CFBA MUSIC DIRECTOR
Conductor of City of Fairfax Band
Robert Pouliot has conducted instrumental and choral groups, musical theater, and jazz bands from the East Coast to the Midwest. Since his appointment as Music Director in 1994, Mr. Pouliot has released three compact discs with the band, secured appearances of world-renowned guest artists, and instituted the band’s annual Young Artists Competition, which to date has awarded $22,000 in scholarships to Northern Virginia musicians. Under his leadership, the City of Fairfax Band was invited to perform for the national convention of the National Band Association in 1996, and in 2002, hosted the Association of Concert Bands annual national convention.
A Rhode Island native, Mr. Pouliot received his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees from the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where he studied conducting with Larry Rachleff, Gene Young, and Jerome Laszloffy. In 1984, he founded Connecticut’s Northeast Chamber Ensemble, a group dedicated to performing works written for chamber winds and small orchestral ensembles. Accepting a commission in the U.S. Air Force in 1986, he served as a band officer and spent the next seven years conducting Air Force concert and jazz bands on community and international relations tours in 15 states and in Central and South America. His time in the Air Force included a nationally televised performance on ABC’s Good Morning America celebrating the Fourth of July, and performances honoring former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. His military decorations include the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Mr. Pouliot is a member of the National Band Association and the College Band Directors National Association. He is a recipient of the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence for his contributions to concert band music in America. In 2015, Mr. Pouliot was recognized with the “John Mason Arts Achievement Award” which recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the development of the arts (dance, music, theatre, literature, visual arts or other art disciplines within the City of Fairfax Community.
CFBA ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR
Leader, Fairfax Swing Band
Rick Parrell is an active performer and teacher of jazz and classical music. After graduating from the Fairfax County school system, he attended George Mason University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees. Mr. Parrell earned his Master of Music Education degree from North Texas State University. After teaching at NTSU for a year, he returned to the Washington, D.C. area to perform in The U.S. Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”). In addition to his service as principal saxophonist in the Army Band, Mr. Parrell freelances in various jazz groups in the Washington, D.C. area and has performed with such notable jazz artists as Lee Konitz, Gary Foster, and Louis Bellson. He is a member of the Washington Saxophone Quartet, a member of the trumpet section in the City of Fairfax Band, and the director of the Fairfax Swing Band. Since 1982, Mr. Parrell has been on the Applied Music Faculty of George Mason University.
March, 2012. Congratulations to Associate Conductor Rick Parrell who was honored by the George Mason University Alumni Association by naming him winner of the “Thomas W. Iszard III Distinguished Alumni Award.”
Main Street Community Band
Geoffrey K. Seffens is a retired Fairfax County Public Schools band director and former member of the City of Fairfax Band. A native of the City of Fairfax, Mr. Seffens graduated from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and served as band director at Sidney Lanier Intermediate School for 28 years. He is a member of numerous professional societies and has performed extensively in and around the Washington area as a trumpeter and conductor. Jeff’s easy rapport with his Main Street musicians and his teaching approach to conducting makes this one of the most popular and collegial community bands anywhere. Jeff also hosts the Honor Flights at Dulles and National Airport where members of both major ensembles volunteer to play music of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s for military service veterans and their families who fly in for a visit to Washington, D.C. to visit the World War II, Korean, and Vietnam Veteran’s Memorials. Jeff enjoys gathering with his band members after rehearsals for snacks and munchies.
Northern Virginia Youth Winds
Denny Stokes is the founding conductor of the Northern Virginia Youth Winds. Prior to assuming this position, he directed high school bands at three schools in Fairfax County, Virginia for thirty-two years, and continues to serve as a clinician, conductor and adjudicator in the eastern United States.
Mr. Stokes attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, receiving his BS in music education, followed by a MM in conducting at George Mason University. He is the only high school band director in the United States to have earned the prestigious Sudler Flag of Honor with two high school bands. Elected to the American Bandmasters Association in 2005, he also maintains professional affiliations with the National Band Association, Music Educators National Conference, Virginia Music Educators Association, Virginia Band & Orchestra Directors Association, Fairfax Band Directors Association and Phi Beta Mu. Mr. Stokes has served VBODA as chairman in two districts and as President of VBODA , and continues as an active past president. In 2011, he was awarded the Sidney Berg Service Award by VBODA.
Mr. Stokes served as band director and department chair at George C. Marshall High School for more than twenty years, leading the band program in performances throughout the eastern and mid-western United States, Canada, England and Wales. In addition to numerous VBODA Honor Band awards, highlights included two performances at the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival, and receiving the Sudler Flag of Honor in 1994. In 1998 Mr. Stokes accepted the position of music department chair and director of bands at James W. Robinson Secondary School. The Robinson bands earned ten Virginia Honor Band awards, and the symphonic band twice performed at the VMEA State Conference. Robinson became the fourth school in Virginia to be named to the VBODA “Hall of Fame,” with 21 Honor Band Awards. Mr. Stokes received his second Sudler Flag of Honor award with the Robinson Symphonic Band in 2005. As at Marshall, the Robinson Bands won numerous concert and marching competition events throughout the eastern United States and Canada.
Northern Virginia Junior Winds
Linda J. Gammon is the director of the NVYW Junior Winds. Prior to assuming this position she directed middle school bands at three middle schools in Fairfax County, VA for over 30 years. She is a native of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine and received her Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts degree in conducting from George Mason University.
Under Ms. Gammon’s direction, her middle school bands earned consistent superior ratings, awards, and enjoyed state, regional and national recognition including four appearances at the 1992, 1993, 2000, 2012 Virginia Music Educators State Conferences and the 1993, 2000 Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. In 1997 Ms. Gammon and the Robinson Middle School Symphonic Band were awarded the prestigious John Philip Sousa Foundation Sudler Silver Cup Award, the highest honor bestowed on a middle school band program.
Ms. Gammon was recently appointed to the position of State Executive for the Virginia Music Educators Association and has served as the VMEA Conference Coordinator, is a Past President of the Virginia Music Educators Association, the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association, and the Fairfax County Band Directors Association. She is a member of NAfME, VMEA, Phi Beta Mu, the American School Band Directors Association, the National Band Association, and the Women Band Directors International Association.
Ms. Gammon is active as an adjudicator, guest conductor, and clinician. Currently she is a a university supervisor for interns at George Mason University. She is a contributing author to the music curriculum “Band Expressions” published by Alfred and “Teaching Music through Performance in Band” published by GIA. She has been recognized twice by the School Band and Orchestra Magazine as one of the “Fifty Directors Who Make a Difference”, awarded numerous National Band Association “Citations of Excellence” and recognized by the Women Band Directors International as the 2003 Scroll of Excellence recipient. In 2007 Ms. Gammon was awarded the Virginia Outstanding Music Educator of the Year Award and in 2014 she was selected as “Band Director of the Year” by her FCBDA peers.
Dr. Thomas Hill was the Music Director of The City of Fairfax Band from 1971 until his retirement in October, 1993. He has been a resident of the city since 1955. He played in the Band during its second season under the directorship of Philip Fuller. Dr. Hill’s wife, Ruth, was the Band’s librarian from 1971 to 1993. A graduate of Boston University and the Catholic University of America, Dr. Hill studied clarinet with Norman Carrel and Robert Marcellus, and oboe with Donald Hefner. He studied conducting with Francis Findlay and Lloyd Geisler. He has taught in the public schools in Massachusetts, Maine and Virginia. Dr. Hill also taught at the American University, and, for 23 years at George Mason University, where he taught instrumental music education and coordinated the graduate music program until his retirement.
City of Fairfax Band
Rich Kleinfeldt enjoys a multifaceted carer in music. In addition to serving as a master of ceremonies for the City of Fairfax Band, he is a teacher, international broadcaster, professional musician, and lecturer. He co-hosts two nationally syndicated radio programs: Wolf Trap’s chamber music series, Center Stage from Wolf Trap, and Indianapolis-on-the-Air, featuring the Indianapolis Symhpony Orchestra. Formerly with the Voice of America as a classical music host, Mr. Kleinfeldt is currently heard around the world on the Maestro Channel of the WorldSpace Satellite Radio network. For twelve years he served as saxophone soloist and master of ceremonies with the U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” in Washington, DC. Mr. Kleinfeldt is a founding member of the Washington Saxophone Quartet, which records on the Americus label, and is currently an adjunct faculty member at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, VA, and at Catholic University in Washington, DC.