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May 05, 2010 - By Shelley Schwaderer Roland

Special to The Clarkston News

On Tuesday evening, May 11th, the Concert taking place at the Clarkston High School Performing Arts Center will be extra special. The Clarkston Concerts are always wonderfully prepared; it's easy to hear why the bands are some of the most respected in the State. Tuesday's Concert will feature the 9th Grade Bands under the direction of Ms. Julie Mathews, the CHS Jazz Band directed by Justin Harris, and the CHS Symphonic Wind Ensemble under the direction of Mr. Michael Lewis. A variety of musical styles awaits the community member lucky enough to have the evening free to attend the 7 PM performance.

Featured on this concert will be the World Premiere of "Footsteps" by Dana Wilson. The piece was commissioned by the Clarkston Schools Instrumental Music Association to honor former Director of Bands, Clifford Chapman for his 27 years of service to the Clarkston School District. Having a piece of music commissioned is a huge undertaking and the process takes several years or more. Mr. Chapman will direct the premiere performance of "Footsteps". The piece is slated to be included in the next edition of "Teaching Music Through Performance" a compilation of the latest and best wind music and "Footsteps" will also be used as a core piece in a conducting symposium by world-famous director, Eugene Migliaro Corporon.

A native of Western New York State, Cliff Chapman received the Performer's Certificate, Bachelor of Music in Music Education, and Master of Music in Conducting Performance from the State University College of New York at Fredonia. While in New York Mr. Chapman studied conducting with Harry John Brown and Donald Hartman, and studied percussion performance with Theodore C. Frazeur, George D'Anna, and John Rowland. After 27 years as Director of Instrumental and Music at Clarkston High School and also serving as the K-12 Performing Arts Coordinator for the Clarkston Community Schools, Mr. Chapman retired from public education in 2004. Prior to his Clarkston tenure he had also served on the faculties at SUNY Fredonia, Eastern Michigan University, and Marlette Community Schools.

As an active member of professional organizations at local, state, and national levels, he has served as the State Chair of the National Band Association, State Chair of the American School Band Directors Association, and President of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association and the Michigan Competing Band Association. A lifelong Member of the Music Educators National Conference and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, he is an honorary member of the Kappa-Kappa Psi College Band Fraternity. Additional honors include 1982 Outstanding Clarkston Educator, WDIV-Newsweek Outstanding Teacher Finalist, Michigan Teacher of the Year Finalist, Clarkston Foundation Teacher of the Year Finalist, six times listed in the Who's Who among America's Teachers, Who's Who in American Education, Marquis Who's Who in America, and twice elected District 4 MSBOA Band Teacher of the Year.

Most recently Mr. Chapman has served as visiting professor and Director of Bands at Wayne State University and is currently Field Studies Supervisor in Music Education. He continues to be active as an educational consultant, adjudicator, clinician and conductor residing with his wife Kathleen in White Lake, Michigan.

There will be no charge for this concert. Donations, which will be used to help cover the cost of the Commission Project, will be accepted at the door.

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