Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner
Odds were against Cynthia Johnston Turner becoming a musician let alone a professor of music in higher education. Born in a small rural town in Ontario, Canada, no one in her family played an instrument or sang, although there were rumors that her great paternal grandfather was a mean mandolinist. Cynthia asked for a piano for Christmas when she was 8 years old, and because it was all her parents could afford, she received a toy electric keyboard from which she was pretty much inseparable until she started the ukulele in grade school. When she picked up the clarinet and saxophone in middle school, a love affair and a career were born.
The first in her family to attend university, Cynthia received her B.Mus and B.Ed from Queen’s University then immediately left Canada to teach choral music, computers (in French), and physical education in Switzerland. Upon her return, she taught middle school and high school band before completing her Masters in Music Education and Conducting at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. Touring with her ensembles inspired her master’s thesis on the musical and personal transformations that occur on tours, and her D.M.A. thesis at the Eastman School of Music centered on the music of William Kraft, one of this generation’s leading composers. At Eastman, Cynthia was the recipient of the teaching award in conducting. She received the National Leadership in Education Award (Canada), the Excellence in Education Award (Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation), and the Marion Drysdale Leadership Award (also from OSSTF). She is also the recipient of the Donald A. Reick Memorial Award for research with wearable technologies and music pedagogy, grants from the UGA Willson Center for Creative Activities, multiple awards from the UGA career center, and the American Prize for innovative programming with wind bands.
Currently, Cynthia is Director of Bands, Professor of Music, and co-Artistic Director of the Contemporary Music Lab at the Hodgson School of Music, University of Georgia. Turner conducts the Hodgson Wind Ensemble, leads the MM and DMA programs in conducting, and oversees the entire band program including the 400+ member Redcoat Marching Band. She is sponsored by Conn-Selmer.
Cynthia continues to actively promote commissions by today’s leading and emerging composers around the world. While Director of Wind Ensembles at Cornell University, her ensemble was invited to perform at the College Band Directors National Association’s Eastern Division Conference in 2007 and 2012, and the Hodgson Wind Ensemble performed at GMEA in 2015 and CBDNA National in Kansas City in 2017. In 2008, the Merrill Presidential Scholars at Cornell recognized Cynthia as an outstanding educator, and in 2009, she was awarded the Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellowship. Her performances have been praised by such composers as Steven Stucky, William Kraft, Steven Bryant, Omar Thomas, Marc Mellits, Nancy Galbraith, John Mackey, Peter Lane, Eddie Mora Bermudez, Dana Wilson, Roberto Sierra, and Karel Husa.
From January 2006, Cynthia led the Cornell Wind Ensemble on biennial performing and service tours to Costa Rica that included performances across the country, conducting masterclasses with Costa Rican teachers, instrument master classes for Costa Rican musicians, and the donation of over 250 instruments to music schools across the country. She led the Hodgson Wind Ensemble to Panama in January 2016 to teach, perform, and donate instruments.
Cynthia has guest conducted bands and orchestras at several universities and conservatories as well as state honor bands in the United States and abroad. Cynthia has been invited to present her research with teaching and technology, innovative rehearsal techniques, and service-learning and music performance at numerous conferences nationally and internationally. She is published in such journals as Interdisciplinary Humanities, International Journal of the Humanities, Music Educators Journal, NAfME "Teaching Music," NewMusicUSA.org, Journal of the World Association of Bands and Ensembles, Fanfare Magazine, and Canadian Winds, and has recorded CDs with the Innova and Albany labels.
Cynthia’s most recent research involves creative placemaking with local hip-hop artists.
Cynthia has served as a board member with WASBE and is an active member of CBDNA, Conductor’s Guild, College Music Society, Humanities Education and Research Association, the National Association for Music Education, the National Band Association, and the American Bandmasters Association. She currently serves on the board of the Western International Band Clinic (WIBC) and faculty at WIBC University. She is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and a National Arts Associate member of Sigma Alpha Iota.
Dr. Jaclyn Hartenberger
Jaclyn Hartenberger serves as Associate Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Georgia where she conducts the Wind Symphony and teaches undergraduate conducting. Dr. Hartenberger received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin, under the tutelage of Jerry F. Junkin. While serving as a graduate conducting associate, she conducted various ensembles, wrote transcriptions and arranged and charted for the Longhorn Band. She received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas, where she performed and recorded with the prestigious UNT Wind Symphony. Dr. Hartenberger’s teaching experiences in developing successful award-winning band programs at the secondary education levels include serving as Associate Director of Bands at Forestwood Middle School in Flower Mound, TX and Associate Director of Bands at Centennial High School in Frisco, TX.
As an accomplished clinician and guest conductor, Dr. Hartenberger has served as a visiting conductor in concert with the West Point Band in New York; the University of Missouri Wind Ensemble in St. Louis, Missouri; and most recently traveled to Zlin, Czech Republic to work with Larry Rachleff and the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic. Dr. Hartenberger has presented professional workshops/clinics that focused on ensemble concepts for the developing performer at the Missouri State Music Educator’s Annual conference; at the Texas Independent School District In-Services, and at the National Association for Music Education – Southwest Division Conference in Dallas, Texas.
Her professional affiliations are the College Band Directors National Association, Texas Music Educators Association, and the National Association for Music Education.
Dr. Michael Robinson
Dr. Michael C. Robinson serves as Professor of Music Education and conducting. His duties include teaching courses in music education and conducting as well as conducting the Symphonic Band. A native of Florida, Robinson received the B.M. and M.M. degrees in Music Education and the D.M.A. degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Miami. Prior to this appointment, he served as Associate Director of Bands at the University of South Florida in Tampa and Director of Bands at Fort Hays State University in Kansas. Robinson also taught eleven years in the public schools of Florida, most notably as Director of Bands at Seminole High School in Pinellas County Florida. During his teaching career, Robinson has received numerous honors and awards including; Pinellas County Teacher of the Year, City of Seminole Educator of the Year, USF College of Visual and Performing Arts Outstanding Service Award, The Orpheus Award from Phi Mu Alpha, and The Friend of the Arts award from Sigma Alpha Iota, among others. Robinson is active as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States. He also has extensive experience in the marching arts having served in a variety of capacities with top DCI Drum and Bugle corps such as the Boston Crusaders, The Cadets, Carolina Crown, Iowa Colts, Madison Scouts, and Suncoast Sound.
Dr. Brett Bawcum
Brett Bawcum is Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Georgia. He directs the Redcoat Marching Band and Basketball Band, guides and administers other athletic bands, guest-conducts concert bands, and teaches courses in other areas including Songwriting and Marching Band Techniques.
Dr. Bawcum has been a creative force behind many beloved performances and traditions of the Redcoat Marching Band and Georgia Football. He was a key member of the inaugural UGA Spirit Committee that developed the Dawg Walk. He designed the celebrated post-9/11 tribute by the Redcoat Band. He created the “Angel Tag” version of “Glory to Georgia” by fusing existing Tom Wallace arrangements into the modern signal of Bulldog victory. He conceived and realized the “Battle Hymn of the Bulldog Nation” segment of the football pregame show, along with composing the late Larry Munson’s now legendary spoken celebration of the past and future of Georgia Football. This production, which builds upon Jeff Simmons’ arrangement of the UGA school song, is unique in its integration of pre-recorded stadium video and audio, amplified trumpet solo, and live band performance. It was recently voted “Greatest Georgia Football Tradition” by Georgia fans.
Dr. Bawcum is an active composer and arranger for marching and concert bands. His conducting, arranging, and/or performing work can also be found on commercial recordings by such artists as Band of Horses, Half Dozen Brass Band, and Modern Skirts. He has also served as producer, associate producer, or editor for seven recordings on the Mark, Summitt, and Naxos labels.
Dr. Bawcum’s professional affiliations include the National Band Association, Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, College Band Directors National Association, Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha, and Kappa Kappa Psi (Honorary).
Mr. Rob Akridge
Rob Akridge is a retired music educator with 27 years experience throughout the state of Georgia and assists with all aspects of the Redcoat Marching Band. His most recent position was at North Oconee High School in Bogart. During his tenure at North Oconee, both concert and marching bands consistently received superior ratings. The marching band received numerous class, division, and grand champion awards. A former Redcoat, Mr. Akridge received his Bachelors (1987) and Masters (2010) of Music Education from the University of Georgia. He was a Star Teacher state finalist in 1998. Mr. Akridge is an active drill writer, consultant, and adjudicator. His professional affiliations include GMEA, NAfME, and NBA. Mr. Akridge lives in Bogart, GA with his wife, Carolyn, and children, Abby and Ben.
Andrew Blair is a Conductor, Percussionist, and Composer from Charlotte, NC. Andrew graduated with Honors as a NC Teaching Fellow, Sudler Trophy winner, and Instrumental Performer of the Year from Western Carolina University in 2010 with a BSEd in Music Education. Since 2018, he has served as a graduate teaching assistant in the areas of conducting, percussion, and athletic bands at the University of Georgia.
A passionate educator, Andrew taught for 8 years in the greater-Charlotte, NC area on the Middle, High School, and Collegiate levels, with his ensembles earning consistent Superior ratings in grades 1-6 in Concert, Marching, and Solo/Small Ensemble performance assessments across the Southeast. He was named a 2016 recipient of the ASBDA Encore Award for Young Band Directors, and was recognized by multiple Citations of Excellence in Music Education from Cabarrus County Schools. He has also presented clinics at multiple State and District in-service conferences, and maintains an active schedule of adjudication, clinics, masterclasses, and symposiums. Andrew is now fortunate to get to put his passion to work as a dual-masters student in conducting and percussion at the University of Georgia where he instructs, leads, and performs with a wide range of groups in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music.
As a conductor and percussionist, Andrew has joyfully led a diverse musical life, having been blessed with opportunities to perform in a wide variety of musical settings ranging from Band and Orchestra, to Jazz, Chamber, Theatre, Worship, and Electroacoustic music. Andrew has most recently held positions as a section Percussionist in the Union Symphony Orchestra (NC), as well as Principal Percussionist of the Carolinas Wind Orchestra (SC). While in Athens, Andrew has had incredible experiences leading and performing with the Hodgson Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Percussion Ensemble, Rote Hund Muzik, and multiple Jazz and Chamber settings in the area.
As a composer, arranger, and sound designer, Andrew’s music has been performed all across the United States. Andrew has been fortunate to recently design for SC and TX State Marching Finalists, NCAA Division I and II Athletic Bands, and has published concert works with C-Alan Publications.
Andrew holds professional memberships in NAfME, CBDNA, PAS, and ASCAP, and was awarded Honorary membership in Kappa Kappa Psi by UGA's Kappa Mu chapter in 2019. Andrew has been honored to serve as an Innovative Percussion educational artist and clinician since 2010.
Currently, Andrew and his wife Molly, who is a Doctoral teaching assistant in Music Education at UGA, live in Athens, GA with their son Bennett, and two dogs, Chaco and Fritz.
The youngest of six children, all deeply involved with music-making, Davaron Edwards has been surrounded by music for as long as he can remember. Raised by a single working mother who, in her spare time, chaperoned many band trips, Davaron learned, through music and family, the importance of commitment, dedication, resilience, and love.
Davaron’s passion for music developed at Wayside Chapel Baptist Church, where he was an active member of the choir (tenor, then bass-baritone!), and Wilson High School, both in Florence, South Carolina. Davaron was involved in every possible high school ensemble and attributes his decision to become a music educator to his choir director, Mrs. Linda Gilliard-Johnson and his band director, Mr. Leon Harvey, who inspire him to this day. Like his mother, brother, and two cousins, he attended Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education.
Davaron earned a Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting in the studio of William Malambri from Winthrop University in 2012. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Music Arts in Conducting with Cynthia Johnston Turner at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, University of Georgia. At UGA, he is a graduate teaching assistant and the chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee within the Graduate Student Association.
Davaron has ten years of varied secondary public school teaching experience in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and South Carolina. His professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education (NAfME); Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA); College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA); and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, Inc.
Emily Mariko Eng
Originally from New Hampshire, Emily Mariko Eng is a third-year doctoral student at UGA, studying conducting with Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner. Prior to coming to UGA, she earned a Master of Music in Conducting with honors from New England Conservatory (NEC), studying with Charles Peltz. In 2014, she graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Music Composition, where she was a composition student of David Rakowski.
As conductor, Emily’s experience ranges from wind ensemble to orchestra, opera to musical theater. At UGA, she leads various department and recital ensembles and is an active collaborator with student composers. She is also Music Director at Princeton United Methodist Church in Athens, where she leads the choir and coordinates all musical activity. Prior to moving to Georgia, she worked with the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, NEC Symphonic Winds, the North End Music and Performing Arts Center’s Opera Project (MA), the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra (MA), Needham Community Theater (MA), and Brandeis University Undergraduate Theater Collective. Highlights include conducting the world premiere of Michael Gandolfi’s Polymath, a fanfare written to commemorate NEC’s 150th Anniversary year.
As composer, she was selected to participate in the highSCORE Composition Festival in Pavia, Italy where she studied with Christopher Theofanidis, Amy Beth Kirsten, Dmitri Tymoczko, and Martin Breznick. A winner of the Reiner Prize in Composition at Brandeis University, Emily’s wind ensemble piece, Lumen, was premiered by the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra Winds at the 2015 Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Arts.
Emily is a member of College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) and Pi Kappa Lambda, Music Honor Society. She was also inducted as an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi.
In 2020, she founded Lift Music Fund (liftmusicfund.org), a nonprofit organization that makes achievement in music more accessible and equitable by awarding microgrants every month to underrepresented student musicians.
David J. Stanley works as a teacher and musician to champion public music education, affirm regional identity, and promote community.
Raised in Emory, Virginia, Stanley is an eleventh-generation Southwest Virginian who knows rural Appalachia is frequently stereotyped as simple or unsophisticated—characteristics he was encouraged to challenge. It seems appropriate to note that David was an overly inquisitive child. His father (probably just hoping for quiet) offered the sage advice, “sometimes you learn more just by listening to people than by asking them a lot of questions.” A healthy combination of curiosity and listening proved meaningful. Developing these skills as a teacher in an urban high school, Stanley came to understand seemingly opposite communities as more connected than separate. Together, they underscored the importance of musicians who listen, invest, and act: artistic citizens of place.
Now, Stanley aims to empower such citizenship. At the University of Georgia, he is a doctoral graduate assistant, actively involved in band program planning, logistical support, performances, and instruction. Within the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, he serves on two committees that foster coalitions and partnerships for actionable antiracism, equity, and engagement. The capstone project for his master’s degree (UGA ’20), joined musicians from across the School in “Appalachian Spring: Music Exploring Regional Identity and Race,” which was presented alongside an exhibit at the Georgia Museum of Art. He studies with Cynthia Johnston Turner.
From 2014-2018, Stanley served as Director of Bands for William Fleming High School in Roanoke, Virginia. Responsible for overseeing the program’s complete structural reorganization, his tenure facilitated enrollment and adjudication improvements for concert, marching, and jazz ensembles. He earned the Bachelor of Music Education from Furman University (Greenville, South Carolina). There, he studied with Dr. Leslie W. Hicken and Jay Bocook, serving as the Paladin Regiment’s Drum Major and Conductor of the Basketball Band from 2011-2014.
Stanley is a member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA), and the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA). He recognizes these institutions must listen honestly to their past, and he is focused on using his membership to pose direct questions about work toward a more just future. David is married to Molly, who is the Academic Advisor for the Hodgson School. They are active citizens of Athens, GA, particularly in their church community.