Honor Band Clinicians 


Jeffrey O. Rowser

Jeffrey Rowser, is a 2023 Inductee into the National High School Band Directors”Hall of Fame” and a 42-year veteran teacher with many distinctions:  received the John Philip Sousa, “Legion of Honor” in 2023 and 2022 GMEA “Distinguished Service Award”, the 2018 Auburn University “Outstanding Alumni Educator” Award recipient, 2017 “STAR TEACHER”, 2014-15 Morgan County Schools “Teacher of the Year”, 2013-14 “Georgia Music Educator of the Year”. He is a native of Attalla, Alabama and is a 1976 graduate of Etowah High School, where he lettered 3 years in band, basketball and track.  Mr. Rowser later graduated from Auburn University (AU) with his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music Education.  He was a saxophone major, studying with Lawrence Morgan. He has also studied music arranging with the famed composers, Dr. Johnnie Vinson and Bob Richardson.  He performed his student teaching duties with the legendary Tommy Goff at Auburn High School in 1980.  While at Auburn, he was drum major of the Auburn University Marching Band for three years. His appointment by Dr. Bill Walls made Jeffrey the first African American Drum Major at Auburn University and Southeastern Conference.


Mr. Rowser brings over 40 years of experience in music education.  He was chosen in 2006, to lead the East Jackson Fine Arts Department in Jackson County Schools (GA).  His hiring in 2006-07 was to prepare a Fine Arts Department that would begin its work in August 2007.  He was chosen as “Teacher of the Year'' for East Jackson in 2011.  Prior to East Jackson, he served as a director in Dougherty County, Marietta City Schools(STAR Teacher 1988), with 16 years serving as the founding director at Salem HS (Conyers, GA), where he was “Teacher of the Year'' in 1994 for Rockdale County Schools.  During his career his bands received Superior Ratings in all marching, jazz and symphonic music events.  His bands have won over 600 awards, with 350 of those coming at Salem HS as “Superior, Best-in-Class and Grand Champion” awards in band, drum major, color guard, dance team, winter guard and drumline.  His bands have received special invitations to perform in London, Toronto, Hawaii, Orlando, Hollywood (CA), Kansas City and New York.  His groups have performed frequently in the Atlanta Children’s Healthcare Parade televised on WSB-TV2.  The Salem HS Dance Team won 9-State Champion Awards in both Jazz and Pom style competition.  During those years the group also earned a national ranking with the Universal Dance Association held annually in Orlando, Florida. 

In 1991, Rowser became a co-founder of the “Premier Drum Major Leadership Academy” held annually on high school campuses around the southeast.  His student management workshop, “Team Building Anywhere” is a featured session for band, chorus, student council and athletic groups around Georgia.  In 2012 he founded the “Premier Drum Major and Leadership Academy” established at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington.  He is a frequent clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor of Regional and State Band events in the Southeast.  He has served on the Georgia Music Educators Association Board of Directors and organized many district events. 

He is a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association of Jazz Educators, National Association for Music Educators, Phi Beta Mu Bandmaster Honorary and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.  He is married to the former Vernelle Jones, and they have three daughters.  Kayla Danielle, a retired professional ballerina with Nashville Ballet; Hilary Dionne, a graduate of Kennesaw State University  and Carmen Elise, a graduate student at Valdosta State University, where she is a member and Captain of the VSU National Champion Dance Team “Red Hots”.  He is also a grandfather to his 1-year old grandson, Miles Oliver Tazik.

Connie A. Grantham

Mrs. Connie A. Grantham retired in June 2021 after 34 years of teaching middle and high school band in South Carolina. Her teaching career includes York School District, Spartanburg District 7, and Fort Mill Schools. While in Fort Mill, Mrs. Grantham was the band director at Fort Mill Middle School and worked with the band staff of Fort Mill/Nation Ford High School for over 20 years. Bands under Mrs. Grantham’s direction have performed twice at the South Carolina Music Educators Association conference, was a featured performing group at the Coastal Carolina University Band Clinic, and the SC Middle School Conference. Mrs. Grantham’s bands earned consistently superior ratings at state and regional concert festivals and the SC Outstanding Performance Award over 30 times. She is the recipient of the National Band Association Citation of Excellence, the Women’s Band Director ``Scroll Of Excellence, and has served as SC state chair to the National Band Association.  Mrs. Grantham is a Past President of the South Carolina Band Directors Association and was inducted into the SC Band Directors Association Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Theta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame in 2023.  Her professional affiliations include NAFME, SCMEA, SCBDA, Phi Beta Mu, National Band Association, Tau Beta Sigma, Delta Omicron, and American School Band Directors Association (ASBDA).

Mrs. Grantham currently serves as the Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the South Carolina Band Directors Association (SCBDA). She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with a minor in Accounting and is a National Board Certified Teacher.  In addition to serving the SCBDA, Mrs. Grantham is the Co-Conductor for the Catawba River Winds, a community band serving amatuer, semi-professional, and professional wind and percussion performers.The band is based in York County, SC, and Mecklenburg County, NC and has a membership of 85 musicians. The Catawba River Winds expanded their outreach to the community this December 2023 by initiating the Catawba River Winds Honor Band and Clinic  serving outstanding middle school band students from the Carolinas. 

Mrs. Grantham resides in Rock Hill, SC, with her husband, Randy.  Connie and Randy, both, are retired band directors and remain active with bands as adjudicators, clinicians, consultants, and mentors. The Granthams have two adult children, Dottie (Andrew) Davis and Will Grantham, and they  are  looking forward to the arrival of their first grandchild in June 2024! 

Past Honor Band Clinicians 


David Kehler Clinician

Dr. David Kehler

Since 2009, Dr. David Kehler has served as Director of Bands at Kennesaw State University where he is

Music Director and Conductor of the KSU Wind Ensemble. In addition, Dr. Kehler teaches courses in

instrumental conducting, symphonic repertoire, and twentieth century music. Professor Kehler is also the

recipient of several awards including the Kennesaw State University College of Arts 2020 Teaching

Award, and the 2021 Research and Creative Activity Award. An advocate of new music, Dr. Kehler has

commissioned more than two-dozen composers, including several Pulitzer Prize winners to write new

compositions for wind ensemble. Performing music beyond the KSU campus, the KSU Wind Ensemble

can also be heard frequently on 90.1, Atlanta Public Radio, along with being featured at the College Band

Director's National Association Southern Division Convention (two times), and at the 2016 GMEA State

Conference, in Athens, Georgia. In 2013, the KSU Wind Ensemble won the American Prize for best

university wind ensemble/concert band recording in the United States.

In addition to his university responsibilities, David Kehler serves as Music Director and Conductor of the

Atlanta Wind Symphony which recently performed at the 2020 GMEA Conference in Athens, Georgia,

and at the 2021 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. Professor Kehler

also serves as President for the College Band Directors National Association-Southern Division.

Previously, David Kehler served as Associate Conductor of America's Premiere Windband; The Dallas

Winds and served as Founder and Conductor of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra Wind Symphony.

Previous academic appointments were at Southern Methodist University, the University of Rhode Island,

and Bay City Western High School, in Bay City, Michigan. Growing up in Michigan, Dr. Kehler received

his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music in Conducting degrees from Michigan State

University, followed by his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in instrumental conducting from the University of

Texas at Austin.

Emily-Anne Nguyen Clinician

Emily-Anne Nguyen

Emily-Anne Nguyen is an alumna of Auburn University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor's degree in Music Education. She earned her Masters of Music in Music Education from the University of Florida. During her time at Auburn, she served as the head drum major for the Auburn University Marching Band, as well as tuba section leader. She was also a charter member of the Alabama Voices, one of Alabama’s premier choral ensembles. In 2022, she was an intern at the Technology in Music Education (TI:ME) Leadership Academy. She is an active member of the Georgia Music Educators Association and has served as the District VIII Secretary.

Mrs. Nguyen finds great joy in teaching and seeing her students grow. Her students have consistently been selected for All-State, All-District and honor bands. Mrs. Nguyen has worked as a drum major and leadership clinician for the Auburn University Leadership Camp and has also served on staff at the Smith Walbridge Clinics and the Music for All Summer Symposium. She enjoys teaching conducting skills and student leadership skills to students at all levels. Before moving to Georgia, she was the band director at Jemison Middle School, where she led students to perform at a high level in community performances, state music performance assessment, and the Alabama Music Educators Association Conference. Currently, Mrs. Nguyen is the band director at Hahira Middle School, coordinator of middle school bands, and a staff director for the Lowndes High “Georgia Bridgeman” marching band. She lives in Valdosta with her wonderful husband, Alex Nguyen.


Johnny Folsom Clinician

Johnny Folson

John Lewis Folsom, Jr. (Johnny) has recently retired from 45 years of full time band directing and resides in Columbus, Mississippi. He spent twenty-five years as a successful band director in Alabama, first at Geneva (8 years) and then at TR Miller, Brewton (17 years), and13 years with the prestigious Cairo High School Band in Georgia. He also spent 7 years as the director of bands and low brass instructor at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia. Folsom is now in his third year with the Mississippi State University Music Department serving as a university supervisor of student interns and working with the MSU Famous Maroon Band.

Folsom was a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association and served as chairman for district 2.  He is also a past president of the Alabama Bandmasters Association.  He was honored by the Troy State University’s music faculty as its 1996 Alumnus of the Year.  He has judged numerous marching and concert festivals in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, and South Carolina and regularly serves as an honor band clinician.  Mr. Folsom was honored to be selected to the Phi Beta Mu Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame and the High School Band Directors National Association Hall of Fame

Suzanne Winter Clinician

Suzanne Winter

Suzanne Winter retired in June, 2007, after 33 years of teaching.  She taught at Pizitz Middle School in Vestavia Hills for the last 13 years.  While at Pizitz, her bands consistently received superior ratings at District, State and National Festivals.  Mrs. Winter was named District IV Alabama Teacher of the Year while at Pizitz as well as receiving the John Philip Sousa Legion of Honor Award for outstanding contributions to Middle School bands and music. 

During her 33 years of teaching, Mrs. Winter’s band received over 28 years of superior ratings at District, State and National Competitions and Festivals.  Prior to her position at Vestavia, Mrs. Winter taught at Rutledge Middle School in Midfield, Alabama, and at Smith Middle School in the Birmingham City School System.  She was named Birmingham’s Teacher of the year during her tenure in the City School System. 

In 2021, Mrs. Winter was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu, Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame. This was indeed an honor.

Suzanne has been an active adjudicator and clinican for the past 35 year in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana.  Her education background includes Troy State University, B.S. in music and English, and the University of Alabama, Masters and AA in music education.  Her affiliations/honors include MENC, NEA, Phi Beta Mu, Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Delta Pi.  She continues her musical interests by mentoring, volunteering for local bands, as well as adjudicating and conducting honor and clinic bands. 

She is the wife of Dr. Clifford M. Winter, retired director of Vestavia Hills H.S. They live in Jemison. Al.


Sean Murray Clinician

Dr. Sean P. Murray

Dr. Sean P. Murray is an Associate Professor of Music and director of bands at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His responsibilities include directing the UAB “Marching Blazers”, University Wind Symphony, teaching undergraduate classes in conducting and music education, and coordinating all aspects of UAB’s comprehensive university bands program. Prior to his appointment at UAB, he was associate director of bands at Florida Atlantic University. 

Dr. Murray is a native of Milwaukee Wisconsin, and earned a Ph.D. in music education with an emphasis in instrumental conducting from The Florida State University. His primary conducting teachers were James Croft, Patrick Dunnigan and Richard Clary. He also earned his Master of Music Education and Bachelor of Music Education degree from The Florida State University College of Music.


Dr. Murray is very active as a guest clinician, conductor, and adjudicator throughout the country. He has presented at numerous national and state conferences. He is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, the National Association for Music Education, the National Band Association, and the Alabama Bandmasters Association. He is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha, Pi Kappa Lambda, and holds honorary memberships in Tau Beta Sigma and Kappa Kappa Psi. He was appointed to the faculty at UAB in 2017.

Leah Sing Clinician

Leah Seng

Leah Seng is in her tenth year as assistant band director at Pizitz Middle School, and her eighteenth year of teaching. A pianist and clarinetist, Mrs. Seng is a native of Chelsea, Alabama.

Prior to serving at Pizitz, Mrs. Seng established the band program at Columbiana Middle School (AL). Her bands have been consistently recognized with superior ratings at Alabama’s Music Performance Assessment. In 2018, Mrs. Seng was named the Pizitz Middle School Teacher of the Year. The previous year, she was selected as the Rotary Teacher of the Year for Pizitz. She served on the staff of the University of Alabama Crimson Music Camp from 2001-2013, and is active as a guest clinician and conductor for middle school bands throughout the region.  Mrs. Seng is a board member and clarinetist for the Alabama Winds community band. She has presented clinic sessions at the Alabama Music Educators Association and Alabama All-State Band Festival. During her tenure at Pizitz, the band has performed at The Midwest international Band and Orchestra Clinic, Music For All National Middle School Band Festival, Southern Division CBDNA/NBA Conference and the Alabama Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference as well as received the NBA Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence and the John Philip Sousa Foundation Sudler Cup.

Mrs. Seng holds the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Alabama, Master of Music Education from the University of Georgia, and Educational Specialist in Music Education from the University of Alabama.  Her professional affiliations include the National Band Association, National Association for Music Education, Alabama Music Educators Association, and the Alabama Bandmasters Association.

She resides in Birmingham with her husband, Jordan, and children, Julia (7) and Jordan Jr. (2)


Rossano Gallente Clinician

Rossano Galante

A native of Buffalo, New York, Rossano Galante received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Trumpet performance from SUNY Buffalo in 1992. That same year he was one of nineteen people from around the world to be accepted to the University of Southern California’s prestigious Film Scoring Program. He studied with the late Jerry Goldsmith, who won the Academy Award for his film score for The Omen. In 1999, Mr. Galante moved to California to pursue a career in composition and film orchestration. Since then he has worked with two-time Oscar-nominated composer Marco Beltrami, Christophe Beck, Brian Tyler, Christopher Lennertz and Wolfram de Marco.

Mr. Galante has composed music for the films Bite Marks, The Last Straight Man, Monday Morning and Channels. He has served as orchestrator for over sixty studio films including, A Quiet Place, The Mummy, Logan, Sausage Party, Smurfs: The Lost Village, First They Killed My Father, Ben Hur, The Shallows, Fantastic 4, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Gods of Egypt, Prisoners, The Wolverine, 3:10 to Yuma, A Good Day to Die Hard, Trouble with the Curve, The Thing, Final Destination 5, The Homesman, Don’t be Afraid of the Dark, Knowing, Max Payne, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Live Free or Die Hard, Red Eye, Die Bluthochzeit, The Tuxedo, Tuesdays with Morrie, among many others.

For his large-scale wind ensemble and concert band compositions, he has been commissioned by the Federation of Gay Games-Paris 2018, Atlanta Freedom Band, Lake Braddock High School Band, Hofstra University Symphonic Band, Nebraska Wind Symphony, the Amherst Chamber Orchestra, Trenton State College, SUNY Buffalo, Grand Island Middle School, Syracuse Youth Symphony, Point Pleasant Borough High School, North Tonawanda High School, Lockport City School District, Edward Town Middle School, Duxbury High School Wind Ensemble, Allegro: The Chamber Orchestra of Lancaster, Franklin & Marshall College, West Genesee High School Wind Ensemble, East Stroudsburg High School, Grissom High School, Hafabra Publishing, Desert Winds Freedom Band, Starpoint High School Band, Francis T. Maloney High School Band, The Erie County Wind Ensemble, The Solano County Honor Band, The Buffalo Niagara Concert Band and many others in the works. He has over 35 works in print. 

Tyler Grant Clinician

Tyler S. Grant

Tyler S. Grant (b. June 23, 1995) is an Atlanta-based composer of music for concert bands, marching bands and chamber groups; many of which have been performed around the world and by musicians of all levels. His works for wind band have been found on Editor’s Choice lists from various international music distributors in addition to being performed by many region and state-wide honor bands. His work Panoramic Fanfare was named a winner in the 2014 “Call for Fanfares” Competition hosted by the Dallas Wind Symphony. The fanfare has since been performed by collegiate and professional ensembles in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. Since 2010, he has regularly accepted commissions for new works and produced new publications for bands and chamber groups each year. While he has never formally studied composition, he credits his mentors Brian Balmages and Randall Coleman as being pivotal to his success as a composer and a conductor. Notable performance venues of his work include The Midwest Clinic, Carnegie Hall, Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas), The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and numerous state-wide, national, and international music conventions.

In addition to his writing, Tyler enjoys conducting and clinic engagements with ensembles throughout the United States. He has served as a conductor and clinician of university, district, and state level honor bands in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Louisiana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Tyler was recently a contributing author in Alfred Music Publishing Company’s Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development series and has contributed interviews to numerous podcasts and articles including School Band & Orchestra Magazine and The Instrumentalist.

Tyler is a graduate of the University of Alabama where he earned a degree in instrumental music education. He is on the middle and high school music faculty of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta, Georgia and maintains an active composing and conducting schedule. His more than 20 published works are available through The FJH Music Company, Inc. and Tyler S. Grant Music Works, LLC.