2017 All State Conductors

Karel Butz

ALL STATE Junior Orchestra

Karel Butz is the Head Orchestra Director at Beckendorff Junior High School in Katy, Texas. He previously taught orchestra in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (Houston, Texas) and Carmel Clay Schools (Carmel, Indiana) in addition to serving as adjunct violin faculty at Purdue University. His orchestras have performed at The Midwest Clinic and are consistent UIL Sweepstakes Winners, Texas Honor Orchestra State Finalists, and National Honor Orchestra Winners in the Foundation for Music Education Mark of Excellence Competition. He is a frequent guest conductor, lecturer, and clinician around the country.

His music is published by Musica Propria, Inc. and has been performed at several venues including The Midwest Clinic, Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, Kentucky All State Orchestra, South Africa’s Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival, Indiana University String Academy, and the National Association for Music Education Eastern Division Conference. Mr. Butz is also a string pedagogy author for Oxford University Press.

Mr. Butz has performed in several orchestras, including the National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, and Spoleto Festival USA. He has served as associate instructor for string techniques and music theory at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. In addition, he taught violin for the Indiana University String Academy, Bands of America Summer Symposium Orchestra Division, and the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute.

Mr. Butz received both his Bachelor of Music Education degree and Master of Music degree in violin with high distinction from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where his principal violin instructors were Nelli Shkolnikova and Mimi Zweig. He completed doctoral coursework in music education at Indiana University.



 Christopher Cicconi


Dr. Christopher M. Cicconi is Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Towson University. Conductor of the Towson University Symphonic Band, he also teaches courses in conducting, methods of teaching instrumental music in secondary education, and brass methods. Prior to his arrival in Maryland, Cicconi earned a Doctoral of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Miami, where he was awarded a Henry Mancini Fellowship. Previously, Dr. Cicconi served as Director of Bands at Pine Crest School (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Power Ranch Elementary and Middle School (Higley, AZ), and Payne Junior High School (Chandler, AZ).

As an orchestra conductor, Cicconi has held positions and guest conducting appointments with orchestras in the United States, Argentina, and China. Most recently, he served as associate conductor with the Broward Symphony Orchestra, the Ars Flores Symphony Orchestra, and the Walenstein Youth Symphony. Dr. Cicconi completed a Master of Music Education degree, with an emphasis in Instrumental Conducting, from Arizona State University, and earned a Bachelor of Music Education Degree (summa cum laude) from Youngstown State University. He is a member of College Band Directors National Association, Florida Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Pi Kappa Lambda, and an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma.



 Lori Hetzel

All State Senior Women’s Chorus

Lori Hetzel is the Associate Director of the School of Music, Associate Director of Choral Activities and Full Professor of Choral Music Education at the University of Kentucky where she conducts the UK Women’s Choir and the ever-popular a cappella group “Paws and Listen”. In addition to her conducting duties, Dr. Hetzel supervises student teachers and teaches undergraduate methods and choral conducting courses where she has pioneered a unique partnership program with area high schools and middle schools, allowing undergraduate students to begin classroom teaching early in their curriculum and gain true ‘hands on’ experience.

Hetzel is a contributing author to the new textbook Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success. She has been the recipient of the University of Kentucky Great Teacher of the Year award; a finalist for the Provost Awards for Outstanding Teaching; and the winner of the Robert K. Baar Choral Award, “given to one choral director in the state who exhibits outstanding leadership in choral music and promotes music education in the state of Kentucky.” Lori Hetzel earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Wisconsin/Green Bay, the Master of Music degree from the University of Missouri/Kansas City, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University.

Dr. Hetzel serves as Artistic Director of the Lexington Singers Children’s Choir and conducts the LSCC Chamber Choir. In 2014, the Chamber Choir was invited to perform at the American Choral Directors Association Southern Division Convention in Jacksonville, FL, where they premiered the Raymond W. Brock Memorial Commissioned piece by Alice Parker. In 2016, they were invited to perform at Carnegie Hall with the Choirs of America Festival where they will have a solo performance.



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 Alexander Jiménez

All State Senior Orchestra

A conductor and pedagogue, Alexander Jiménez serves as professor of conducting and director of orchestral studies at the Florida State University College of Music, one of the leading music programs in the United States. Under his direction, the University Orchestras have become recognized among the most important orchestral training programs in the U.S.

A dynamic and versatile podium presence, Jiménez has appeared with orchestras throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, including engagements in Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Israel. The University Philharmonia and the University Symphony Orchestra (USO), under the direction of Dr. Jiménez, have championed new music and collaborated with such composers as Krzysztof Penderecki, Martin Bresnick, Anthony Iannaconne, Christopher Theofanidis, Ellen Taafe Zwilich, Chen Yi, Zhou Long, and Ladislav Kubik.

In 2007, the USO was featured in the PBS special Peanuts Gallery®, which was awarded Best Performance of 2007 by the National Educational Telecommunications Association. Jiménez has recorded with the Mark, CBC/Ovation, Col Legno, Neos, and Naxos labels. In 2014 Naxos released the USO’s recording of the Dohnányi Symphony No. 2 and the world premiere recording of Dohnányi’s Two Songs for Baritone and Orchestra. Dr. Jiménez has accompanied many of the world’s leading artists covering a wide variety of genres, including Lynn Harrell, Denyce Graves, Christopher O’Reily, jazz great Marcus Roberts, the Canadian Brass, Scotty Barnhart, and Joshua Bell.

Jiménez serves as a guest conductor, teacher, and adjudicator with youth orchestras and adjudication panels. Since 2009, he has served on the international jury panel of the European Festival of Music for Young People in Neerpelt, Belgium, and in 2013 was named International Festival Ambassador. From 2010-2012 he served as president of the College Orchestra Directors Association and since 2000 he has served as music director of the Tallahassee Youth Orchestras. Jiménez is the recipient of a Florida State University Teaching Award, and has been nominated for the Distinguished Teaching Award.





 Henry Leck

All State Junior Chorus

Henry Leck is a professor emeritus in choral music at Butler University, where he served on the faculty for 27 years. He is the Founder and Conductor Laureate of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, which is in its 30th season. The touring choirs of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir have performed regularly for national ACDA, MENC (now NAfME), OAKE and AOSA Conferences. Additionally, the ICC tours internationally every year and has sung throughout the world. Mr. Leck recently arranged and conducted the national anthem for Kelly Clarkson and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir at the Super Bowl XLVI as well as “Back Home Again in Indiana and God Bless America” at the Indianapolis 500.

In the state of Indiana, Mr. Leck is the founding conductor of the Indiana Children’s All State Honor Choir, and founded and conducted the Indiana Middle School Honor Choir. Mr. Leck has conducted Mixed, Men's, Women's, Junior High and Children's All State choirs and festival choirs in nearly every state; he is a frequent conductor of regional and national honor choirs. On three occasions he has conducted National Honor Choirs for OAKE. For twenty-two years, he has conducted National Youth Choral Festivals in Carnegie Hall. Mr. Leck has just been named Artistic Director of the Music for All National Choir Festival, and has conducted many international festivals. He has served as the U.S. Jurist for the first Xinghai Prize International Choir Championships and as an international lecturer for the International Symposium on children and youth choral music in Guangzhou, China. He has been a jurist in Malta, at the Musica Sacra a Roma, and at the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia.

Mr. Leck has received many honors, including the Sagamore of the Wabash and the State of Indiana Distinguished Hoosier Award. He and the choir received the Indiana Governor’s Arts Award, the highest honor one can receive in the arts in Indiana. Recently Mr. Leck was named a recipient of the Lowell Mason Fellows Award, the highest award given by the National Association for Music Education. He was named Outstanding Hoosier Musician in 2016 by IMEA. He is a recipient of the NUVO Lifetime Achievement Award and the Indiana Historical Society Indiana Living Legend Award.

Mr. Leck is widely known as a specialist in choral techniques, the child's voice, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Laban and the boy's changing voice. He has produced four teaching videos titled Vocal Techniques for the Young Singer, The Boy’s Expanding Voice: Take the High Road, Creating Artistry through Movement, Dalcroze Eurhythmics and Creating Artistry with the Male Maturing Voice. He was a lead author for the choral textbook series published by McGraw Hill/Glencoe titled Experiencing Choral Music and is the lead author of a new series of textbooks entitled Voices in Concert. He is also the editor of two nationally known choral series published by Hal Leonard Corporation and Colla Voce, Inc. He has recently written a textbook titled, Creating Artistry through Choral Excellence. Mr. Leck received his training from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, the University of Colorado, and Indiana University.





Jim McFalls

All State Jazz Band

After his seventeen-year worldwide touring stint with the US Army Jazz Ambassadors, Jim retired from the military in 1998 to find a variety of projects awaiting him. As a freelance musician, he has performed in a diverse array of situations. These included a three-year run with Chuck Brown and appearances with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Harrisburg Symphony, and the Kennedy Center Orchestra.

Jim's recording credits include a 2008 Latin Grammy Award with Dave Samuels (best Latin Jazz recording), a release as a co-leader on the Dreambox Media label with Denis DiBlasio, scores of projects as a featured soloist, and national television spots. Currently, Jim is a member of the internationally renowned Capitol Bones and Technicolor Motorhome, voted by Baltimore Magazine in 2011 as the area's best tribute band.

Jim has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien with Thievery Corporation, a Washington DC-based techno band, and he continues to perform extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

Today, Jim serves as a trombonist and educator. He has performed and recorded with Dave Liebman, Lee Konitz, Conrad Herwig, Slide Hampton, Ingrid Jensen, Clark Terry, Jim Ridl, Gary Thomas, Eddie Daniels, Christian McBride, Michael Feinstein, Ron Blake, Dave Samuels, Jeff Coffin, Carl Fontana, Matt Wilson, and Toots Thielemans.

In addition to his performance and travel schedule, Jim is a full-time member of the Jazz and Commercial Music Studies faculty at Towson University, and serves on the faculty of numerous summer jazz camps.

Jim guest conducts county, district, and All State jazz ensembles in the Mid-Atlantic region. He also appears at high schools and colleges throughout the country as a Buffet Group USA performing artist that plays exclusively on Antoine Courtois Paris trombones.





 Rebecca Phillips

All State Senior Band

Dr. Rebecca Phillips is the Director of Bands at Colorado State University, where she conducts the CSU Wind Symphony and guides all aspects of the band and graduate wind conducting program. Prior to this appointment, she served as the Associate Director of Bands, Director of Athletic Bands, and Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina, where she was responsible for directing the Symphonic Winds Concert Band, “The Mighty Sound of the Southeast” Carolina Marching Band, “Concocktion” Pep Bands, teaching undergraduate instrumental conducting, and directing the Carolina Summer Drum Major Clinic.

Dr. Phillips has served as a guest-conductor, clinician, and performer throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. She regularly conducts collegiate honor bands and All State bands across the United States and she has been a rehearsal clinician at the Midwest Clinic: An International Band and Orchestra Conference. Ensembles under her direction have been featured at the College Band Director’s National Association Southern Division Conference (CBDNA), the Society of Composers International Conference, and the North American Saxophone Alliance International Convention. Dr. Phillips believes in treasuring the traditional wind music of the past as well as promoting cutting edge works of today’s finest composers.

As a trombonist, Dr. Phillips’ performances can be found on several internationally distributed recordings. She has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, U.S. Army Band (Pershing’s Own), the Tallahassee Symphony, and the Tampa Bay Opera Orchestra. She has also performed internationally, and has toured as a trombonist with Johnny Mathis and Barry Manilow.

A native of New Carrollton, Maryland, Dr. Phillips was selected by audition to be in MMEA All State bands all six years that she was eligible for membership in those groups (grades 7-12). After being invited to conduct the 2017 Maryland All State Senior Band, when Dr. Phillips was asked if she had been in the Maryland All State Bands, her reply was immediate and concise: “In February of 1985, I was last-chair trombone in the Junior Band. In 1986, I was first-chair trombone in the Junior Band, with Don Smith conducting. In 1987, I was first-chair trombone, with Dan Cohen conducting. In 1988, I was first-chair trombone with the Senior Band with Richard Strange conducting. In 1989, I was first-chair trombone with Don Wilcox conducting, In 1990, I was first-chair trombone with Larry Rachleff conducting.”

Dr. Phillips earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from The Florida State University, Master of Music degrees in conducting and trombone performance from the University of South Florida, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees in conducting at Louisiana State University. She served as a secondary school band director for seven years in Florida.

Dr. Phillips holds memberships in the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, and in 2014 she was elected into the American Bandmasters Association. She has served on the national CBDNA Collegiate Marching Band committee, the CBDNA Music Education committee, and is currently the NBA College/University Representative.



 Paul Rardin

All State Senior Mixed Chorus

Paul Rardin is Elaine Brown Chair of Choral Music at Temple University, where he conducts the Concert Choir, teaches graduate conducting, and oversees the seven-choir program at Temple’s Boyer College of Music and Dance. He is also Artistic Director of the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. Rardin previously taught at the University of Michigan and Towson University, where his choirs appeared with the Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Baltimore Choral Arts Society. His choirs have performed for NCCO national conference and ACDA division conferences. In 2015, the Temple University Concert Choir performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Bernstein’s MASS under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and in 2016 the ensemble performed Bach motets with Helmuth Rilling.

Rardin has served as a guest conductor for All State choirs in sixteen states, for divisional honor choirs for the ACDA and MENC (now NAfME), and for Manhattan Concert Productions at Lincoln Center. He has presented clinics for state, regional, and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association. His engagements for 2016-2017 include guest conducting All State high school choirs in Maryland and Colorado, and conducting Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass at Carnegie Hall with Manhattan Concert Productions.

Rardin is a graduate of Williams College and the University of Michigan, where he received the M.M. in composition and the D.M.A. in conducting. He has studied conducting with Theodore Morrison, Jerry Blackstone, and Gustav Meier, and composition with Leslie Bassett, George Wilson, and Robert Suderburg. He has also participated in conducting master classes with Helmuth Rilling, Charles Bruffy, and Dale Warland. His arrangements of spirituals and folk songs are published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and his articles, many on the topic of contemporary music, have appeared in the ACDA publications Choral Journal, Troubadour, Resound, and Bel Canto. Rardin lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife, Sandy.