Roland Ventura is currently in his 22nd year of education and the Director of Bands at Pinckneyville Middle School in Peachtree Corners, Georgia. Since his appointment in 2007, the Pinckneyville Band program has grown to include over 340 students. The students participate in numerous different ensembles including the Beginning Band, Jazz Band, Pep Band, Percussion Ensemble, Woodwind Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Pinckneyville POPS!, PMS Concert Band, PMS Symphonic Band, and the PMS Symphonic Winds. Students in the PMS Band program also participate in several GMEA band events such as District Honor Band, All-State Band, Solo & Ensemble, and Large Group Performance Evaluation. This past year the Pinckneyville Band Program was awarded the prestigious Exemplary Performance Award from the GMEA Board of Directors.
In addition to his duties as band director, Mr. Ventura serves as Department Chair for the Pinckneyville Connections Department and has been a Gwinnett County Lead Teacher for Middle School Bands since 2014. He has also served as the Middle School Band Chair for District XIII and is the past Multi-Cultural Chair for the Georgia Music Educators Association. In 2013, Mr. Ventura had the honor of being selected as the Teacher of the Year for Pinckneyville Middle School.
Mr. Ventura obtained his degrees in Music Education from Troy University in Troy, Alabama. Prior to attending college, he proudly served his country as a member of the United States Army Band Program. Before his appointment to Pinckneyville, Mr. Ventura was the Director of Bands and Instrumental Studies at the Virginia Beach Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Salem High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Mr. Ventura has had the pleasure of teaching students ranging from middle school through college. He is a member of the National Band Associaiton (NBA), the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA), Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity and Phi Beta Mu, International Bandmaster’s Fraternity. This past spring Mr. Ventura was honored with the Brent Cannon Music Education Alumni Achievement Award from the Kappa Kappa Psi Board of Directors.
Mr. Ventura is an active guest director, clinician and consultant for groups throughout the southeast. He is married to Angel Ventura and has three children; Ryan, Brianna and Aurielle. In the past two years, the Ventura family has had the pleasure of expanding with the addition of Martha Ventura (Ryan’s Wife) and their first grandchild Rosalinda.
Travis Downs has been sharing his love of music with students for over twenty-two years. He is currently in his ninth year at North Gwinnett Middle School (NGMS) - recently named “Music Program of the Year” by the Georgia Music Educators Association. Before his appointment at North Gwinnett in 2013, Mr. Downs served as the Director of Bands at Valdosta Middle School (VMS) in Valdosta, Ga., Assistant Band Director at VMS, and Assistant Band Director at Tapp Middle School in Cobb County, Ga.
Ensembles under Mr. Downs’ direction have been invited to play at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival, the Music for All Southeastern Regional Concert Festival, the Georgia Music Educators Association Annual In-Service Conference, the University of Georgia Middle School Festival, and the Grand National Adjudicators Invitational. In addition, the VMS and NGMS Band programs have been the recipient of the GMEA “Exemplary Performance Award.”
A six-time recipient of the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence award, Mr. Downs is a member of the Vic Firth Educational Team and a Yamaha Artist/Clinician. For GMEA, Mr. Downs has served as the District 13 Middle School Band Chair, a member of the All-State Band Standing Committee, and is currently the State Chair for the Band Division. Mr. Downs’ professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, the National Band Association, the Georgia Music Educators Association, Phi Beta Mu, Pi Kappa Lambda, and the Percussive Arts Society.
Mr. Downs earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Georgia and Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from Louisiana State University. He resides in Gainesville, Ga with his wife Beth, daughters Maggie, Natalie, Libby and their miniature Schnauzers Bentley and Daisy.
Laura Estes taught middle and high school band for 36 years before retiring in 2018 from the Cobb County School System (GA). Upon retirement she began composing, and her first piece “Kvetchers (Surprises in Controversial Time)” was accepted for publication in Excelcia’s 2020 catalog. In addition to her music being performed at The MidWest Clinic in Chicago, Estes’ concert works have been selected for the J.W. Pepper Editor’s Choice List as well as being named Five Star Features from Stanton’s Sheet Music. With her composition “Walking on Air,” Estes was named the winner of the 2021 Women Band Directors International (WBDI) Composition Competition. Throughout Estes’ career, her bands consistently earned Superior ratings at performance evaluations, and she was awarded the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence as her middle and high school bands were selected to perform at clinics in the Southeast. A South Florida native, Estes earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from The Florida State University and her Master’s Degree in Music Education from Georgia State University. In addition to composing, Estes continues to serve as an adjudicator, guest conductor, clinician, and mentor. Estes and her husband Gil reside in Marietta, GA, and have 5 amazing children: Adrienne, April, Eric, Daniel, and Michelle. Publications by Laura Estes include: Kvetchers (Surprises in Controversial Time), Verity March, Cook Strait Crossing, S’vivon!, Point Five, Walking on Air, and Wicklow.
Mr. Patrick Clark received a bachelor of music education degree from West Virginia University in 2004. While at WVU, he was the principal euphoniumist with the Wind Symphony, and was featured as a soloist with this group on two occasions. Also a very active jazz musician, he did lead and solo trombone work with the Jazz Ensemble 1 and various jazz combos. He studied trombone and euphonium with Dr. H. Keith Jackson, conducting with Lawrence Christianson and Don Wilcox, and jazz improvisation with Paul Scea.
From 2004-2006, Mr. Clark was a professional euphoniumist with the River City Brass Band in Pittsburgh, PA. He performed as a soloist on two concert tours and later became the Publishing Coordinator and Librarian for the band.
Mr. Clark’s work as a freelance musician includes the Georgia Brass Band, Balcony Big Band, the Roger Humphries Big Band, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with the Canadian Brass, Boston Brass, Arturo Sandoval, Maynard Ferguson, and the “President’s Own” Marine Band. He can be heard playing both trombone and euphonium on the 2005 self-titled CD “Adam Evil and the Outside Royalty”, a rock band based in London, England. In 2006, he was a guest artist with the Pittsburgh Philharmonic performing Herman Bellstedt’s “Napoli”.
In the fall of 2006, Mr. Clark began teaching in the Cobb County School District where he has been the Music Specialist at Pitner Elementary School, Director of Bands at Tapp Middle School and now Assistant Band Director at Hightower Trail Middle School. Prior to moving to Georgia, he was an Elementary/Middle School Band Director in the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese and the Assistant Conductor of the Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mr. Clark directed the McEachern HS Jazz Program from 2006-2017 and built the program to two full Jazz Ensembles and several small groups during that time. From 2007-2014, he was on staff with the Carlton J. Kell HS Marching Band and the National Champion Kennesaw Mountain Marching Band.
Outside of music, Mr. Clark is an active competitive fly-fisherman and professional fly-fishing guide. He is a member of the National Champion North Carolina Fly Fishing Team, has competed all over the country winning 10 individual competitions to date and was ranked #1 in the U.S. Fly Fishing League for the 2015 season.
Mr. Clark lives in Cartersville, GA with his wife Cecilia, who is the Director of Bands at Allatoona High School, and their three weimaraners “Coltrane, Mingus and Monk”.
Samuel Boeger, Trombone Graduate Student, Northwestern
Daney Glover, Euphonium Cooper M.S.
Steven Bontempi, Tuba Atlanta Tuba Studio
Kyle Parciany, Percussion
Chris Romanowski, Percussion Hillgrove H.S.
Selena Sanchez Durham M.S.
Cecilia Clark, Director of Bands at Allatoona High School in Acworth, Georgia. She attended Duquesne University and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Music Education. Her percussion teachers include Stanley Leonard, Gerald Unger, and Andrew Reamer. She studied conducting with Robert Cameron, Craig Kirchhoff, and Larry Rachleff. Ms. Clark also received a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Duquesne.
Ms. Clark’s professional experience includes Assistant Band Director at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, GA where she also served as Fine Arts Department Chair. Prior to joining the faculty at McEachern, Ms. Clark was the Director of Bands at Deer Lakes High School and Thomas Jefferson High School. She also taught beginning band in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Ms. Clark has served as a percussion consultant and technician for several schools including Norwin Senior High School in North Huntingdon, PA. She was also the Front Ensemble Instructor for the General Butler Vagabonds Drum Corps and the Pit Caption Head for Conquest Percussion and Project Percussion Independent Open and World Class WGI Finalists.
Ms. Clark is an active adjudicator, guest conductor, and clinician. She has served on the Review Committee for the National Association of Secondary School Principals, as a member of NAfME Band Advisory Committee, and as a Program Coordinator at the Music for All Summer Symposium. Her professional affiliations include the NAfME, GMEA, PAS, NBA, ASBDA, WBDI and Mu Phi Epsilon.
Ms. Clark is married to Patrick Clark, Band Director at Hightower Trail Middle School. They have three beautiful Weimaraners, Coltrane, Mingus, and Monk.
Cameron Longabaugh currently serves as the Director of Bands at Irondale High School in New Brighton, MN. He completed his Doctor of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance with a secondary emphasis in Musicology at the University of Minnesota. He received his Masters of Music degree in Saxophone Performance at the University of Minnesota and his Bachelor of Music Education at Kansas State University. Mr. Longabaugh has studied saxophone with internationally renowned concert artists such as Eugene Rousseau, Anna Marie Wytko, and Preston Duncan.
During his graduate studies Dr. Longabaugh competed at numerous prestigious solo and chamber music competitions and was named a Finalist and a prizewinner at the 2017 William C. Byrd International Concerto Competition, a Finalist and a prize winner at the 2017 Plowman National Chamber Music Competition, and winner of the 2016 Masters Concerto and Aria Competition sponsored by the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Longabaugh previously taught at Inver Grove Heights Middle School in Inver Grove Heights, MN (2019-2021) Tapp Middle School in Powder Springs, GA (2017-2019) and Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, KS (2011-2013).
Sidney Maurice is an Atlanta native and attended school in Marietta where she began her bassoon studies at the age of 11. Throughout her years in public school, she participated in the All- State Band, Honors District Orchestra, and District Band. She attended Georgia's Governor's Honors Program in 2017 and received the John Philip Sousa Award upon graduating from high school. Ms. Maurice has been teaching private lessons since 2016 and has also worked as a pit orchestra musician. She has been on staff with the Cobb County Middle School Band Camp since 2019. Sidney is also involved in Marching Arts. She has been on staff with Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Georgia and Wakeland High School in Frisco, Texas as well as been on the teaching staff and served as Drum Major for the University of North Texas Green Brigade. Sidney is currently studying at the University of North Texas pursuing a degree in Music Education and graduates in May 2022. She is a bassoon student of Dr. Darrel Hale, Kathleen Reynolds and Dr. Jorge Cruz, and has attended master classes with Eric Varner, Amy Pollard, and Barrick Stees. Sidney also actively takes oboe lessons with Dr. Johnathan Thompson and Jo Darmond. During her time at UNT she has performed with the Wind Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, and Chamber Music studies and has worked with Dr. Andrew Trachsel, Daniel Cook, Dr. Nicholas Williams, Dennis Fisher, and Brett Penshorn. Sidney has professional affiliations with the Texas Music Educators Association, Mu Phi Epsilon Professional Music Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Young Band Directors of Texas.