Clark Terry/Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival

Clark Terry/ Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival

Welcome to the 21st Annual Clark Terry/ Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival
Guest Artist: Mike Tomaro
February 1 – 2, 2019
Registration will begin September 1, 2018 and ends December 14, 2018

Registration FormFestival RulesSoloist FormStage Needs FormOfficial Flyer

Guest Artists and Adjudicators

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Mike Tomaro

Mike Tomaro has been the Director of the Jazz Studies Program at the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA since 1997. This saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator earned his B.S. degree in Music Education from Duquesne University and his M.A. degree in Saxophone Performance from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Prior to his appointment at Duquesne, he lived in the Washington, D.C. area for seventeen years as a member of the Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, a unit of the prestigious “Pershing’s Own” U.S. Army Band. While a member of this group, he served as its Enlisted Musical Director and performed for Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton as well as heads of state from around the world. He also composed and/or arranged much of the Army Blues repertoire and was featured as a soloist on several of the group’s albums and CDs. Mike is a Yamaha Performing Artist and endorses Vandoren reeds, mouthpieces and ligatures exclusively.

As a performer, Mike has worked with such diverse artists and groups as Rosemary Clooney, Ray Charles, Michael Feinstein, Linda Ronstadt, Debby Boone, Johnny Mathis, Wayne Bergeron, Terence Blanchard, Louis Bellson, Terry Gibbs, Dizzy Gillespie Tribute Big Band, Woody Herman Orchestra and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, where he is featured on their DVD, “Live at MCG.” In his hometown, he has performed with guitarist Joe Negri, Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy Band, Pittsburgh Symphony, River City Brass Band, Pittsburgh Ballet and Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble in addition to leading his own small groups.

Mike is the co-artistic director (with trumpeter Sean Jones) and lead alto player of the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, the city’s premier big band, where he composes and arranges most of the material that group performs. In 2015, the band released its first CD, “Joyful Jazz,” on the MCG Jazz label; the album contains 11 arrangements by Tomaro. It has garnered rave reviews including a four-star rating in Downbeat magazine and was selected as one of the top seven holiday albums of 2015 by the Wall Street Journal.

Mike has four nationally released recordings under his own name that showcase his talents as both performer and composer/arranger – “Dancing Eyes” (Seabreeze Jazz), “Home Again” (Positive Music), “Forgotten Dreams” (Seabreeze Jazz) and “Nightowl Suite” (Seabreeze Jazz). Additionally, Mike has also been featured on many other CDs as performer and/or arranger, most notably on Nancy Wilson’s last two Grammy Award winning releases, “Turned To Blue” and “RSVP,” the Bob Mintzer Big Band’s Grammy nominated release, “For The Moment,” Ann Hampton Callaway’s “The Hope Of Christmas,” New York Voices’, “A Day Like This,” Sheryl Bailey’s “A New Promise” and the 21st Century Swing Band’s “Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy,” all on the MCG Jazz label. On the last two releases, Mike is prominently featured as the main arranger as well as a soloist.

Mike’s music has been performed by the likes of jazz greats David Liebman, Wayne Bergeron, Ivan Lins, Claudio Roditi, Mike Stern, Ernie Watts, Bobby Shew, Randy Brecker, New York Voices, Al Vizzutti and many more, as well as high schools, colleges and universities around the world. His orchestral arrangements have been performed by the Pittsburgh and National Symphony Orchestras. Over two hundred of his compositions and arrangements have been published by Doug Beach Music, Hal Leonard Publications, and Walrus Music. In 2009, Mike scored all the music for MCG/Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s production of Duke Ellington’s musical “Beggar’s Holiday.”

Additionally, Mike has co-authored the textbook “Instrumental Jazz Arranging: A Comprehensive and Practical Guide” (Hal Leonard Publications), with his long-time mentor, Dr. John Wilson, who was Director of Jazz Studies at Duquesne University from 1972-1996.

Mike is affiliated with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers where he has received several ASCAP Plus awards, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), Jazz Education Network (JEN) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Mike is in great demand both nationally and internationally as a guest soloist, adjudicator, and clinician. For more information on his activities, visit his website at

Since his wife’s passing from pancreatic cancer in 2010, Mike has been dedicating much of his time to organizing, arranging and performing yearly concerts designed to benefit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PANCAN).

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Dr. Alex Noppe

Green Bay native Alex Noppe has had a diverse performing and teaching career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, and jazz/commercial artist. He is a founding member of and the resident composer/arranger for the Mirari Brass Quintet, which for eight years has performed in concert halls, universities, schools, and churches in over 30 states and China. Alex has performed with numerous other ensembles across the country, holding positions in the Lansing Symphony, Columbus-Indiana Philharmonic, Monroe Symphony, and the Terre Haute Symphony. He has also performed with the Charlotte Symphony, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Opera, Boise Philharmonic, Shreveport Symphony, and many others. Additional performing credits include the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra, Hal Leonard Jazz Orchestra, David Baker Big Band, and the Diamond Empire Band. As a chamber musician, he has performed across the United States and in Thailand with the Black Bayou Brass Trio as well as many brass quintets. Alex has played for five years with the Louis Romanos Quartet, which fuses New Orleans jazz with Latin and world music in a variety of rhythmic patterns. LRQ has released several recordings, toured across the country, and performed at the Jazz Maui Festival. He has appeared on stage or performed with Eric Alexander, Chris Potter, Randy Brecker, Wayne Bergeron, Johnny Mathis, Hank Jones, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Rolling Stones Project, Sylvia McNair, Byron Stripling, Wycliffe Gordon, John Clayton, Leonard Slatkin, and Garrison Keillor. Alex is also a member of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet. Click to learn more.

Alex has been featured as a soloist with the Green Bay Civic Symphony, Boise State Orchestra, Performing Arts Institute Wind Ensemble, Indiana University Singers, ULM Symphony Orchestra, and was the solo “cellophonist” on David Baker’s Concerto for Cell Phones and Orchestra with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. He has been a performer or clinician at the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference, the Big XII Trombone Conference, the NAfME Northwest Conference, the International Tuba & Euphonium Conference, the International Trumpet Guild Conference, and the College Music Society National Conference. From 2004 to 2010 he served as Director of Jazz at the Performing Arts Institute summer music festival and also has taught at the UW-Green Bay Summer Music Clinic and Boise State Chamber Music Camp. Alex was the organizer and inaugural director of the Idaho All-State Jazz Ensemble, and has served as a clinician/guest artist for festivals in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Louisiana, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. For four years, he served as executive director of the Gene Harris Jazz Festival in Boise.

In addition to numerous compositions and arrangements written for the Mirari Brass, he has had works premiered by the Arbor Brass Choir, University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble, and Black Bayou Brass. Recording credits include Smack Dab in the Middle from John Clayton and the Hal Leonard Jazz Orchestra, Celestial Dancers by the Philharmonia a Vent, and William Bolcom: Songs of Innocence and Experience featuring Leonard Slatkin and the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, which was awarded three Grammy awards in 2006. Alex can be heard on numerous recordings from the Hal Leonard Music Company and FJH Music, and is featured on recent critically acclaimed releases from the Mirari Brass Quintet and the Wave Mechanics Union, as well as the multiple recent albums from the Louis Romanos Quartet. Prior to his appointment at UW-Madison, Alex held teaching positions at Boise State University and the University of Louisiana-Monroe, and has also taught at Indiana State University, Depauw University, and Indiana University. He holds a doctoral degree in brass literature and pedagogy from Indiana University as well as a master’s of music in trumpet performance from IU, studying with John Rommel, Anthony Plog, and David Baker. He also has dual bachelor degrees in trumpet performance and jazz studies from the University of Michigan, where he studied with William Campbell, William Lucas, Ellen Rowe, and Dennis Wilson. Alex is a Conn-Selmer Endorsing Artist and plays on Bach trumpets.

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Dr. Bennett Wood

Dr. Bennett Wood is the director of jazz studies and applied woodwinds at Mineral Area College in Park Hills, Missouri. Prior to his appointment at MAC, he held teaching appointments at Texas State University, Texas Lutheran University, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville. As a professional musician, Wood has established himself as a bandleader and an in-demand sideman. He has performed alongside internationally recognized musicians including John Clayton, Maria Schneider, Terrell Stafford, Kenny Werner, Russell Gunn, Scott Whitfield, Houston Person, Nat Adderley Jr., Andre Hayward, Bruce Saunders, Greg Osby, Doug Lawrence, Butch Miles, Ralph Bowen, Reggie Thomas, Red Young, Conrad Herwig, Serafin Aguilar, and Lukas Graham. Wood earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. He holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

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Jay Contrino

Jay Contrino, adjunct instructor of music, teaches Jazz Appreciation, Theories of Music in Culture, Aural Skills, and applied drum set lessons. As an educator, Jay is a former instructor of the North Texas Music Academy and is former adjunct faculty of Eastfield College in Dallas, TX. As a player, he has performed a variety of music styles and genres throughout his professional career including pop, rock, funk, jazz, big band, country, and Broadway style musicals. He has performed on cruise ships, at theme parks, small clubs, large hotels, symphony halls, and jazz festivals. Notable performances include the New Orleans Jazz Festival in 2007, the Denton Jazz and Arts Festival in 2008, and the Smokey Hill River Festival in Salina, KS, in 2011. In 2008 he toured throughout the United States as a member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

During his 4 year tenure with Royal Caribbean cruise lines, he was music director and performed with entertainers Maureen McGovern, Ben Vereen, Tommy Tune, the Osmond Brothers, Lorna Luft, Joanne Whirley, Bowzer, Mickey Dolenz, the Platters, the Coasters, and The Diamonds to name but a few. Since moving to Cape Girardeau, in January 2010, Jay has performed with the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra, the Theater and Dance department in musicals, and with the faculty jazz ensemble, The Jazz Sultans. In March, 2011, Jay was the featured guest artist with the Percussion Ensemble. Jay also performs in Cape Girardeau with the Lower Downtown Jazz Quartet.

Jay holds a Bachelor in Performance (B.M.) from Berklee College of Music, and a Master's degree in Jazz Studies (M.M.) from University of North Texas. Notable drum teachers that Jay has studied with include Gary Chaffee and Ed Soph.


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