University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

15th Annual Concert Band Festival

Cover Letter | Festival Information | Return Information | Application | Clinicians | Contact

Application Deadline:  February 1, 2016

Submit Applications to:
  John Climer

Festival Information

The 15th Annual UW-Milwaukee Concert Band Festival is an opportunity for you to share a performance with your students in UW-Milwaukee’s Helen Bader Concert Hall and receive feedback from experienced adjudicators who are focused enhancing the student’s musical experience in the ensemble. We hope you and your ensemble will join us for this year’s event on one of two dates:

April 7, 2016 or April 8, 2016.

Fee:  $250 non-refundable fee. Payments can be made to the “UWM Concert Band Festival.” Placement and scheduling decisions will be based on the receipt date of completed applications.  Please do not send payment until your participation is confirmed.

Contact:  John Climer

Scheduling:  On the application, please indicate 2 preferences for your performance slot. We strongly encourage you to include time for listening to other ensembles as you create your band’s schedule for the day. You may come early and/or stay late, but there is not a guarantee of instrument storage other than during your festival activities. Please consider some of the suggestions in the “sample itinerary” below.

Provide specific scheduling needs or considerations on the application, as applicable. We will attempt to honor as many requests as possible, and preferences will be considered in order of the email receipt date of the application form. It is the responsibility of each conductor to secure for their ensemble their own transportation, meal plans (if any), and remaining itinerary.

May we suggest the following:

  • see schedule for arrival/storage, warm-up room, performance, clinic session times
  • allow enough time for travel, and unloading/loading of equipment
  • make lunch plans (student union and local restaurants within walking distances are options)
  • allow sufficient return travel time

Sample/suggested itinerary (early morning slot). The following example would be for the first morning slot. Use this as a guide for other performance times.

7:20 am     Arrive to UW-Milwaukee – have buses drop you off on Prospect Ave and unload
7:30 am     Assigned storage space is available – leave cases and coats here
7:35 am     Assigned warm-up room available
7:55 am     Move from warm-up room to Bader Concert Hall
8:00 am     Performance begins (NO MORE than 20 minutes on stage including warm-up and transitions)
8:20 am     Performance ends, move from Bader Concert Hall to Clinic Room
8:30 am     Clinic Session begins
8:55 am     Clinic Session ends, move to storage room
9:05 am     Assigned storage room must be vacated--have your bus/equipment van meet you to                 
                  store cases/equipment
9:20 am     Return to concert hall lobby and listen to at least two bands
                  9:30 am and 10:00 am

Return Information

Return information for all participating groups will be emailed on or around February 15, 2016. This information will include:

  • Final schedule of times for arrival, warm-up, performance, and clinic sessions.
  • Directions and maps to UW-Milwaukee and the Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Exact instructions on unloading and loading personnel and equipment.
  • Precise listing of percussion to be provided in performance and clinic sites (no percussion will be available   in the warm-up rooms).  Larger percussion items will be furnished; some smaller percussion items will have to be provided by the participating ensemble.
  • Specific information on restaurant options in the UWM Student Union and within walking distance of campus.


Your festival hosts and UW-Milwaukee Directors of Bands, Dr. John Climer and Dr. Mark Norman will lead the festival clinician/adjudication panel. In addition, our invited guest clinician/adjudicators for this year are Dr. Ishbah Cox (Purdue University) and Filippo Salemmi (Conductor and Music Director, Italy)

Ishbah Cox, Assistant Director of Bands, Purdue University


Ishbah Cox, Assistant Professor of Bands at Purdue University, is Founder/Director of the Purdue University Brass Choir, Director of the Symphonic and Collegiate Bands, Director of the Boiler Box Band (Women’s Volleyball), and Assistant Director of the “All-American” Marching Band (AAMB). He is also the Adjunct Instructor of Tuba at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

As an arranger/ publisher for Hal Leonard and Dev Music Company, his marching/ pep band arrangements have been performed before national audiences, at Purdue athletic events, and at a Bands of America Marching (BOA) Finals Exhibition Performance by the Purdue AAMB Trombone Section. Several of his arrangements are immensely popular on the Internet via YouTube.

Cox is active as a festival adjudicator, clinician, and conductor throughout the United States. Professor has performed and traveled internationally as a conductor in Spain, tours of Eastern Europe, and travels with the AAMB to Colombia and Ireland. He also has guest conducted at the Middle Tennessee State University and Auburn University Honor Bands, Indiana Bandmasters Association Regional and District Honor Bands, the Northern Illinois University Wind Ensemble, the Mississippi State University Symphonic and Concert Bands, and the University of South Alabama Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble.

Cox holds professional memberships in Phi Beta Mu, National Band Association (NBA), Indiana Bandmasters Association (IBA), American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Kappa Kappa Psi, and the Collegiate Band Directors National Association (CBDNA). He holds Honorary Memberships with both the Gamma Pi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi and Beta Sigma Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma (TBS) at Purdue University, and he serves as Governor for the Kappa Kappa Psi North Central District. Cox also serves as faculty advisor of the Gamma Pi Purdue University Kappa Kappa Psi chapter, and as a member of the Committee on Ethnicity and Gender Issues with the CBDNA.

A native of Notasulga, Alabama, Cox received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Auburn University and his master’s degree is in music performance (euphonium) from the University of Alabama. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Arts, where he is ABD in Wind Conducting with a secondary specialization in Euphonium Performance at Ball State University.

Filippo Salemmi, Conductor


Filippo Salemmi's international profile as a Wind Band Conductor has led to several guest appearances as a conductor in several important Italian music festivals in Lecco, Palermo, Rome, Milano, Salerno, Bergamo, Cesena and Siena, as well as in various European countries like France, Luxembourg, Austria, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Spain, and outside Europe. American universities have also often engaged M. Salemmi, for residencies, clinics and Concerts as a International Guest Conductor, such as at Stanford University, California; Drexel University, Philadelphia; Carroll University, Wisconsin; University of Manoa, Hawaii; Royal Hawaiian Band, Hawaii; and the Mississippi State University.

Since 1987 he is Stable Conductor of the Symphonic Wind Band "City of Norcia" and the School of Music "A. Bartoloni" Norcia - Italy and the conductor of the Symphonic Wind Band "City of Bevagna" and the Municipal School of Music "N. Maurizi" in Bevagna- Italy, where he teaches Chamber music, Clarinet, Composition, and Music theory.

He is also the Principal Conductor of the INTERNATIONAL WIND ENSEMBLE in activities of INTERNATIONAL MUSIC PROJECT (IMP) ITALY–USA. In addition, he is Conductor of the Youth Wind Orchestra of Umbria and a stage orchestral project organized by the Region of Umbria Italy, with young musicians aged 15-20 years (talented students from Conservatories of Music and High Schools).

He is currently a member of the National Artistic Commission of Anbima (National Association of Italian Wind Bands) which coordinates all cultural activities of Conductors and bands in Italy and Umbria, taking in the course of activities under the projects, seminars and conferences on the repertoire and on gesture, study workshops with various Wind National Band.

He also holds the distinction of having curated and directed the recording of the piece, "Royal March" of G. Gabetti, performed by the Symphonic Wind Band of Bevagna on the soundtrack of the film by Roberto Benigni, "Life is Beautiful," winner of three Academy Awards.

John A. Climer, Director of Bands, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Climer 2015

John Climer is Director of University Bands and Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts. At UW-Milwaukee, John oversees all aspects of the band program, guides the graduate wind conducting area, and serves as conductor of the Wind Ensemble, the University’s premiere wind band. He is also serving as Music Director of UWM’s Youth Wind Ensemble program. Before his appointment in Milwaukee, he served for fourteen years as Director of Bands at Ohio University.

As a guest conductor and clinician, Dr. Climer has led performances at numerous festivals, universities, and concert venues including the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Eastman School of Music, and the Rocky Mountain Music Festival among others. Ensembles under his direction have performed for four conferences of the College Band Directors National Association including the 2013 National Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina, the North Dakota Music Educators Association, the Ohio Music Educators Association (1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008), the Wisconsin State Music Conference, and the Society of Composers Inc. In July of 2015, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wind Ensemble performed at the 16th International Conference of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in San Jose, CA. Most recently, he served as a guest conductor at the Conservatorio di Musica in Salerno, Italy.

John is the recipient of the Ohio University School of Music Distinguished Teaching Award, the Ohio University College of Fine Arts Outstanding Teacher Award, and in 2007, he received the Outstanding Music Educator Alumni Award from the University of Akron. He is Past-President of the North Central Division of the College Band Directors National Association and the former Editor of the Report, the online journal publication for CBDNA. He is a contributing author for the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series and his professional memberships include Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Beta Mu, the College Band Directors National Association, and the World Association for Symphonic Band and Ensembles. His biography is published in the third edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Climer earned degrees from the University of Akron, the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. His principal conducting teachers were Gary W. Hill and Terence Milligan, and he studied trombone with Edward Zadrozny, Tony Chipurn, and John Leisenring. He has held faculty appointments at Ohio University, the University of North Dakota, Ohio Northern University, and Emory University (Atlanta, GA) where he also served as the conductor of the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony.

Mark A. Norman, Associate Director of Bands, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

While at Washburn, Mark Norman led the Washburn Wind Ensemble to performances at the 2012 College Band Directors National Association Southwest Regional Conference, the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC and at the 2010 and 2013 Kansas Music Educators Conferences which included the prestigious Friday Evening Concert awarded to the top wind band entry in the state. In addition, the wind ensemble and chamber winds were featured on four occasions on Kansas Public Radio and performed at the Kansas Walk of Fame induction ceremony for Senator Bob Dole. Norman and the wind ensemble were also active in commissioning and performing new compositions by composers Joel Puckett, David Maslanka, Brian Balmages, James Syler, and Barbara York during his tenure. Additionally, Norman founded and was the director of the school’s annual Summer Music Camp, Conductors Workshop, Music Educators Workshop, Mosaic and Children’s Concerts.

Norman is a former tuba instrumentalist with the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, D.C. and has performed on numerous occasions with the North Carolina, Charlotte, Richmond and Topeka Symphonies. He was a member of the Washington Brass, Dominion Brass, Washburn Faculty Brass Quintet and the international award winning Tubas in the Sun quartet. Norman performed Eb tuba and guest conducted the Fountain City Brass Band during its 2009 tour of Great Britain where they recorded the critically acclaimed recording, Over the Rainbow and won the Scottish Open Brass Band Championship.

Norman received his M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in instrumental conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he studied with John Locke and Kevin Geraldi. While at UNCG, he was the conductor of the University Band and regularly guest conducted the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Chamber Winds, and Brass Choir. He produced or co-produced four recordings by the UNCG Wind Ensemble including Fireworks which received two Grammy Award nominations in 2010. He also received his B.M. degree in Tuba Performance at UNCG studying with David Lewis and was the first tuba performer to win the school’s Concerto Competition.

Cover Letter



UW-Milwaukee Bands Band Office - (414) 229-5641

Applications and Inquiries - John Climer