19th annual Clark Terry/Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival featuring Jim Pisano, tenor sax

The 19th Annual Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival will be held at the Southeast River Campus (near the campus of Southeast Missouri State University) on Friday and Saturday, February 3-4, 2017. Our guest artist will be Jim Pisano, acclaimed tenor saxophonist who is a contemporary jazz educator that is recognized regionally, nationally and internationally. All interested High School, Junior High and Middle School bands are cordially invited to participate!

The performance and clinic venue will be the fabulous Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall on the River Campus. The festival format (non-contest) rewards all groups by providing both recorded and written comments by expert adjudicators. Recorded comments are burned onto a single CD, no more cassette tapes! In addition, a short educational clinic will be provided for each ensemble following its performance by our expert adjudicators. Each band will be adjudicated and rated as Superior, Excellent, Good or Fair by experts in the jazz big band field. Trophies will be given to each band and individual citations will be presented for outstanding musicians within each ensemble.

On Friday at noon, our Studio Jazz Ensemble will perform along with guest artist Jim Pisano in a short, mini-concert. Clinics with Jim will be scheduled during the day on both days of the festival. Friday evening we will feature both Southeast big bands in a gala concert featuring Dr. Pisano as soloist. All bands who stay to hear at least three other ensembles will receive free tickets to this event!
James Pisano is equally comfortable as a jazz saxophonist or classical clarinetist and has an international reputation as a performer. He maintains an active performance schedule – most notably as a member since 2001 of the saxophone section of the Jazz Heritage Orchestra in Cleveland, Ohio. He has shared the stage as a soloist with many jazz luminaries, such as Phil Woods, Frank Foster, Louie Bellson, Clark Terry, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Nancy Wilson, James Moody, Hank Jones, The Lionel Hampton Big Band, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, The Artie Shaw Band, The Cab Calloway Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie Reunion Big Band and saxophonists Brad Leali, Dave Pietro and Benny Golson.

The registration fee for this festival will be $185 for your first band and $160 for each band thereafter. Bands will be scheduled at 35 minute intervals which will include set-up time, performance time, clinic time and tear-down time. Jazz combos also are invited to perform. Adjudicator's comment sheets and CD, outstanding musician certificates, trophies, and CD recording will be awarded. To encourage more groups to listen, all bands that stay for at least three ensembles will receive comp tickets to the Friday evening gala concert. Please complete the application form and return as soon as you can. I hope that you will be able to join us for what promises to be a most memorable weekend of JAZZ!

Download the registration form

Men's Choral Festival

Join us for the 6th annual Men's Choral Festival for high school singers on Friday, October 21, 2016 at Southeast Missouri State University's beautiful River Campus.

This year's featured clinician is Richard Bjella, Professor and Director of Choral Studies at Texas Tech University. In 2014 Bjella was appointed Artistic Director of the San Antonio Chamber Choir, the only professional choir in the San Antonio area. Previous to his appointment as Full Professor at TTU, Bjella served as the Director of Choral Studies at the Lawrence Conservatory of Music for 25 years. The Texas Tech University Choir has been acclaimed for its excellence in Carnegie Hall, Orchestra Hall, at TMEA convention appearances, and at the 2015 ACDA Convention.

Bjella has been a headliner for countless events from Alaska to Florida for teachers and students alike. It has also been his honor to conduct and present masterclasses outside the United States in Medellín, COLUMBIA; Leogane, HAITI; Seoul, KOREA; Vilnius, LITHUANIA; Paris, FRANCE, Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC; Lucerne, SWITZERLAND, London, ENGLAND and over 400 festivals and workshops in 32 states including several appearances at Lincoln Center, Orchestra Hall, and Carnegie Hall.

An active choral arranger, Bjella’s settings have been performed in over 35 states, and in several countries around the world. He is also active in the promotion of creative choral programming and is a contributing writer for the upcoming book (2017 publication), The Oxford Handbook of Choral Pedagogy with his chapter, The Art of Successful Programming: Study, Selection, and Synthesis.

Bjella also served as President of the WCDA (Wisconsin) and was awarded the prestigious Lawrence Excellence in Teaching Award (2007) and the Morris Hayes Lifetime Achievement Award (2013) from WCDA.

The purposes of the Men's Choral Festival are multi-faceted and include study of vocal technique, rehearsal procedure and performance practice. Junior and Senior singers may also take advantage of a brief mini lesson with a member of Southeast's voice faculty as time allows.

Registration Deadline: WHEN FILLED or Friday, October 7, 2016. No refunds of registration fees can be made after October 10, 2016.


The required fee of $20 per student includes music, a folder and lunch.

For information or questions, please contact Dr. Barb Lamont at blamont@semo.edu.

Register Here!

Double Reed Day

Join us on February 11, 2017 for the 2nd Annual SEMO Double Reed Day. This year’s Guest Artist is Dr. Laura Medisky, oboist and AmSAT-certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. The organizer and Artist in Residence is Dr. Jacqueline Wilson, Assistant Professor of Double Reeds at Southeast Missouri State University. Double Reed enthusiasts of all ages and ability levels are welcome to enjoy this day of music and reed-making!

mediskyDr. Laura Medisky is an oboist and Alexander Technique teacher based in Madison, WI. As a soloist, Dr. Medisky has presented artist recitals at the International Double Reed Society conferences at Arizona State University (2011), University of Redlands (2013), New York University (2014), and made her Carnegie Hall debut for the MidAmerica Productions Series in 2011. Medisky's debut solo album, Personalities: 21st-century American Music for Oboe, was released in 2012 on the Centaur Records label. An AmSAT-certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, she regularly presents Alexander workshops and masterclasses at institutions throughout the U.S. Dr. Medisky holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, UCLA, and Arizona State University, and earned her Alexander Technique certification from the Alexander Technique Center Urbana under the direction of Joan and Alex Murray. Her principal oboe teachers include Nancy Ambrose King, Martin Schuring, Marion Kuszyk and Marc Fink.

wilsonDr. Jacqueline Wilson is Assistant Professor of Music at Southeast Missouri State University where she teaches applied double reeds. As an active bassoon soloist, she regularly presents recitals, masterclasses, and clinics including recent engagements at the International Double Reed Society Conference (Columbus, GA, Redlands, CA), the College Music Society, the Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival (Oklahoma City, OK), the Michigan Music Conference (Grand Rapids, MI), the Iowa Music Educators Association Conference (Ames, IA), and on Wisconsin Public Radio. As an active chamber musician and founding member of both the Wilson Duo (bassoon and marimba) and the Driftless Winds reed trio, she has been featured on various college campuses and festivals, including the Ashland Chamber Music Society (Ashland, WI) and the Avaloch Chamber Music Institute (Boscowen, NH). She is a graduate of Eastern Washington University, Boston University and the University of Iowa. Her principal teachers include Benjamin Coelho and Matthew Ruggiero.


February 11, 2017

9:00AM           Registration
10:00AM         Double Reed Ensemble Rehearsal  
11:00AM          Alexander Technique Workshop
12:00PM          Lunch
1:30PM            Masterclass
2:30PM            Special Topics Classes
3:30PM            Break
4:00PM            Double Reed Day Recital


*All Events will be held at the Southeast Missouri State River Campus. Registration will be in the Dobbins Center Atrium between 9AM & 10AM

Download the registration form

Single Reed/Trombone Day

Susan K. Smith, member
of the Nashville Symphony

Please make plans to join us on March 4, 2017 for the Single Reed/Trombone Day at Southeast Missouri State University from 9am until 5:45pm.

TROMBONE DAY This year’s guest artist is Susan K. Smith (member of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra). We will share the afternoon with students from the Southeast Single Reed Day in a culminating joint recital that afternoon (see schedule below)..

Susan K. Smith is the Assistant Principal Trombonist with the Nashville Symphony and Professor of Trombone at Austin Peay State University, positions she has held since 1994. She earned a BME from The University of Kansas and a MM from the University of North Texas. She has also served as Instructor of Trombone at McNeese State University, University of Notre Dame, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and The University of North Texas as a teaching fellow. Besides having free lanced several years in New York City and Chicago, she has performed multiple seasons with the following Orchestras: Baltimore Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Grant Park Symphony, Springfield Symphony, South Bend Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic, Naples Philharmonic, Chicago Sinfonietta, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Lake Charles Symphony and the American Wind Symphony. While free lancing in Chicago, she substituted and played extra with the Chicago Symphony, was a member of the Millar Brass Ensemble and the Chicago Trombones. Other performance experience include playing back stage parts at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC, the 2:00 Jazz Band at UNT and Sackbutt ensemble (Eb Alto) at UNT and KU. Her involvement with the International Trombone Association include winning the ITF solo competition (Frank Smith Award) and serving on the ITF faculty as a soloist and clinician. Her first trombone teacher was Otto Blankle. Her teachers include Richard Cryder, Stephen Anderson, Leon Brown and Per Brevig, Charles Vernon, Frank Crisafulli, John Kitzman, Ed Kleinhammer, Steve Norrell, Jay Friedman and Arnold Jacobs.

Also presenting at the Southeast Trombone Day will be Dr. Robert Conger, the professor of trombone at Southeast Missouri State University has been teaching at Southeast in Cape Girardeau since 2004. His responsibilities include directing the Jazz program including combos and ensembles, teaching applied low brass (trombone & euphonium), conducting and instrumental music education classes. He coordinates and directs the annual >Clark Terry/Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival, for the Department of Music and is the webmaster of the department website. In May 2007, Southeast’s College of Liberal Arts presented Dr. Conger with its annual award for Outstanding Teaching.

Schedule of Events

  • 9:00 Registration for all attendees?Audtions for Fall 2017 Admission to Southeast (seniors only)
  • 10:00 Masterclasses (saxophone, clarinet, trombone)
  • 11:00 Ensembles rehearsal (trombone choir, single reed choir)
  • 12:00 Lunch provided for participants
  • 1:00 Masterclasses and/or special topics
  • 2:00 Ensembles rehearsal
  • 3:00 Artists Recital
  • 4:00 Ensembles dress rehearsal
  • 5:00 Student ensembles concert

Dr. Matt Taylor,
saxophone faculty of
Morehead State University
and Dr. Kelly Austermann.

SINGLE REED DAY This year’s guest artist is Dr. Matt Taylor (saxophone faculty, Morehead State University). We will share the afternoon with students from the Southeast Trombone Day in a culminating joint recital that afternoon (see schedule below).

Matt Taylor is an American saxophonist and teacher who loves sounds. He devotes his life to helping people rediscover the joy of listening, using music as a tool to make sense of the world and connect with others. His provocative concerts often include collaborations with other musicians, artists and dancers, drawing upon all of the arts to tell a story. Although his performances include works from all musical eras, he places special focus on music written by living composers from the past 20 years, and is responsible for many commissions and premieres in the United States and Europe. He is currently on faculty at Morehead State University, where he teaches applied saxophone, chamber music, saxophone methods, and pedagogy. Prior to his appointment at MSU, Matt created and implemented a music curriculum for at-risk kids in downtown Miami, Florida. His doctorate is from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami; he also completed studies in music education, performance and chamber music at the University of Maryland, the University of Central Arkansas and the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Bordeaux in Southwestern France. Matt is an artist/clinician for the Conn-Selmer Corporation, and performs exclusively on Selmer Paris saxophones. In his free time, he has secretly written more than 300 haiku, which he shares with no one. For more information, check his website at matthew-taylor.co.

Also presenting at the Southeast Trombone Day will be Dr. Kelly Austermann and Dr. Gabrielle Baffoni. Dr. Austermann is a graduate of Arizona State University and a St. Louis area performer and teacher. She teaches clarinet at East Central College, St. Louis Community College, and many area high school programs. Dr. Baffoni is Assistant Professor of Single Reeds at Southeast Missouri State University. She holds a DMA in performance from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. In addition to being an active recital and chamber musician, Dr. Baffoni holds the position of principal clarinet in the Paducah Symphony Orchestra.

Download the registration form

Mid-South Horn Workshop

You are CORdially invited to attend the 2017 Mid-South Horn Workshop, to be held March 17–19, 2017 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. As Assistant Professor of Horn at Southeast Missouri State University, I am pleased to announce this event and invite attendees, presenters, and performers to take part. Please join the SEMO Horn Studio and I on Southeast’s beautiful River Campus for an exciting weekend of horn!

Mark your calendars and include us in your plans as we continue to schedule events. As this site is updated in the coming months, check this page often for new information! If you have any questions, please email me at nkenney@semo.edu and I'll reply to you as soon as possible. Thanks, and we hope to see you in Cape Girardeau in March!

More Info


River Campus Seminary 254
Department of Music
One University Plaza, MS 7800
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701