Dr. Arris Golden
Arris Golden is the Assistant Director of Bands and Associate Director of the Spartan Marching Band at Michigan State University. In this capacity, Dr. Golden teaches courses in conducting, marching band techniques, conducts Spartan Brass, conducts the Spartan Youth Wind Symphony, and is coordinator of the MSU Performing Arts Camps.
Before joining the faculty at Michigan State University, Golden was a member of the conducting faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she served as the Assistant Director of University Bands. In this position, she was the music director of the 265-member Marching Tar Heels, director of the Women’s Basketball PepBand, conductor of the Symphony Band, and guest conductor with the Wind Ensemble. She also taught courses in music education.
Prior to her collegiate appointments, Dr. Golden had a distinguished 18-year teaching career in the public schools of North Carolina. In her last public school assignment, Dr. Golden served eight years as the director of bands at Gravelly Hill Middle School in Efland, North Carolina. During her tenure, she conducted a nationally recognized middle school concert band that participated in featured performances at the North Carolina Music Educators Association annual conference, in Winston Salem, North Carolina (2010) and at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, in Chicago, Illinois (2012). The bands at Gravelly Hill also worked with numerous clinicians, including the premier of four commissioned works for band: “Kitsune: The Fox Spirits,” by Brian Balmages (2009), “The Machine Awakes” for young band and electronics by Steven Bryant (2012), “Freight Train,” by Pierre LaPlante (2013), and “The Cave Your Fear” by Michael Markowski (2014). Dr. Golden’s research interests include undergraduate music education preparation, conductor decision-making, repertoire selection and programming, and the student teaching and mentorship experience.
Dr. Golden holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She recently completed the doctor of musical arts in wind conducting from Michigan State University as a 2014 recipient of a Michigan State University Distinguished Fellowship.
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.