2019 Midwest Band Conductor’s Symposium

Saturday, April 13th

Conducting Participant - $80
Student Conducting Participant - $40 
Observer - FREE

Ophelia Parrish
Truman State University
100 E. Normal Ave.
Kirksville, Missouri

Truman State University is proud to present the return of the Midwest Band Conductors’ Symposium. This event will provide an opportunity to gather and discuss our conducting skills with an outstanding panel of conductors, teachers, and clinicians. The Truman State University Wind Symphony will serve as the host performance ensemble. Those who attend the conducting symposium may participate as either an observer or an active conductor of the Wind Symphony. Twelve conductors will be selected from the application on a first come, first serve priority basis. All conductors will receive immediate feedback from one of the clinicians and a DVD of their conducting sessions.

All DVDs will be provided as part of the application fee. Those individuals who register as an observer will gain much professional and personal growth by observing these great conductors and clinicians. In sponsoring this symposium, Truman State University hopes to fulfill the wishes of many band conductors who have indicated a desire to continue their musical growth and advance their conducting skills.

Each participant has the option of selecting one piece from both groups of provided literature or to submit the piece they are working on with their ensemble and one piece from the provided literature on the registration form.


Repertoire to be selected from the following:

Lincolnshire Posy
Holst Suite in Eb
Holst Suite in F
Elegy for a Young American
O Magnum Mysterium
Cajun Folk Songs
Lux Aurumque
Irish Tune from County Derry
Three Ayres from Gloucester
Air for Band
Scenes from the Louvre
Armenian Dances
Incantation and Dance

Please email Dr. Prendergast (cprend@truman.edu) with any questions.



Dr. Anthony Pursell is Director of Bands at UCM, where he directs the Wind Ensemble, Chamber Winds and Marching Band. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in music education, including conducting and wind-band literature. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Dr. Pursell was a high school band director for six years before moving to Indiana, where he served as a graduate assistant at Ball State University. Afterwards, he served a one-year appointment as Assistant Director of Athletic Bands at Northern Illinois University. In 2005 he was named the Assistant Director of Bands at Kansas State University, where he assisted with the marching band and directed the athletic pep bands for volleyball and basketball. He was conductor for the Concert Band and taught graduate and undergraduate classes in Marching Band Techniques, Instrumental Conducting, and Arranging. Under his direction, the Kansas State Concert Band was invited to perform at the 2007 and 2009 Kansas Music Educators Association (KMEA) state convention in Wichita, Kansas. In 2010 he was appointed Director of Bands at Tarleton State University (Stephenville, Texas). During his tenure the band program experienced tremendous growth and performance opportunities, including the marching band's performance in the 2014 Thanksgiving Day Parade in Chicago, the Wind Ensemble’s performance in Carnegie Hall, and an invitation to perform in the 2018 Australian International Band Festival at the world-renowned Sydney Opera House.

He holds a D.A. in Instrumental Conducting and Music Education from Ball State University, and an M.M.E. and B.M.E. from Loyola University (New Orleans). Dr. Pursell has participated in conducting clinics with such notable conductors as Eugene Corporon, H. Robert Reynolds, Jack Stamp, Dennis Fisher and James Ogle and has conducted concerts throughout the United States and the South Pacific (Auckland, New Zealand; Sydney, Australia). He serves as an adjudicator, conductor and clinician and is in demand as a halftime show writer, arranger, conductor and clinician for marching bands, concert bands and jazz bands throughout the United States. He served as the National Band Mentor for the National Association of Music Education's Mentoring Project and has given clinics and sessions at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic and at several state and regional conferences including Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Louisiana and Texas on a wide variety of topics related to wind band education. He has contributed to GIA's Teaching Music Through Performance in Band and has had articles published in The Instrumentalist, The Journal of Band Research, and The Southwest Musician (Texas). His book, Improving Music Sight Reading: An Iconic-Based Approach to Teaching Rhythm, is published by VDM Verlag Dr. Müller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG (Saarbrücken, Germany).

Dr. Pursell's professional affiliations include the College Band Directors National Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Phi Beta Mu. He holds honorary memberships in Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma. In 2012 he was named contributing editor for The Instrumentalist Magazine and was appointed in 2018 as the massed band director for the Military Bowl in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Curran PrendergastDr. Curran Prendergast is the Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at Truman State University where he guides all aspects of the band and graduate instrumental conducting programs.  He conducts Wind Symphony I and II, directs the Statesmen Marching Band, and teaches undergraduate and graduate music education and conducting courses.

A native of Iowa, Dr. Prendergast received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Central College (IA). He subsequently taught in the public schools for seven years in Indiana and Minnesota.  He also served on staff with the Dubuque Colts Drum and Bugle Corps.  Dr. Prendergast holds a Master of Arts in Band Conducting from the University of Iowa and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting from the University of Georgia.  His conducting teachers include Dr. Shelley Axelson, Dr. Richard Mark Heidel, and Dr. John Lynch.

As an advocate for new wind band music, Dr. Prendergast is regularly involved in commissioning new works for band and connecting his students with living composers including John Hennecken, Michael Ippolito, John Leszczynski, Timothy Mahr, Victor Marquez, and Jess Turner.  Other research interests include the impact of preplanned versus spontaneous conducting gesture on ensemble performance and developing innovative teaching and programming strategies for music educators.

Dr. Prendergast has appeared as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator in Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, South Dakota, Canada, Russia, and in Switzerland. He is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, National Association for Music Education, College Music Society, Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi.


Dr. Jocelyn Stevens Prendergast, Assistant Professor of Music and Music Education at Truman State, teaches Conducting, Research in Music Education, and the Music Management of Instruction courses. She also supervises intern teachers, oversees the Music Masters of Arts in Education program, and serves as the faculty advisor for the Truman State collegiate chapter of the National Association for Music Education. She received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education at Butler University, a Master of Music in Wind Conducting and a Master or Arts in Music Education from the University of Minnesota, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education from the University of Georgia. Her primary conducting teachers have been Robert Grechesky, Henry Leck, Stanley Derusha, Craig Kirchhoff, and John Lynch.

Dr. Prendergast’s preK-12 teaching experiences have been rich and varied. She taught for four years at University High School of Indiana, a private, non-sectarian high school in Indianapolis, IN, where she was a founding faculty member. At University High School she taught instrumental (winds and strings) and vocal performing ensembles, music theory, and percussion ensemble, as well as January Term courses. She taught public middle school and high school band and general music for three years in Wayzata, Minnesota, where she also taught middle school jazz bands and jazz combos and served as the musical director for middle school musicals. During her time in Georgia, Dr. Prendergast mentored undergraduate music education majors teaching in an after school band program for 4th and 5th grade students in the Athens-Clarke County Schools.  In addition to her courses at Truman State, she enjoys teaching music to 2-5 year olds at the Kirksville Child Development Center in Kirksville, MO.

Dr. Prendergast’s research interests include pre-service music teacher education, mentoring, and personality. She maintains professional memberships in the American Education Research Association, Society for Music Teacher Education, and National Association for Music Education, among others.


Saturday, April 13th

8:30-9:15a Registration Opens (Coffee Provided)
9:15-9:30a Introductions
9:30-12:00p Conducting Session I
12:00-12:45p Body Acoustics and Woodwind Resonance Clinic with Taiki Azuma

12:45-1:15p Lunch (Provided)
1:15-3:45p Conducting Session II
4:00-5:00p Clinic Session with Dr. Pursell
5:15p Symposium dinner at the Dukum Inn (Not Provided)