Dr. Robert Taylor
Robert Taylor is Director of Bands at the University of British Columbia, where he conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Concert Winds, teaches instrumental conducting, and heads the brass division. Prior to his appointment at UBC, Dr. Taylor served as Director of Bands at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, and Chair of the Performing Arts Department at Eureka High School in northern California. Under his direction, the Eureka High Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Band earned recognition for excellence by Downbeat Magazine, the Selmer Corporation, and Grammy Signature Schools, placing Eureka High among the finest school music programs in North America.
Dr. Taylor maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor and clinician. Past engagements include performances with the Vancouver Brass Project, Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and Chicago- based contemporary music group, the Maverick Ensemble, in addition to collaborations with a wide range of international artists—from Allen Vizzutti, Gail Williams, and Ingrid Jensen, to Manhattan Transfer and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. As a passionate advocate of music in the schools, Dr. Taylor is in high demand as a rehearsal clinician and festival adjudicator and has made frequent appearances with young musicians, serving as principal conductor of the Puget Sound Youth Wind Ensemble and guest conductor of numerous honor groups.
Dr. Taylor received the Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees in conducting from Northwestern University and the Bachelor of Arts degree in Trumpet and Music Education from Humboldt State University. His research has been published in GIA’s Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series and featured in presentations at several regional and national music conferences. He is a Jacob K. Javits Fellow, executive board member of the British Columbia Music Educators Association, and a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda National Honor Societies, College Band Directors National Association, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and National Association for Music Education.
David M. Becker, Director of Bands Emeritus at Lewis & Clark College, conducted the Wind Symphony, oversaw wind and percussion activities, and taught courses in music education, conducting, and jazz appreciation. He also served multiple terms as chair of the department.
Becker has adjudicated or conducted over 200 music festivals in 19 states and Canadian provinces. His appearances as a conductor or
clinician at state, regional, and national conferences include conducting several all-state bands. He is a former conductor of the Oregon Symphonic Band, Portland’s premiere adult band, and served for two years as acting director of bands at Oregon State University. As music director of Oregon Ambassadors of Music, he has led nearly 1800 high school musicians on biennial European concert tours. He is a past president of the Oregon Music Educators Association, the College Band Directors National Association Northwest Division, and the Oregon Alliance for Arts Education. He was a founder and first president of the Oregon Band Directors Association and is currently chair of their Adjudicator Certification Committee. He helped create and continues to be involved with the Oregon School Activities Association’s State High School Band & Orchestra Championships and is responsible for Oregon’s required band contest literature list.
He and his wife Kathy led five groups of Lewis & Clark students on overseas programs to London. This biennial program focuses on the fine arts and was designed and first led by Becker in 1992.
He holds degrees from the University of Oregon and taught in the Oregon public schools at South Eugene, South Salem, Silverton, and Lakeview High Schools. He is a bassoonist and avid salmon fisherman.
Jeffrey Rowser is a native of Attalla, Alabama and is a 1976 graduate of Etowah High School. He attended Auburn University and earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music Education. He studied saxophone with Lawrence Morgan and music arranging with Dr. Johnnie Vinson and Bob Richardson. While at Auburn, he was drum major of the Auburn University Marching Band for three years. Jeffrey was the first African American Drum Major at Auburn University and in the Southeastern Conference.
Mr. Rowser, now the Director of Bands at Morgan County HS, brings 30 years of experience in music education. He was chosen in 2006, to lead the East Jackson Fine Arts Department in Jackson County Schools (GA). His hiring in 2006-07 was to prepare a Fine Arts Department that would begin its work in August 2007. He was chosen as “Teacher of the Year” for East Jackson in 2011. Prior to East Jackson, he served as a director in Dougherty County, Marietta City Schools (STAR Teacher 1988), with 15 years serving as the founding director at Salem HS (Conyers, GA), where he was “Teacher of the Year” in 1994 for Rockdale County Schools. During his career his bands received Superior Ratings in all marching, jazz and symphonic music events. His bands have won over 500 awards, with 300 of those coming at Salem HS as “Superior, Best-in-Class and Grand Champion” awards in band, drum major, colorguard, and winterguard and drum line. His bands have received special invitations to perform in London, Toronto, Hawaii, Orlando, Kansas City and New York. His groups have performed frequently in the Atlanta Children’s Healthcare Parade televised on WSB-TV2. He and his wife, Vernelle, established the Salem HS Dance Team, which won 9-State Champion Awards in both Jazz and Pom style competition. During those years the group also earned a national ranking with the Universal Dance Association held annually in Orlando, Florida.
In 1991, Rowser became a co-founder of the “Drum Major Leadership Academy” held annually on the campus of Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville. His student management workshop, “Team Building Anywhere” is a featured session for band, chorus and student council groups around Georgia. He is now the founder of “Premier Drum Major and Leadership Academy” in South Carolina, Alabama, and Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. He is a frequent clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor of Regional and State Band events in the Southeast. He has served on the Georgia Music Educators Board of Directors and organized several district events