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In-Service Music Conference

February 13-15, 2025

Annual South Dakota In-Service Music Conference

The In-Service Music Conference is an umbrella title used to denote the event that hosts the Annual South Dakota Bandmasters Association Clinic and SDSU Choral Day activities.

Registration will open in fall 2024.

Delta David Gier presented Keynote Address in 2023

Delta David Gier

Delta David Gier has been called a dynamic voice on the American music scene, recognized widely for his penetrating interpretations of the standard symphonic repertoire, passionate commitment to new music, and significant community engagement.

Since 2004, Mr. Gier has been music director of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. During that period the orchestra has been lauded for its programming (including seven ASCAP awards). His series based on the Pulitzer Prize was called “an unprecedented programming innovation” by the Wall Street Journal and has included residencies with composers Jennifer Higdon, Steven Stucky, Zhou Long, and Paul Moravec. Under his direction, the SDSO has expanded its offerings with a cycle of Mahler symphonies and an annual semi-staged opera.

Gerard Morris to served as Conductor in Residence in 2023

Gerard Morris

With immense passion for teaching, Morris is entering his 13th year as director of bands and department chair of winds and percussion at the University of Puget Sound School of Music. His professional career is enriched through years of performing experience as principal euphonium with Boulder Brass and United States Marine Corps Band, Hawaii. With these organizations he toured the United States, Australia, and Costa Rica as both an ensemble member and soloist.

Morris’s conducting credits include appearances at The Midwest Clinic, Colorado Music Festival at Chautauqua, Steamboat Strings Music in the Mountains Summer Music Festival, College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Western/Northwestern Divisional Conference, Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) State Conference, and California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Bay Section Conference, and with honor ensembles across the United States and abroad.

Ruth E. Dwyer conducted the Elementary Festival Honor Choir in 2023

Ruth Dwyer

Ruth E. Dwyer is internationally recognized as a treble and children’s choir specialist and Kodály educator. She has been the guest conductor for the OAKE National Children’s Choir, numerous ACDA All-State Choirs and NAfME. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Hoosier Hills Choral Festival in Southern Indiana. She founded and directed Philanthropy Through Song, which presented choral festivals supporting anti-drunk driving education. Mrs. Dwyer is a frequent guest conductor with Texas International Choral Festival, MidAmerica Productions, the New England Symphonic Wind Ensemble and guest lecturer in São Paulo, Brazil where she conducts the GRAN FINALE Festival Nacional de Corais Infantis e Jovens.

Mrs. Dwyer has authored and published three curriculum books for ICC and is a frequent guest author for the Hal Leonard choral textbooks series. She also teaches at Butler University and works as a studio conductor for a variety of national and international music publishers.

Melissa Garcia conducted the Elementary Festival Honor Choirs in 2023

Melissa Garcia

Melissa Garcia has served as a conductor with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir for the past nine years. As a specialist in youth choirs, Mrs. Garcia has served as a guest conductor for numerous honor choir festivals and Circle the State with Song in Indiana. Additionally, she is on the summer staff of the Heartland Youth Choir in Des Moines, Iowa where she teaches Kodály Musicianship classes.

Mrs. Garcia is the lower school music teacher at Park Tudor, a private school in Indianapolis. Her teaching career has included pre-school music through high school choral programs. Prior to her work in Indiana, Mrs. Garcia was the Associate Director of the Northern California Children’s Choir and additional service as an elementary music educator. Mrs. Garcia received her BME from Iowa State University in 2005 and completed her Kodály Certification from Indiana University. Garcia has presented at both regional and national ACDA conferences.  

Sarah Stoneback served as the Artist-in-Residence in 2023

Sarah Stoneback

Dr. Stoneback is on the faculty of the Montana State University School of Music where she teaches applied trumpet, brass techniques and coaches brass quintets. She also holds the position of Principal Trumpet with the Bozeman Symphony.

A native of South Dakota, Sarah’s dedication and love for music can be traced to her early experiences, performing and traveling with Stoneback Sisters and Brass. Comprised of a triplet trumpet trio, trumpet quartet & brass quintet, this ensemble has presented over 2,000 educational seminars and residency programs.

Sarah holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Performance and Pedagogy and Masters of Music from CU Boulder, under Professor Terry Sawchuk. Dr. Stoneback has a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance from Arizona State University where she studied with Regent’s Professor David Hickman. She is a 2000 graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she studied with Dr. Stanley Friedman.

Picture Credit: Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez

Rachel Maxwell served as the Young Bands Specialist in Residence in 2023

rachel maxwell

Rachel Maxwell currently serves as the Director of Bands at Traughber Junior High School and has served as the Junior High Band Coordinator for SD #308 in Oswego, IL. She has taught music education courses at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago and North Central College in Naperville, IL, and has been invited to be a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator at a number of music camps and festivals nationally including the Music for All National Summer Symposium, the NC All-State Middle School Band, ISYM at the University of Illinois, Illinois State University Junior High Camp and several ILMEA District Level Festivals.

Mrs. Maxwell has degrees from Illinois State University (BME), The University of Illinois (MME), Aurora University (MAEL) and completed additional coursework in team-building, leadership and working with diverse students. She is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at Boston University. Mrs. Maxwell taught band in the West Aurora School District (1993-95) and in the Oswego School District (1995-present).


Registration will open fall 2024.


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