Upcoming Trip: June 21-July 6, 2024

This international tour is with the group from the great state of Michigan. Known for great lakes, rugged trails, tulips and beaches, the mitten is surrounded on three sides by waterways. Michigan is the birthplace of the automobile industry and produces cherries, apples and blueberries, ranks 10th in population and is proud to be the Great Lakes state.

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Meeting Schedule

Meet Your Michigan State Coordinator and Band Director:

Barry Martin

Barry D. Martin is Professor of Music and Director of University Bands at Grand Valley State University. His responsibilities at GVSU have included conducting the Symphonic Wind Ensemble/Chamber Winds, conducting the Concert Band and the GVSU Laker Marching Band.

He has taught graduate and undergraduate conducting/repertoire and observed student teachers in the Department of Music. In addition, he oversees all aspects of the band program, which grew from three ensembles totaling 110 students upon his arrival in 1994, to a program of over 475 students performing in seven ensembles in 2016. Since 2004 he has served as the Artistic Director/Conductor of the Grand Rapids Symphonic Band, an adult organization which includes music educators and professional musicians from throughout the State of Michigan.

Professor Martin received his B.M. degree in Music Education from the University of Akron and his Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois. In 2016, Professor Martin was selected as the Music Director for the Michigan Ambassadors of Music. This ensemble of 320 high school students took a 16-day tour of Europe in July 2019 and performed in six different countries. In 2022 he became the Music Director of Michigan Musicians Abroad.

In 2013, Martin was selected as the recipient of the University of Akron School of Music Distinguished Alumni Award for his outstanding service to music education. In 2010, he was honored by being selected for membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association (ABA). Martin is a member of the National Band Association (NBA) and CBDNA. He also holds honorary memberships in the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity, Tau Beta Sigma Band Fraternity and Mu Phi Epsilon. Prior to joining the music faculty at GVSU, he served as Assistant Director of Bands and Director of the Marching Band at the University of Akron.

Barry is in constant demand throughout the country as an adjudicator, clinician and conductor. His presentations include: The Ohio Music Educators Conference, several clinics and concerts at the Michigan Music Education In-Service Conference, the North Central MENC Convention, the Michigan Music Conference (MMC) and most recently a presentation entitled Developing the Small College Band Program at the 3rd annual National Collegiate Marching & Athletic Band Symposium. He has also served as an adjudicator on several university campuses and has conducted numerous honor bands throughout the Midwest.

Meet Your Choir Director: Pamela Pierson

Pamela Pierson has been involved in the process of producing articulate, engaged and empathetic young people, who just happen to want to sing, for 47 years, first at Coloma Community Schools and then at West Ottawa HS in Holland. Now retired from public school teaching, she is currently the director of the adult women’s choir Las Almas, a volunteer at Fennville HS and a professor of music at Hope College. Her goal with every choir is to build a family who takes ownership of their prospects, to both understand the meaning of their music and create outstanding performances.

Pam has been involved in every aspect of high school performances: choral, solo and ensemble and chamber festivals, musical theater, multi-generational choirs and honors choirs. An active adjudicator and clinician all over the state, she has conducted State Honors Choir, led sessions at the Michigan Music Conference (MMC) and the Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) Summer Workshop and MSVMA Teacher of the Year. Choirs under her direction have performed many times at MMC, American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) conferences and toured extensively, including Chicago, Cleveland, Nashville, New York City, Milwaukee, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and Italy. Pam’s choirs have worked one on one with some of America’s leading composers, conductors and performers. She has held virtually every position in the hierarchy of MSVMA and has, at last count, 11,060 choral songs on her venerable iPod.

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