Joseph Hermann is Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee, where he leads an active and diverse program consisting of the University Marching Band, Symphony Band, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Pep Band, and the Golden Eagle Brass.
Before his appointment at Tennessee Tech in 1989, Hermann was the Associate Director of Bands and the Director of the Pride of Arizona Marching Band at the University of Arizona, an Assistant Director of Bands at Indiana University and Director of Bands at East Tennessee State University where he also served as the Associate Conductor of the Johnson City (TN) Symphony Orchestra. Secondary school teaching includes directing the Dowling High School Band, West Des Moines, Iowa, and supervising the Des Moines Catholic Instrumental Music Program. Under his leadership, the school music program of thirteen, private schools grew to unprecedented enrollment. In addition, he served briefly as the Educational Director for Bands of America and McCormick’s Enterprises, a music corporation and educational enterprise, in Chicago, Illinois.
Hermann is sought after as a conductor, adjudicator, and speaker and has presented clinics,
workshops, and has conducted throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan. His work as an author and columnist has been published in books, professional journals, and professional magazines. Hermann’s symphonic bands have been featured ensembles at state, regional and national conventions. His interpretations have received acclaim and have been broadcast internationally. Recordings of his ensembles have been released as reference for music educators nationwide through music publishers and on the Mark Custom label. He is a proponent of new music for winds, has premiered numerous works for the band and remains an active participant in commissioning projects.
Hermann is a member of CBDNA, NAfME, NBA, the Tennessee Bandmasters Association, has served as the editor for the New Music Reviews for the Tennessee Musician, and is a past board member of the Tennessee Music Educators Association. In 1996, Hermann was elected to the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and served as a member of its Board of Directors. In 2009-10, Hermann served as the President of the ABA and, after his presidency, as the Chair of its Board of Directors. He is the Associate Chair of the American School Band Directors Association and currently serves as the Vice Chair for the American Bandmasters Association Foundation. He is a member of Phi Beta Mu, a past President of the PAC-10 Band Directors Association, a past Province Governor for Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and holds honorary memberships in Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.
His awards include being selected as the Outstanding Faculty for Professional Service for Tennessee Tech University in 2008, the Distinguished Service to Music Medal for Conducting from K K Ψ in 2008 and the Paula Crider Outstanding Band Director Award from T B Ʃ in 2012. In 2014, Hermann was honored with the distinguished A. Austin Harding Award from the American School Band Directors Association for “making significant and lasting contributions to the school band movement.” In April, 2015, Hermann was inducted into the Tennessee Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame.
Hermann holds degrees from Drake University and is a former student of Don R. Marcouiller. Joseph Hermann is affiliated as an Artist/Conductor/Clinician with Jupiter Band Instruments, Inc., manufacturers of band and orchestra instruments located in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. He and his wife, Kay, have been married for 45 years, have two daughters (both are educators), and four grandchildren.
Jennaya Robison is in demand as a conductor, clinician, and soprano throughout the United States. She currently is an Assistant Professor of Music at Luther College where she conducts Aurora and Cathedral Choirs and teaches courses in conducting and vocal pedagogy. Prior to coming to Luther College, she was the Artistic Director of Scottsdale Musical Arts, a multi-generational organization comprised of a professional orchestra and choir as well as children’s choirs and youth orchestras. She also served as Director of Music Ministry at La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church, the largest Lutheran church in Arizona.
She has held faculty and teaching positions at the University of Arizona, Luther College, and the University of New Mexico. She has conducted orchestras at the University of Arizona, Luther College, and as well as community orchestras in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. As a public school educator, she served as Director of Choral Activities at Eagan High School in Eagan, Minnesota and Director of Choral and General Music at Nora Springs-Rock Falls Community Schools in Nora Springs, Iowa.
As a soprano, she made her debut in 2010 with the Tucson Symphony in Handel’s Messiah and has sung as a soloist with the Arizona Opera, Scottsdale Arts Orchestra, Scottsdale Symphony, St. Andrews Bach Society, Tucson Chamber Artists, Phoenix Youth Symphony, Tucson Masterworks Chorale, University of Arizona Choirs and Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Choral Arts, Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque, Luther College Symphony Orchestra and has held leading roles in operas in Iowa and New Mexico. Most recent projects include Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Tucson Chamber Artists, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and the Rifkin edition of the Mass in b minor by J.S. Bach where her performance with Steven Moeckel, concertmaster for the Phoenix Symphony, was heralded as having “brilliant coloratura” by the Tucson Daily Star. She has sung as a member of the Dale Warland Singers in Minneapolis, Minnesota under the direction of Dale Warland, Las Cantantes under the direction of Bradley Ellingboe, and in the Nordic Choir of Luther College under the direction of Weston Noble.
Her primary area of research is in the field of vocal health within the choral ensemble. Her dissertation topic includes the use of choral pivoting to alleviate tension in the choral ensemble in the Messe pour double choeur a cappella by Frank Martin. She has presented lectures and workshops on vocal health in the choral setting at regional and state ACDA conferences and state NATS conferences. She has been an invited conductor and clinician at numerous festivals including the North Dakota All State Women’s Choir, Wisconsin All State Women’s Choir, Texas Collegiate Women’s Honor Choir, and various regional and state honor choirs in Texas, Nevada, Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Dr. Robison holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona, the Master of Music in conducting and voice from the University of New Mexico, and the Bachelor of Arts in music from Luther College.
Randal Swiggum is the artistic director and youth symphony conductor for the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra (EYSO). Now in his eighteenth season with EYSO, Swiggum has helped raise the profile of EYSO as one of the premier regional youth orchestras in the country. Under his tenure, EYSO has more than tripled in size, drawing students from a wide geographical range of over sixty communities in Illinois and Wisconsin, with five orchestras, a brass choir, two percussion ensembles, a vibrant Chamber Music Institute and performances at Ravinia, on NPR’s From the Top, and with superstars Midori and Yo-Yo Ma, as well as headlining the Aberdeen International Festival in Scotland. A frequent guest conductor of orchestral and choral festivals, he recently conducted the Scottish National Youth Symphony in Glasgow, the APAC Festival Orchestra in Seoul, Korea, the first ever Pennsylvania ACDA/PMEA All-State Junior High Choir, the New York City InterSchool Festival, the Singapore American Schools Music Festival, the MENC All-Northwest Honor Choir in Portland, and American Mennonite Schools Orchestra Festival, the Northern Arizona Honors Orchestra, and both the Wisconsin Middle Level Honors Choir and Orchestra. In recent seasons, he conducted both the Illinois and Georgia All-State Orchestras.
Swiggum has also served as Education Conductor for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. His acclaimed young people’s concerts with the ESO have prompted invitations to create and conduct similar concerts in Scotland, with the Boise Philharmonic, and The Florida Orchestra where his original concerts such as “Beethoven Superhero” and “The Amazing Technicolor Orchestra” have introduced thousands of young people to the wonder of symphonic music. In 2007, he made his subscription concert debut with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and “The Mambo Kings.” In 2008 Swiggum was recognized by the Illinois Council of Orchestras with a Conductor of the Year award.
A passionate advocate for a richer learning experience in choir, band, and orchestra, Swiggum has served as Chair of the Wisconsin CMP (Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance) Project, now in its 38th year. A frequent presenter at MENC, ASTA, and ACDA conferences, he has addressed the Pennsylvania MENC on “The Art of Rehearsing,” as well as the Maryland MENC, the ACDA North Central Division in Des Moines and Eastern Division in Hartford, CT, the Texas Orchestra Directors Association, and national conventions of the MENC in Phoenix and Kansas City. He has conducted successful performance tours to Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Scotland, and throughout the U.S. His choirs performed throughout Italy under the auspices of UNESCO, in Brazil as guests of the city of Rio de Janeiro and Intercultura Brasil, and with the Icelandic National Symphony in Reykjavik under the direction of Lukas Foss. He conducted the University of Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Budapest, and Vienna. In 2012, he led the EYSO Youth Symphony in an innovative Civil War tour which combined performances and travel throughout the South and East with in depth study of some of the “big ideas” of this significant American historical event.
Well known to Wisconsin theatre audiences as a conductor of opera and musical theatre, he has music directed over thirty stage works including the 1991 premiere of the Theatre X opera, Liberace. He created the music for celebrated director Eric Simonsen’s new production of Moby Dick for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, named by TIME magazine as one of the 10 Best Theatrical Productions of 2002.
As a writer, Swiggum has served as music critic for the Milwaukee Journal, as author of the book Strategies for Teaching, published by MENC (1998), and as a co-author of Shaping Sound Musicians (GIA, 2003). He has served on the League of American Orchestra’s Board of Directors-Youth Orchestra Division. He was Artistic Director of the Madison Children’s Choir from 1996-2000, and currently conducts the Madison Boychoir’s top two choirs, Britten and Holst. He has taught at Whitefish Bay High School (Milwaukee), and at the University of Wisconsin and Lawrence University. His degrees are in music education (B.M.) and orchestral conducting (M.M.) and he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at the University of Wisconsin and lives in Madison. Besides travel, biking, reading, and trying new foods, he likes to spend time pondering just about anything.