Dr. Erika Svanoe
Dr. Erika Svanoe is a conductor, composer, and educator, currently serving as the Conductor of the Augsburg Concert Band at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she also teaches undergraduate conducting, music theory, and instructs the clarinet studio. Prior to joining the Augsburg faculty, she was Director of Bands at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, MN, and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of New Hampshire. She remains active as a guest conductor and clinician, appearing with high school, university, and festival ensembles across the United States.
Past engagements as a guest conductor and visiting composer include the USAF Heritage of America Band, the Minnesota Symphonic Winds, and ensembles at the University of Northern Iowa, UW-River Falls, and the University of New Hampshire. An active supporter of new and innovative music, she has commissioned and premiered works by Andrew Boysen, Adam Boll, Asako Hirabayashi, and Matthew C. Saunders.
She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from The Ohio State University under Russel C. Mikkelson, where she served as conductor of the OSU Collegiate Winds, assistant conductor of the OSU Wind Symphony, and taught undergraduate conducting classes. She also holds a Master of Music in Wind Conducting from Oklahoma State University and a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. Her clarinet instructors have included James Pyne, Babette Belter, and Richard Fletcher.
Dr. Svanoe maintains an active schedule as a composer, writing music for band and chamber ensemble. Her first major work, The Haunted Carousel, won the 2014 NBA Young Band Composition Contest and was featured at the Midwest Clinic and the CBDNA Southern Division Conference. Her piece Steampunk Suite was featured on Wisconsin Public Radio, at the 2017 American Bandmasters Association National Conference, and performed by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band and the U.S. Navy Band. Her DMA dissertation included a critical edition of Aaron Copland’s El Salón México for wind ensemble, with related research published in the WASBE Journal and presented at the CBDNA national conference. Her music is published through Alfred Music, G.Schirmer/AMP, and self-published through Swan Maiden Press. She is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).
She is also the creator of Marrying Mr. Darcy, the Pride & Prejudice card game, and occasionally advocates/speaks on the topics of crowdfunding, game design, and arts entrepreneurship, with past appearances at the XOXO Festival, on the Drunk Austen podcast, and in a variety of gaming-related media. Originally from Whitewater, Wisconsin, she currently lives near Minneapolis with her husband, designer and graphic novelist Erik Evensen.
Recognized as an inspiring and motivational conductor, pedagogue, and lecturer, Dr. Gary Packwood has appeared throughout the United States as well as in Brazil, Italy, Malaysia, France, Austria, Spain, and The Czech Republic. He has conducted all-state and honor choirs in 38 states as well as ACDA choirs for the Eastern, Southwestern and Northwestern regions. Notable guest conducting/teaching appearances include the International Music Festival of Piaui, the Federal University at Uberlandia, thrice for the International Music Festival of Campina Grande, and Professor-in-Residence at the Sultan Idris University at Tanjung Malim, Malaysia.
Dr. Packwood is currently program administrator and director of choral studies at Mississippi State University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting and conducts the Tenor/Bass choir and the premiere ensemble, State Singers. His administrative duties include serving as the coordinators for graduate music studies and administering the choral area. Dr. Packwood has held similar appointments at the University of Montevallo, Louisiana State University, and public-school teaching in south Florida.
Dr. Packwood made his Carnegie Hall debut on Easter Sunday in 2012, and also appeared in 2019, conducting the Mississippi State University Singers and the New England Chamber Orchestra, and is scheduled to return in the Spring of 2022. The MSU State Singers has quickly garnered a stellar reputation, as evident through invitational performances at The White House for the Holidays Open House (2016); three successful European tours (2014, 2016, 2019); invitational performances for the Louisiana ACDA State Conference (2013), Southern Region ACDA Conference (2014) and the Mississippi Music Educators Association/MS-ACDA State Conferences (2013, 2014, 2019).
A Lifetime member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Dr. Packwood served as the president of the Southern Region of ACDA. He was the President-elect of the Alabama Choral Directors Association, and Repertoire & Standards Chair for Multicultural Music Perspectives for Southern Region. A member of the National Association of Music Educators: Music Educators National Conference Dr. Packwood served as Vice-President of the Higher Education Division for the Alabama Music Educators Association (AMEA), and is also a member of the Texas Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Teachers of Singing. He is currently a national board member for the National Collegiate Choral Organiation.
In 2017 Santa Barbara Music Publishing began the Gary Packwood Choral Series, which features compositions that specialize in music for developing and advanced young voices. He also has additional music publications through musicspoke.com. Dr. Packwood has published articles in the Choral Journal, Teaching Music, the 2nd Edition of the AmeriGrove Dictionary, and is a contributing author in the book Conducting Men’s Choirs, published by GIA Publications. He is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Pi Kappa Lambda. Dr. Packwood has given two separate interviews discussing his life and choral music for Mississippi Public Broadcasting Station and has been awarded the Outstanding Music Alumnus from the Department of Music at Southeastern Louisiana University, 2008 Outstanding Faculty from the Dean of College of Fine Arts at the University of Montevallo, and the 2015 Lucinda Rose Teaching Award from the Dean of the College of Education at Mississippi State University. Dr. Packwood earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southeastern Louisiana University, the Master of Arts degree from Florida Atlantic University, and Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting and literature from Louisiana State University.
Dr. Rebecca MacLeod is Professor of Music Education at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she directs the string education program and conducts the UNCG Sinfonia. She is the author of Teaching Strings in Today’s Classroom and is published in Journal of Research in Music Education, International Journal of Music Education, Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, String Research Journal, Psychology of Music, The Strad, American String Teachers Journal, and various state music education journals. She has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Research in Music Education, the String Research Journal, and as guest reviewer for the International Journal of Research in Music Education. She is the recipient of the UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance Outstanding Teaching Award, the American String Teacher Association National Researcher Award, and the UNCG Junior Research Excellence Award.
A passionate advocate for increasing access to string education to all students, Dr. MacLeod directs two community partnership programs that provide string instruction to underserved students: the Lillian Rauch Beginning Strings Program and the Peck Alumni Leadership Program. Students of these programs have performed for Dr. Maya Angelou, Dr. Gloria Ladsen-Billings, and the Sphinx Virtuosi. Her research on working with underserved populations, vibrato technique, music teacher education, and music perception has been presented at the International Conference of Music Perception and Cognition (Thessoloniki, Greece), Music Research and Human Behavior International Conference (Barcelona, Spain), International Society for Music Education (Glasgow, Scotland), Music Educators National Conference, National Association for Music Education National Conference, American String Teachers National Conference, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Society for Music Teacher Education, and music educators state conferences.
Prior to joining the UNCG faculty, she taught elementary, middle, and high school orchestra in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania and was orchestra director and chair of music activities in Beaver, Pennsylvania. She was the assistant artistic director and conductor of the Tallahassee Symphony Youth Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra in Tallahassee, Florida. She has served on the American String Teachers Association National Board and is past president of the North Carolina ASTA chapter. She was a guest lecturer at Xi’an University and Shaoguan University (China) in summer 2016 and 2017.
Dr. MacLeod received her undergraduate degree from Duquesne University and her MME and PhD from Florida State University. She is a frequent guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States and abroad.