Helen Harrelson to appear as soloist and clinician.

Helen Harrelson began her playing career on euphonium with the Rotherham Schools Band before progressing to the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. She later changed to baritone and was accepted at the Royal Northern College of Music where she studied with James Gourley, Sandy Smith, Steven Mead, and Bob Childs. Over the past 20 years Helen has been a member of some of the world’s finest brass bands including Black Dyke, Fodens, YBS, & Fountain City with whom she has toured, recorded and competed. Helen has won numerous national titles both in the UK and USA.

Helen has been a guest artist and clinician for the North American Brass Band Summer School, the International Woman’s Brass Conference, the International Tuba & Euphonium Conference, Kansas Music Educators Association, Missouri Music Educators Association and received an award for outstanding contribution to music education from the Kansas Bandmasters Association.

Summer 2007 saw Helen take a voluntary sabbatical to Kansas City to perform with the Fountain City Brass Band and develop their youth brass band program. The Fountain City Youth Brass Academy has gone on to win 5 national titles in the last four years and the program had over 130 students currently enrolled. Her love of Kansas City saw her return back to the US in 2008 as Instrumental Music Teacher at St. James Academy. Since then, she has developed the school’s band and orchestra program and won two Blue Star Awards for Outstanding Pit Orchestra (Beauty and the Beast 2013, & Guys & Dolls 2016). In 2015 Helen completed her Masters of Arts in Music at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Lee Harrelson to appear as festival soloist and clinician

Lee Harrelson is an Associate Professor of Music at Missouri Western State University. At Missouri Western he serves as the Chair of the Department of Music, coordinator of the music theory program and instructor of low brass and chamber music. Dr. Harrelson attended the University of Southern Mississippi, where he studied music education and music performance before completing his masters and doctorate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Dr. Harrelson is the founder of the Fountain City Brass Band and currently serves as its artistic director and principal euphoniumist. The Fountain City Brass Band (FCBB) is one of America’s premiere brass and percussion ensembles and has been featured throughout the U.S. and Europe in concerts and competitions. The FCBB is currently the top ranked brass band in the United States. Under Dr. Harrelson’s artistic leadership the band has won seven North American Brass Band Association Championships, eight U.S. Open Brass Band Championships and one Scottish Open Brass Band Championship since it began competing in 2004. At the 2011 All England International Brass Band Competition, as a member of the FCBB, Lee was named Best Instrumentalist; a first for an American at an English brass band competition. During his tenure the FCBB has produced four commercial recordings, performed with countless world-class soloists and developed a youth brass program, the Fountain City Youth Brass Academy, that serves over 100 students per year.

Dr. Harrelson can be heard on numerous commercially released recordings and has appeared throughout North America and Europe as a clinician, soloist and chamber musician. Lee Harrelson is a Buffet Group/Besson Performing Artist.

John DiCesare to appear at NWBF-2018

John DiCesare, principal tubist with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, will appear at NWBF-2018 for a masterclass/recital. Previously, he was Principal Tuba of the Louisville Orchestra. John has performed with orchestras nationwide, notably the Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony. During the summer months, John plays in the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder. John is also a dedicated teacher who has held teaching positions at Kent State University, Cleveland State University, Indiana University Southeast, and Campbellsville University.

John Falskow will appear as guest conductor/clinician for NWBF 2018.

Dr. John Falskow is Director of Instrumental Music at Tacoma Community College, where he has also served as Chair of the Music Department. John conducts the TCC Orchestra, TCC Symphonic Band, and teaches a variety of classes in the music curriculum. In addition to duties at TCC, John is the conductor of Puget Sound Youth Wind Ensemble and formerly the conductor of Puget Brass. Falskow is an active conductor, music educator, and trumpeter in the Northwest region.

As a guest conductor, John has made numerous appearances including: Tacoma Concert Band, Northwest Mahler Festival Orchestra, Bremerton Symphony, Tallahassee Youth Symphony, the Big Bend Community Orchestra, the Evergreen Music Festival, and Brass Unlimited. John has also worked with countless school ensembles throughout the Southeast and the Pacific Northwest. John was the conductor of the Bremerton Symphony Youth Orchestra and an assistant conductor of the Bremerton Symphony. Prior to these activities, John served as an Assistant Professor of Music at Lander University in Greenwood, South Carolina. He was also the band director at Mason Middle School in Tacoma.

John completed his Ph.D. in Music Education at Florida State University, where he also conducted many of the university’s ensembles. John’s education also includes degrees from Washington State University and the Puget Sound.