Learn more about the judges for each part of our competition!
Mr. Dan Carlson graduated in 1994 from Pipestone High School (MN). While in middle and high school, he marched in both the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (1988), as well as the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade (1994). In 1999, he received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. He also completed his Masters of Music Education Degree from the American Band College of Southern Oregon University during the summer of 2004.
Mr. Carlson was a Drum Major for the Pride of the Dakotas marching band at SDSU from 1995 through 1998. During his time at SDSU, he marched in the 1996 Inaugural Parade in Washington D.C. In 1992 and 1997 he was a member of Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. He has been writing drills for high school and college marching bands around the country since 1996, and has also been an active clinician for drum majors around the region. Mr. Carlson is in his nineteenth year of teaching band at Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Mr. Carlson performed in 2004 at the South Dakota Bandmaster’s Convention with his concert band, and assisted with the symphonic band in their appearances at the Bandmaster’s Convention in 2001, 2006, 2010, and 2013. During his time at Lincoln, the LHS Patriot Marching Band has performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City in 2000 and 2008, and in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California in 2005 and 2013. In 2015, the Lincoln Band was a finalist at the Bands of America St. Louis Super Regional, placing 13th overall in finals competition. The band also marched in the Hollywood Christmas Parade in 2016. The band continues to be recognized as one of the top programs in the upper Midwest in all facets. Mr. Carlson is a member of Phi Beta Mu and the South Dakota Bandmaster’s Association, and was recently featured in School Band and Orchestra Magazine in the article “50 Directors Who Make a Difference”. He was also received the Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Bandmaster Award for the state of South Dakota in 2016.
Mr. Carlson has been a director at Lincoln for the past 19 years, and has been the head director at Lincoln High School for the past five years - a position previously held by his father for 14 years (during which time they taught together as a father-son team). Dan now directs the Symphonic and Varsity Bands, as well as the marching band, and Jazz Band 1 and 3. Mr. Carlson has two daughters, Isabel and Adrienne.
Peter A. Eklund was recently named one of the elite national quarter-finalists for the first-ever GRAMMY® NATIONAL MUSIC TEACHER OF THE YEAR (out of over 30,000 nominees). During the fall of 2014, he was presented the prestigious "Director of the Year" award by the Nebraska Choral Directors Association. He annually conducts instrumental and choral ensembles in no fewer than eight European countries and throughout North America. One of the most active and versatile international conductors today, Peter A. Eklund possesses a unique ability to work effectively with musicians at all levels of performing capability and experience. His concertizing/clinician schedule averages 60 national and international concerts annually and includes a wide array of scholarly, professional, orchestral, collegiate, liturgical, festival, all-star, and youth/student ensembles throughout North America and Europe. Trained as a classical pianist and organist in the finest traditions of Western historical music, he now is also a strong advocate for ethnic and world music spanning all genres. He counts among his early musical influences the numerous local concerts that he and his grandfather attended of local renowned Big Band performances by Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, and many others in the local high school auditorium.
His academic choirs have performed on numerous American Choral Directors Association regional and national conventions where their frequency of performance set unprecedented national records (over 30 MENC—now NAfME—and ACDA regional and national invitations). Eklund has conducted his choirs in many of the world's greatest performance venues including, Carnegie Hall (numerous times), Washington DC's Kennedy Center Concert Hall, the National Cathedral, and Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (both numerous times), Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis (on four occasions), St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, Christ Church in Oxford, St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Westminster Abbey, Mozart's Salzburg Cathedral (where he conducts yearly), Paris's Notre Dame (also conducting yearly), St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, St. John the Divine and Alice Tully Hall in NYC, the abbey church of St. Hildegard von Bingen, Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Pope's Cathedral in Rome, and in other famous major cathedrals in Prague, Milan, Bordeaux, Monaco, Munich, New York, Chicago, London, Coventry, Canterbury, Chartres, Reims, Rouen, Metz, Regensburg, Strasbourg, Paris, Rome, Florence, and Verona plus abbeys, major churches, and performance halls in Cambridge (UK), Stratford on Avon (UK), Mt St. Michel (Normandy, France), Lucerne (Switzerland), and Bratislava (Slovakia).
David Fog has been a choral music educator in Iowa for 41 years, including 34 years at Emmetsburg High School where he directed six choral groups before retiring in 2014. After two years of teaching half time at North Union High School, he returned to teaching full time the past two years at Bishop Garrigan High School in Algona, IA. The vocal music program at Emmetsburg was named one of fifty “Outstanding Small School Music Programs” in the United States by the Standards and Repertoire Committee of the American Choral Directors Association. In addition to numerous IHSMA state contest honors, the EHS Choral Groups have earned superior ratings and overall championships at choral festivals in Orlando, Chicago, St. Louis, Washington DC, and Denver during their regional tours.
The EHS varsity show choir, “High Voltage” consistently strove to “raise the bar” for small school excellence in show choir competition, finishing first in their class in over 90% of their competitions and performing in the overall championship finals many times. He also has directed all aspects of 22 musicals.
Mr. Fog has been a football coach since he began teaching, and was recently named the Class1A Assistant Coach of the year in 2010. He continues to be an active ICDA mentor, clinician and adjudicator for show choir festivals and the IHSMA sponsored state contests. He and his wife, Kelley, have been a “team” throughout their careers, co-teaching at Emmetsburg and assisting each other as they continue their teaching careers in the Catholic school systems. They love to get together with their four children and two grandchildren on weekend gatherings, tailgates and at their home on the lake in Emmetsburg.
Grammy-nominated arranger Dr. Jeremy Fox earned his B.M. degree in Piano-Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University, and his M.M. and D.M.A. in Jazz Composition from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. For 8 years, Jeremy was a full-time instructor at The School for Music Vocations, conducting vocal and instrumental ensembles alongside renowned arrangers Phil Mattson and Jason Smith. He is thrilled to have returned to teach full time at The School for Music Vocations.
Drew Neneman, an Omaha native, is the Music and Liturgy Director at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church and the Classical Music Correspondent for the Omaha World Herald. An instructor at SNJ Studio of Music since 2009, Drew keeps an active private voice studio serving young adults from 14 districts in 2 states. An avid performer of classical and vernacular music, he keeps a full performance schedule as liturgist, pianist, soloist and songwriter. Drew received his Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance and his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Students of his have received scholarships and honors to attend such prestigious musical institutions as Oklahoma City University, Florida State University, St. Olaf College, University of NebraskaLincoln, University of Minnesota, Kansas University, Luther College, Texas Christian University, Farleigh Dickinson University, Viterbo University, Millikin University and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. While attending UNL, with guidance from Dr. Peter Eklund, Drew received a UCARE grant to complete an undergraduate research survey on vernacular music in secondary education. The survey focused on musical theatre and show choir, taking him around the Midwest as a collaborator, clinician and student among such great Music Educators as Jim Kimmel of Belmont University and Doran Johnson of Westside High School in Omaha, NE. Seeking to promote excellence in singing and ingenuity of expression, Drew routinely works as a consultant, clinician, and judge with choirs from Texas to South Dakota.
Dr. Ryan Person is the Director of Choral Activities at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, where he directs The Morningside Choir, Singing Men of Morningside, and Master Chorale. In addition to choral ensemble leadership, teaches courses in Choral Conducting and Choral Methods.
Prior to Morningside, Person taught undergraduate music courses at Texas Tech University, while completing the Doctor of Music Arts degree in Choral Conducting. As a high school choral director, he enriched the choral music program at West High School in Iowa City, Iowa. Ensembles under his direction have been featured at notable choral conferences and festivals including the 2014 North Central American Choral Directors Conference.
During his fourteen years as a choral conductor and educator, Dr. Person has been an active member of professional choral music organizations and has held numerous leadership positions. He frequently serves as a guest director, clinician, and presenter and was most recently honored to co-present a choral literature session with Richard Bjella at the 2017 National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In addition to his doctoral studies at Texas Tech University, Dr. Person has also completed advanced music degrees from Michigan State University and Luther College.
Josiah Telschow is currently the head of the choral/vocal program at St. Francis High School in St. Francis, Minnesota. There, he directs the Concert Choir, Saints Choir, Troubadours Men’s Ensemble, Bel Canto, Madrigal Singers, and the award-winning Bridge Street Singers, St. Francis High’s competitive varsity show choir. He previously taught at Kennedy High School in Bloomington, Minnesota, where he directed Rhythm In Gold and many other curricular ensembles.
Josiah received his Bachelor of Music degree in Choral Music Education from St. Olaf College and sang with the St. Olaf Choir for three years as a baritone and consistent soloist. Upon graduating and beginning his teaching career, he sang with the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, a 32-voice professional ensemble based out of the twin cities. Performance highlights include singing for President Bush in the White House for the 2005 National Day of Prayer, international tours to Norway, England, Eastern Europe, China, and South Korea for the 2013 World Choral Symposium, and singing back-up for the Rolling Stones.
He currently resides in the twin cities where he stays busy as a free-lance singer, choral clinician, teacher, arranger, and dad.
Learn about your hosts!
Since starting Restoration Generation in 2010, Tom Henderson has been speaking to over 25,000 students a year at festivals, conferences, public and private school assemblies, and other events across the country. He brings a powerful message of hope and encouragement, challenging this generation of youth to help one another overcome the obstacles they face and restore the broken relationships in their lives. Tom, a show choir alum of Edison MS and Roosevelt HS, is a graduate of the University of Sioux Falls and recently completed his Masters in Christian Leadership from Sioux Falls Seminary. For more information or to inquire about Tom speaking at your school/event, visit resgenschools.org/resgen.org.
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