Trade Secrets Music Educators' Conference
Claudia Bigler, Managing Director
Dr. Michael Huff, General Director
Utah State University Home
Utah State University Music Department

June 16 - 18, 2014


Legacy Music Alliance Caine College of the Arts, Utah State University American Choral Director Association

Come Join Us at USU!

Registration for Trade Secrets 2014 is now closed.

Photograph of Dr. Robert GillespieDr. Robert Gillespie

Bob Gillespie, professor of music, is responsible for string teacher training at The Ohio State University, which has one of the largest and most extensive string pedagogy degree programs in the nation. Degrees in string teaching at Ohio State include undergraduate, master's, and PhD programs. Currently 30 students are enrolled - one of the largest classes in the country. His graduating students teach in school systems and universities throughout the country.

Gillespie is a past national president of the American String Teachers Association. He is a frequent guest conductor of all-state, regional, and festival orchestras throughout the country and Europe, and he has presented string teacher sessions, workshops, and conducted concerts at national and state music educator conferences in 46 states and Canada. His string education articles appear frequently in all the major music journals. He is co-author of the Hal Leonard string method book series, Essential Elements for Strings, Essential Elements 2000 for Strings, which has sold over five million copies to date, and Getting Started: Strolling Strings for MENC. He is also co-author of the new Oxford University Press book: Strategies for Teaching Strings: Building A Successful School Orchestra Program. He is co-author of the String Clinics to Go DVD series and the Teaching Music Through Performance in Orchestra texts for GIA publications.

In summers, Gillespie directs the Ohio State University String Teacher Workshop in Columbus and the annual out-of-state string teacher workshop (2014 location TBA), the largest string/orchestra teacher training workshops in the country. Gillespie is a string education teaching artist and clinician for the Conn-Selmer Corporation. In Columbus, he conducts the Columbus Symphony Chamber Strings, and is a performing violinist in the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, Gillespie will give string pedagogy and research presentations, and conduct orchestra performances in South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Washington, New Mexico, Texas, Missouri, Indiana, and Ohio.

Photograph of  Sigrid Johnson Sigrid Johnson

As the associate conductor of VocalEssence, Sigrid Johnson is affectionately known as "Ears" — for her unique skill in helping develop the choral blend and balance that give the VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers their signature sound. She provides expert input in the selection of repertoire and assists throughout the audition process. Her ability to achieve excellence in choral blend and intonation is a priceless asset to VocalEssence.

Sigrid is a member of the voice and choral faculty of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and the conductor of the Manitou Singers, St. Olaf’s 100-voice first-year women’s chorus. She maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor and clinician at choral festivals, workshops and all-state music festivals across the country. She is known internationally for her work with musicians at all levels, having conducted workshops in Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland. In August 2008, Sigrid was one of the featured lecturers for the Eighth World Symposium on Choral Music in Copenhagen; in 2011, she was featured in the Ninth World Symposium, held in Argentina.

Photograph of  Thomas Leslie Thomas Leslie

As Director of Bands, and Professor of Conducting, Thomas Leslie has earned recognition for high quality performances of the UNLV Bands. Recognized for a fresh, interpretative style among collegiate wind orchestras, Thomas Leslie and the UNLV Wind Orchestra continue to excel in their commitment to commission new works by the next generation of the world's finest young composers. This ensemble, under Professor Leslie's baton, has premiered numerous pieces commissioned by UNLV, Professor Leslie and the Wind Orchestra. Professor Leslie has conducted, and recorded sixteen compact disc recordings with the UNLV Wind Orchestra that have received noteworthy acclaim in professional journals in addition to high praise from colleagues throughout the world.

An adjudicator and conductor throughout the United States, Professor Leslie has also been invited to conduct performances and clinics internationally in Australia, Ireland, Japan, England, Scotland, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Canada. Under his direction, the UNLV Wind Orchestra has appeared as an invited performing group at the College Band Directors National Association Conference in March 1994, the Music Educators National Conference Biennial Convention in April 1998, the American Bandmasters Association National Convention in March 2001, and numerous state music educator conferences.

Professor Leslie is the founder and Musical Director for the Las Vegas Youth Wind Orchestra, an honor ensemble comprised of Las Vegas' most accomplished wind and percussion musicians. The UNLV College of Fine Arts awarded Professor Leslie the CFA Teacher of the Year Award in 2006.

Thomas Leslie received degrees in Music Education from The University of Iowa and Indiana State University.

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