lee VanBuren Professor of Clarinet at the Shenandoah Conservatory. A native of Alexandria, Va., His first serious clarinet studies were with Kenneth Lee and National Symphony Orchestra clarinetist William Wright. He received a bachelors degree from the Juilliard School as a student of Charles Neidich and his masters degree from Yale University as a student of David Shifrin. He made his solo debut at the age of seventeen in the Weber Concerto #1 with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Click here to learn more.
The Van Buren Winds The Van Buren Winds are currently the longest continuously performing university based wind quintet in the United States. During its over 50 year tenure the group has served as a faculty ensemble at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University and has been heard in venues around the United States. The quintet serves as mentors to wind and brass players at Shenandoah performing two concerts on campus per year. The quintet has been heard in numerous outreach and formal concerts in places such as Atlanta, GA, Montgomery Alabama, Baltimore Md, Washington D.C.and venues throughout the VA, MD, DC area. Click here to learn more.
Timothy Roberts currently serves as Associate Professor of Saxophone at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. He recently retired as Principal Saxophonist and National Tour Soloist with the United States Navy Band in Washington, DC, where he was also Coordinator of the Navy Bands International Saxophone Symposium. As one of the Navy Bands premier concert soloists, Roberts performed for five U.S. Presidents, many foreign dignitaries, and hundreds of thousands of people throughout all 48 states and around the world. Click here to learn more.
Stephen Key is the adjunct assistant professor of oboe at Shenandoah Conservatory and principal oboist for The New Orchestra of Washington. A native of Oklahoma, he had his first solo appearance at the Kennedy Center at fifteen, and has since performed throughout Europe and Russia.. Click here to learn more.
The City of Fairfax Band was formed in 1969. Since then the Band has grown from a small, summer-season ensemble to one of Northern Virginia's best-known volunteer community performing groups. The City Band has a membership of 80 members who enjoy providing high-quality musical performances to the Northern Virginia community. Fairfax Band musicians, all with a strong commitment to the organization and a shared love of music, promote musical growth and education among students and residents alike. The City of Fairfax Band is unique in maintaining high musical standards while remaining open for membership to qualified players. Musicians of the Band continue to apply their talents and musical energy toward the goal of performance excellence both individually and as a team for their community. In serving that goal, we are rewarded by great enjoyment in making music that brings pleasure and enrichment to expanding audiences in a growing community. In recognition of achieving that goal over the course of many years, The City of Fairfax Band was awarded the Sudler Silver Scroll for 2004 by The John Philip Sousa Foundation. The Sudler Silver Scroll is regarded as North America's most prestigious award for community concert bands. The 2004 Award was presented to the band by guest conductor Keith Brion during our March 19, 2005 concert. The organization has been honored by the State of Virginia, first in 1981, Virginia Governor Dalton selected the Concert Band to perform in concert at opening ceremonies for the Yorktown (Virgina) Bicentennial Celebration. Click here to learn more.
Dr. Ryan D. Romine was appointed Assistant Professor of Bassoon and Music Theory at Shenandoah Conservatory (Winchester, VA) in 2009. Originally from Newark, OH, Ryan holds his undergraduate degree in music education from The Ohio State University and his MM and DMA in bassoon performance from Michigan State University. In the summers, he serves as bassoon instructor with the Roanoke Youth Symphony Summer Music Institute (Ferrum, VA) and New England Music Camp (Sidney, ME). Ryan also works for the International Double Reed Society (IDRS) as Bassoon Editor of its journal, The Double Reed. Click here to learn more.
Tom Teasley, described in the Washington Post as "a percussionist in the widest and most exuberant sense of the word," maintains a unique career as a solo percussionist, composer and collaborator. A 2010 and 2011 Helen Hayes Theater Award recipient for outstanding sound design, Tom tours frequently throughout the world performing and presenting clinics for the instrument companies he endorses including Yamaha, Vic Firth, Sabian, Remo, Latin Percussion and others. A three-time recipient of a Fulbright-Hayes grant for performances in the Middle East, Tom collaborated with indigenous musicians and gave historic performances in Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the West Bank and Jerusalem. He has been an artist-in-residence at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and has collaborated with the National Symphony as both a soloist and composer. As an international collaborator he has performed by invitation in Europe and South America. Tom earned the 2006 Artist-of-the-year award from Young Audiences of Virginia for his creative and educational presentations. His seven CDs have been greeted with international airplay and acclaim. He has been the subject of feature articles in both Modern Drummer and Drum! magazines. Tom is proud to be supported by The Virginia Commission for the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts.
Matt Niess is the director of The National Wind and Percussion Workshop (NWP). He is a former high school band director and has taught on the jazz faculties of Shenandoah, Towson and West Chester Universities. He is the founder and director of the Capitol Bones, a jazz trombone ensemble, which has received national recognition and has performed throughout the country. He has appeared as a soloist, clinician, and adjudicator at jazz festivals, schools, and universities throughout the country and has recorded and performed with numerous artists. Click here to learn more.
Earl Yowell is the Director of Percussion Studies at Shenandoah Conservatory of Music. He was appointed an Associate Professor of Music in 2007. In addition to his teaching duties, he also directs the SU(PER)cussion Ensemble. In his two years at Shenandoah he has co-founded the Ear Candy Contemporary Music Concerts, and been a co-chair of the planning committee of the Performing Arts Live professional concert series. He also presently serves on the Symphonic Committee of the Percussive Arts Society. Prior to his appointment at Shenandoah, he performed for 19 seasons as the principal timpanist and percussionist of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He toured extensively with the SPCO throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He was a featured soloist with internationally famous percussionist Evelyn Glennie in the SPCO performances of Andrzej Panufnik's "Concertino for Timpani, Percussion and Strings" and was timpani soloist in the Chamber Orchestra's premier performances of Johann Carl Christian Fischer's "Symphony for Eight Obbligato Timpani." He was also a regular performer with the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota where in 2001 he premiered, with cellist Yo Yo Ma, a concert of new chamber music works.
Jeff Cortazzo holds a Bachelor of Music from West Chester University, a Master of Music degree from DePaul University and a DMA in Composition from The Catholic University of America. His principal teachers are H. Lee Southall and Charles G. Vernon. While in Chicago, he was a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra and the Bill Russo Contemporary Jazz Orchestra and has performed with the Lyric Opera Orchestra, Concertante di Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He is currently bass trombonist with The Army Blues, The National Philharmonic, the Maryland Philharmonic Orchestra, and The Capitol Bones. He has perfomed with Yo Yo Ma, Alfred Brendl, Itsak Perlman, Nadia Solerno-Sonnenberg, Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra Jr., Aretha Franklin and Barry Manilow to name a few. Jeff maintains a full private studio and is active in national capitol area recording and performing.