VERENA MÖSENBICHLER-BRYANT, conductor
Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant serves as Associate Professor of the Practice of Music at Duke University, Director of the Duke University Wind Symphony, Director of Undergraduate Studies for the music department, and Artistic Director & conductor of the Durham Medical Orchestra. Verena grew up in Eberschwang, Austria. She began piano lessons at the age of 6, continuing later with church organ, flute, and bassoon. Her conducting debut at age 16 was followed by a three-year fundamental conducting course taught by Johann Mösenbichler. Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant then studied symphony orchestra conducting with Ingo Ingensand at the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz, Upper Austria, and received her bachelor’s degree, with distinction, in 2005. She completed her Master of Music in 2007 with Kevin Sedatole at Michigan State University. Verena graduated in May 2009 with her DMA in Wind Ensemble Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin where her principal conducting teacher was Jerry Junkin. Professional engagements have included three years as the conductor of the Hofkirchen community band, conducting the youth band of Eberschwang, conductor of the UNCSA Wind Ensemble and she currently serves as Executive Director of the World Youth Wind Orchestra Project (WYWOP), and the World Adult Wind Orchestra Project (WAWOP) of the annual Mid-Europe festival in Schladming, Austria (www.mideurope.at). Verena serves frequently as cover conductor for the North Carolina Symphony, and as guest conductor and clinician across the United States, Japan, as well as in her native Austria.
PHILLIP RIGGS, conductor
Phillip Riggs, 2016 Grammy Music Educator of the Year, teaches at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Durham, NC. Phillip is a recipient of the Exceptional Contribution in Outreach Award presented each year by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors for his work with music education programs throughout North Carolina.During the summer, Phillip serves as a guest conductor for the World Adult Wind Orchestra Project (WAWOP) in Austria. He is co-founder and conductor of the NC Youth Wind Ensemble (Durham) and the Wachovia Winds (Winston-Salem). Phillip was the first faculty member inducted into the Reagan High School Hall of Fame in 2016. Mr. Riggs has served on the NCMEA board as President of the NC Band Directors Association, technology chair, and founding chair of the mentor committee. He was the coordinator of the NAfME Wind Ensemble at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (2011, 2012). He currently serves as the Southern Division Representative on the National Association for Music Education Council for Band. Phillip is an active clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States, Europe, and China.
WALT MARTIN, ensemble manager
Walt Martin has played alto, tenor, and baritone saxophone in and around Durham NC since 1995. He played with The Village Band in Chapel Hill, NC for six years serving three terms as president. As a baritone saxophonist he has played with the UNC Bands, the UNC Saxophone Studio, the Chapel Hill Philharmonia, the Triangle Wind Ensemble (substitute), the Triangle Jazz Orchestra and played in the pit orchestra for performances of “Cabaret” and “Company” with the University of North Carolina Pauper Players. For the last 11 years he has performed with the Duke University Wind Symphony and participated in the World Adult Wind Orchestra Project, part of the Mid-Europe International Wind Music Festival in Schladming, Austria.
In 2009 Walt started the North Carolina Saxophone Ensemble. This 501(c)(3) non-profit group of professional and advanced amateur musicians have played both local concerts and at the US Navy International Saxophone Symposium held every year in Washington, DC. Walt along with three members of the NCSE have formed the Bull City Saxophone Quartet which has performed at the North Carolina Botanical Gardens, the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and participated in master classes at UNC-Greensboro’s Saxophone Day. Both groups have commissioned new works for saxophone ensembles.
As the player of a large instrument Walt has researched air usage and its effective management. This information, in the form of a short masterclass, has been presented to wind studios at the University of Georgia, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Chapel Hill, Vance-Granville Community College, Maryland University, Duquesne University, the US Navy International Saxophone Symposium, and the 2015 World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg, France.