DYBB Conductors and Guest Artists

Dr. Amy Schumaker Bliss - Conductor

Dr. Amy Schumaker Bliss has built a career that combines her love for performing with her love for teaching music. As a performer, Amy is always busy creating new projects. She released her album Couleurs en Mouvements in 2019 and she is featured on two of Atlantic Brass Band's CD's (The Spirit of Christmas and Metropolis). She was recently a featured soloist with Rowan University's wind band (Gordon Jacob's Fantasia 2016), Rowan University's wind ensemble (Cosma Euphonium Concerto 2017), and a featured artist at the International Women's Brass Conference (2017). She plays solo euphonium in Dublin Silver Band and Athena Brass Band, an all-star British Brass Band featuring women brass and percussion players from around the world. She recently has collaborated with Kent State University for the wind ensemble premier of Lucy Pankhurst's Luminaries (2021), Athena Brass Band for a performance of Peter Graham's Brillante at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic (2021), and Lancaster Allegro Symphony for the orchestral premiere of Seven Wen, Derek Kane's euphonium concerto (2022).

She is currently in demand nationwide as a clinician, teacher, and euphonium soloist. She has a studio of about 25 in-person and online students on euphonium, tuba, music history, music theory, and beginner piano and she teaches general music online to homeschoolers around the world. Amy's most recent teaching position before moving to Ohio was teaching euphonium at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey from 2012-2020, where she also taught music appreciation, coached the tuba/euphonium quartet, worked with the Atlantic Youth Brass Band and Rowan University Brass Band, conducted summer brass choir and played in the Atlantic Brass Band as solo euphonium. Now that she's in Ohio, Amy is currently starting up a youth brass band through the Dublin Community Bands system that will be getting started in the summer of 2022.

Amy's most recent publications include two works about British brass bands: a children's book called "Amy's Brass Band", and a paper on the history of the British brass band movement in North America. The paper, “The Brass Band Bridge and J. Perry Watson: A Link to the Beginning of the North American British Brass Band Movement," was published in the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Journal and was praised as being “probably the best history of the establishment of the British-brass band movement in North America” (William Berz, editor WASBE Journal). The children's book, "Amy's Brass Band," is surpassing all expectations of popularity and introducing the genre to a whole new generation of future musicians. "Amy's Brass Band" is available worldwide through Amazon, and in the US through Walmart and Target online. Amy is in the process of re-publishing her popular children's book in Spanish to reach an even wider audience.

Amy attended Capital University Conservatory of Music in Columbus where she double majored in euphonium performance and music education, studying with Dr. Thomas Zugger and James Swearingen.  She earned her master’s degree in euphonium performance studying with Steven Mead and David Thornton at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England where she earned Honors with Distinction in Performance. In 2015, she graduated from Rutgers University as the school's first doctoral euphonium student, studying with Dr. Stephen Arthur Allen and mentored by Aaron VanderWeele. Amy lives just outside of Columbus, Ohio with her husband Adam and two sons.

Bob Munson - Conductor

Bob conducts The Greater Columbus Community Band and plays Bb Bass in the Dublin Silver Band. A graduate of Kent State University with a B.M. degree in Tuba Performance, Bob has performed in regional orchestras, professional brass quintets and bands for more than 25 years. As a student at Kent State, he studied with Dick Jacoby and Ron Bishop the famed Cleveland Orchestra Principal Tubist.

In addition to performing with the Dublin Silver Band, Bob regularly performs with the Westerville Symphony, New Albany Symphony, Mansfield Symphony, Westerville Concert Band, Renaissance Brass Quintet, Classic Brass Quintet, Village Brass Quintet, Westerville Brass Quintet, Greater Columbus Brass Quintet and Ain't Misbehavin' Dixieland Band.

Bob and his musical wife Cindy (flute) reside in Westerville, Ohio where their two sons attend Westerville Schools. Their oldest son Bobby has just begun playing Euphonium in sixth grade and will be participating in the Dublin Youth Brass Band program this year.


Jason Nippert

Jason Nippert - 2019 Guest Artist/Composer

Jason Nippert is a recent Music Education graduate of The Ohio State University.  Originally a clarinetist, Jason performed on clarinet and bass clarinet in the Symphonic Band and Clarinet Choir throughout his time at OSU, in addition to picking up baritone as a member of H Row in TBDBITL, and euphonium as a member of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps and the Bluecoats.

Not only a talented performer and educator, Jason also composes music for a variety of instrumentations, including woodwind solos, chamber ensembles, concert band and brass band works.  Many of his pieces have been premiered by his friends and colleagues at OSU, and his recent piece "Plummet" was premiered by the Hilliard Bradley HS Wind Ensemble in March of 2019.

Jason recently accepted a position as Assistant Band Director at Dublin Coffman High School.  An alumnus of Dublin Coffman himself, he is looking forward to continuing the fine tradition of musical excellence in Dublin City Schools, with the goal of engaging in meaningful collaboration with future students and colleagues.

The 2019 DYBB is excited to premiere Jason's newest composition "Seismatic" during their OBAF performance on June 22nd.

Brendan Ige - 2018 Guest Artist

Brendan Ige, a native of Pearl City, Hawaii, earned his Bachelor's Degree from Bowling Green State University and his Master’s degree from University of Michigan in 2016. His primary teachers include Fritz Kaenzig and David Saltzman. His performance experiences range from performing orchestral music to playing the sousaphone in a roving “beach band” at Cedar Point. He has performed in the Toledo Symphony, Toledo Zoo Band, the Perrysburg Symphony, and the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra. 

In 2013, he formed a piano trio that placed first in Bowling Green State University’s Douglas Wayland Chamber Music Competition. He has served as Assistant Director of Brass Bands at Oakland University from 2016-2107. He is a teacher in the Ann Arbor area and is a low brass private instructor in the Van Buren public school district. He has also served as the Detroit Civic Orchestra Tuba Mentor in 2011-2012. He is currently getting a Doctorate in tuba performance at the University of Michigan. He performs regularly with his piano trio, Conviviality, giving masterclasses at high schools and universities in the states of Ohio and Michigan.

Tom Garling - 2017 Guest Artist

After attending the Berklee College of Music for two years, Tom’s first break into the professional jazz scene was with Buddy Rich in 1986 at the age of twenty. After touring with Buddy for a year, he was offered a full scholarship to attend the University of Miami, where he received his Master’s degree in 1992, majoring in Jazz Composition and Arranging with an emphasis in studio jazz writing. Shortly thereafter, Maynard Ferguson hired him as Trombonist and Musical Director from 1992-1998.

His writing and playing can be heard on albums by Maynard, Buddy Rich, Tito Puente, Dianne Schuur, Michael Feinstein, Frank Mantooth, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, and the Chicago Yestet, to name a few. He has been in high demand for the past 30 years as performer, composer, arranger, recording artist, producer, teacher, director, clinician, and professional musician at any capacity.
He currently resides in the Chicago area and maintains a busy schedule consisting of teaching, writing, performing and recording, and touring. Recent appearances have been with Frank Sinatra Jr., the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, the Chicago Yestet, and numerous Clinician/Guest soloist performances throughout the country. He is teaching both privately and in numerous institutions around the Chicago area in the fields of jazz composition and arranging, jazz trombone, jazz theory and jazz improvisation.

Owen Farr - 2016 Guest Artist

Pontypool in South Wales has always been famous for its steel and "Front Row," but with the rise of Owen Farr, the music world is beginning to know it for its brass and the middle of the band. Owen began his musical career with the Pontypool Brass Band at the age of six. He soon joined Gwent County Youth Brass Band and the National Youth Brass Band of Wales, progressing to Principal Horn in both ensembles. Owen's growing talent was recognised in 1995 when he became the British Open Junior Solo Champion and was appointed Solo Horn for the Tredegar Town Band at the tender age of sixteen. He consolidated the precocious promise of his youth by enrolling in what was arguably the centre of excellence for brass musicianship at the time, the Royal Northern College of Music, in 1998. Six months later he joined the famous Williams Fairey Band. Owen thrived in both these environments and was voted "Player of the Year" by his fellow players at the band. He enjoyed many successful solo performances with the band and was also a key member in their two National Finals victories. 2002 was an extremely busy year for Owen; he graduated from the Royal Northern where his talent was recognised by his immediate appointment to the department as Tenor Horn Teacher. He also accepted a teaching post at Liverpool University. On top of this busy teaching schedule, he also went on to form "Sonar Brass" alongside Richard Marshall, Alan Morrison, Nicholas Hudson and Shaun Crowther. This dynamic ensemble has enjoyed great success, culminating in prestigious broadcasts such as "Listen to the Band" and "Friday Night is Music Night." Owen is dedicated to improving the pedagogy of the Tenor Horn and is constantly exploring ways of improving teaching methods for the instrument he loves. This can be seen both in the positions he holds in the Birmingham Conservatoire (Lecturer in Brass Scoring and Arranging) and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (Tenor Horn Tutor) and is his work as a Besson clinician where he tours the country raising awareness of the Tenor Horn with his lyrical tone and stunning technical precision. Owen was extremely pleased to be able to return to the "Land of his fathers" by joining the Buy as you View Band in 2004. Owen is in many ways a musician's musician, combining amazing skill on the instrument of his choice with a passionate urge to know everything about his profession and develop that body of knowledge even further. The promise of his early talent has blossomed into an assured maturity that ensures Owen's place in the "Front Row" of brass band musicians, soloists and educators for the 21st Century.

Paul Duffy - 2015 Guest Artist

Born in Liverpool, Paul began his musical interest at the age of seven playing cornet with his local youth brass band. He advanced from this to the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain becoming principal cornet and leader of the band. In 2006 Paul joined the world renowned Black Dyke Band as their soprano cornet player, quickly developing a reputation as one of the most thrilling soloists Black Dyke had ever had. This position allowed him to showcase his talents as a performer, arranger and composer around the world. Paul has been featured at the BBC proms in the Royal Albert Hall, and as a soloist on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, and on a number of international radio stations. He has delivered critically acclaimed performances at some of the finest concert halls around the world, including the Royal Albert Hall (London, UK), the Sydney Opera House (Australia), KKL Lucerne (Switzerland), Hamer Hall (Melbourne), the Symphony Hall (Birmingham, UK) and the Grieg Hall (Norway). In 2013 Paul reluctantly resigned his position from the Black Dyke Band in order to develop his career further.

In 2009 Paul graduated from the University of Salford with a first class honours degree in Popular Music and Recording. It was whilst completing this degree that he developed a keen interest in the recording and production of music. He had already learnt how to play many musical instruments and was now using the knowledge gained to transfer these musical skills into recordings. In 2013, Paul completed a Masters Degree in Music Production at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Paul is in high demand, fully engaged as a soloist and as a producer of music. His eagerly awaited debut album, 'Only Just Begun' released in 2014, is an impressive showcase for Paul as a musician, composer, arranger, producer and a recording engineer.

Stephen Bulla - 2014 Guest Conductor/Composer

Stephen Bulla began his musical instruction at age six, growing up in a musical household where his father played tuba and his mother played piano. He eventually graduated Magna Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied trombone with Phil Wilson and Composition/Arranging with Herb Pomeroy.

In 1980 he won an audition for the position of Staff Arranger to "The President's Own" United States Marine Band and Chamber Orchestra in Washington DC. For the next thirty years he would provide musical scores for myriad White House events, beginning with the Reagan era until 2010.  Working alongside film score legend John Williams he has transcribed music from "Star Wars," "Catch Me If You Can," and "Close Encounters" for performances by the Marine Band with the composer conducting. He has also scored music for the Discovery Channel ("Wings of the Luftwaffe" and "Century of Flight") and PBS television series "In Performance At The White House." Here artists including Sarah Vaughan, The Manhattan Transfer, Mel Torme, Doc Severinsen, Nell Carter, Shirley Jones, Larry Gatlin, and Jordan Sparks performed his arrangements.

His commissioned concert works are performed and recorded internationally. The Dutch, British, Swiss and New Zealand Brass Band Championship organizations have all commissioned test pieces from his pen. According to a recent ASCAP survey his music has been used on the following television programs: CSI Miami, Cold Case, Jag, Joan of Arcadia, Without A Trace, Guiding Light, Ren and Stimpy, 48 Hours, 60 Minutes, and Survivor.

For fifteen years he conducted the National Capital Band (Washington DC), producing several CDs and touring Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and Scandinavia while directing this ensemble. He presently serves as artistic director and principal conductor for New England Brass Band and Brass of the Potomac. Both of these fine ensembles are nonprofit organizations providing music for community events, arts programs, and educational outreach in local public schools.

Stephen Bulla is a member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) and has received that organization's Performance Award annually since 1984. He travels often as a guest conductor for All-State band events around the country.

Diana Herak - Past Conductor

Diana graduated from The Ohio State University with B.M.E. and M.A. degrees in Music Education. While at OSU, she played baritone in the all-brass Ohio State University Marching Band, and currently plays in the TBDBITL Alumni Band. In 2014 she was named as an Assistant Director for the group.

Diana Is a founding member of the following ensembles: All-Star Brass Band, Ohio Collegiate Brass (OCB)/Central Ohio Brass Band (COBB), Athena Brass Band (an all-star women’s brass band), Dublin Cornet Band, and Dublin Silver Band. She also joined the Brass Band of Columbus in 1999.

Diana won the NABBA Adult Slow Melody soloist competition on euphonium in 1996 and on baritone in 2006.

During the 2004-2005 school year Diana took a year leave of absence from her job to experience brass banding in the UK first hand. She had the opportunity to play with a variety of Championship Section bands at many contests (and still returns on occasion to visit and perform). In 2008, Diana was one of four international baritone players to take part in the “Baritones to the Fore” CD, the first CD devoted specifically to baritone solo repertoire.

Diana is currently a middle school strings teacher in the Westerville City School District (Westerville, OH).

Jon Waters - Past Conductor, Guest Artist

Jon Waters has recently been appointed as Director of Bands at Heidelberg University. There, he will serve as a faculty member teaching conducting classes, brass methods classes, marching band techniques classes, tuba and low brass classes, as well as being the primary conductor of the Symphonic Band and the Athletic Band. Prior to his appointment at Heidelberg, Waters served as Director of Marching and Athletic Bands at Ohio State University. Through energy and creativity, the students and he elevated the Ohio State Marching Band to national and international prominence, through creative show design and outstanding musicianship and execution.

Waters has served as guest conductor and clinician around the country, and is a staunch advocate for music education. He is also currently the president of the Dublin Community Bands Board, and he serves as assistant director of the Ohio State Alumni Band. He and his wife Molly reside in Delaware, Ohio with their three children.

Wendy Reeves - Past Conductor

Wendy Bauer Reeves is in her fifteenth year as band director at Sells Middle School, and her eighteenth year as Assistant Director of the Dublin Coffman Marching Band. Prior to teaching middle school band, she taught choir and general music for five years, also at Sells. Mrs. Reeves graduated from The Ohio State University School of Music in 1993, and received her Master of Arts in Music Education from OSU in 1998. While at OSU, she played tuba in concert ensembles and sousaphone in the Ohio State University Marching Band. Also at OSU, she is collecting data for a research project that will eventually lead to a Ph.D. in Music Education. She has conducted honors bands in Ohio, Indiana, and Georgia and has served as a clinician for the Ohio Music Education Association State Conference, the Capital University Complete Band Directors Workshop, the Michigan Music Educators Convention, The American School Band Directors Association, and the National Association for Music Education.

In addition to OMEA, Mrs. Reeves is a member of the American School Band Directors Association. She played Eb tuba in the Central Ohio Brass Band from 1992-2002 and currently plays in the Worthington Civic Band. She lives in Dublin with her husband, Chad, daughters Samantha and Sydney, cats Scarlette and Gray, and dog Roxie.