Col. Dennis Layendecker

2024 Festival Clinician

Dennis M. Layendecker D.M.A. / Colonel, USAF (Ret.) is a George Mason University Professor Emeritus of Music having served 12 years as University Heritage Chair in Music, Tenured Full Professor, Director of Orchestral Studies, Professor of Applied Conducting and Classroom Instructor. In addition, from June 2010 through May 2016 he served as Director of the School of Music in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Throughout his years at Mason he conducted numerous orchestral concerts and official events, coached and conducted fully staged operas, and co-produced and conducted Broadway musical productions. Preceding his tenure at Mason, Colonel Layendecker served 26 years on active duty as a commander, career field senior officer, artistic director, conductor, pianist, public spokesperson and educator, military academic instructor, and diplomat for the Nation, Department of Defense, and the U.S. Air Force globally. In July 2002, he assumed command and artistic leadership of the United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C. providing musical and ceremonial support to the U.S. President and his Cabinet, members of Congress and other high-ranking civilian and military leaders nationally and internationally. In December 2007, Colonel Layendecker assumed additional duties as Chief of Music for the Air Force overseeing policy and guidance for 900+ professional Airmen musicians worldwide. During his military career he led more than 6,000 musical performances across the globe in support of public outreach, community relations, troop morale and welfare, recruitment and retention programs for the Air Force and Department of Defense. Colonel Layendecker retired from active duty in August 2009. Prior to his Air Force commission, he served on the faculties of the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Illinois, and Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington. Now approaching 50 years on the conductor’s podium, Dr. Layendecker remains active as a guest conductor / clinician at home and abroad.

Dr. Layendecker has conducted throughout America, the United Kingdom, the European Continent and East Asia. As a participant in U.S. diplomatic efforts overseas, he has guest conducted the most prestigious foreign military bands and civilian choirs from Great Britain, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Japan. He has performed for numerous world leaders including seven American presidents, Queen Elizabeth II, Popes John-Paul II and Benedict XVI, U.S. Cabinet Secretaries and Congressional members, American Ambassadors, Princes, Dukes and Duchesses throughout Europe, thousands of American servicemen worldwide … ultimately reaching millions of listeners around the globe. His radio and television broadcast credits include appearances on BBC 3, German Radio and Television, Polish National Radio, Radio Luxembourg, RAI Italy, American public radio, PBS, and commercial television enterprises nationwide.

Dr. Layendecker is a graduate of Springfield College in Illinois, the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and The Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. He studied orchestra conducting and piano performance concurrently at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Brussels while on a two-year full scholarship awarded by the Belgian Ministry of Culture. Beyond his civilian academic credentials Dr. Layendecker is a graduate of the United States Air Force’s Air War College, a distinguished graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, graduate of the Air Force Academic Instructor’s School, and the Squadron Officer School, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.

Married 44 years to Myriam Tartari of Brussels, Belgium Dr. Layendecker and his wife reside happily in Burke, Virginia, have raised six children, and are proud grandparents.

Dr. T. André Feagin 

2025 Festival Clinician

Dr. T. André Feagin serves as Director of Bands in the Department of Music at Central Washington University. In this position, he serves as administrator of the entire band program that includes the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Wildcat Marching Band, and Pep Band. He heads the graduate wind conducting program and serves as the conductor of the Wind Ensemble, the preeminent wind band at CWU. Under his leadership, the Wind Ensemble was a featured performer at the 2022 College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Western/Northwestern Division Conference and has been selected as a featured ensemble at the 2024 World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensemble (WASBE) International conference in Gwangju, South Korea.

In addition to his role in the department of music, he serves as Dean Fellow of Student Success in the College of Arts and Humanities where his programming and mentorship focus on student academic success, community engagement/building, and creating a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. He currently serves as chair of the diversity, equity, and inclusivity committee in the College of Arts and Humanities. In 2023, Dr. Feagin was the recipient of two President’s Diversity Awards at CWU in the” faculty” and “community” categories, respectively for his work in fostering equity and belonging at CWU and the surrounding community.

Prior to his appointment at CWU, he served on the music faculties of Colorado State University, Coastal Carolina University (SC), and the University of Texas at El Paso. His secondary teaching experience include serving as Director of Bands at Watkins Overton High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (TN).

Dr. Feagin has appeared as a guest conductor with numerous All-state, honor bands, and professional bands and orchestras throughout the United States, Canada, Central and Southwest Europe, and Southeast Asia. As a clinician/presenter, he has been invited to speak on conducting, diversity and inclusivity in music education, and leadership at numerous music educators’ conferences across the United States and around the globe. In 2022 he presented at the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) international convention in Prague, Czech Republic.

In 2004, Dr. Feagin was one of three nationally selected conductors to perform with the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America in the inaugural Young Composer/Conductors Mentor Project sponsored by the National Band Association. In 2012, he was one of three nationally selected conductors to perform with the United States Academy Band at West Point during the Association of Concert Bands National Convention. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including twice a national finalist in the professional/college wind band division of the American Prize contest. In 2011, he was honored with a proclamation of “Professor T. André Feagin Day” from the Mayor and City Council of El Paso, Texas. Dr. Feagin has served as a teacher resource guide contributing author in four volumes of the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series (GIA Publications).

Dr. Feagin holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in wind conducting from the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music where he was a student of the late Gregg I. Hanson. His doctoral research studies Spanish wind composer Bernardo Adam Ferrero and his wind composition Homenaje a Joaquín Sorolla. He holds a Master of Music degree in instrumental wind conducting from the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. He is grateful for his mentors and teachers that have shaped his passion for conducting and music education. Among them are Gregg I. Hanson, Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Kraig Alan Williams, Thomas Cockrell, Bruce Chamberlain, Pat Morrow, Darry Pilkington, and Sallie Vines White.

Dr. Feagin holds professional memberships in the National Association for Music Education, College Band Directors National Association, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, Washington Music Educators Association, Patron of Mu Phi Epsilon, and honorary memberships in both Tau Beta Sigma and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He currently serves on the diversity, and research committees of the College Band Directors National Association and serves on the advisory board of Emergence: Research & Performance Topics in Black Music, the scholarly publication of the National Associations of Negro Musicians, Inc.

Dr. Feagin’s experience in Drum Corps International (DCI) and the marching arts expands two decades. Previous appointments include serving as brass caption head of the Santa Clara Vanguard and The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps. He has served on the brass staff of the Boston Crusaders, Carolina Crown, and is the former executive director and brass caption head of the 2007 DCI Division III World Champion Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps. As a performing member, he served four-years as conductor of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. He was the recipient of the DCI Jim Jones Leadership Award in 2000 and the DCI Division III Director of the Year Award in 2007. Dr. Feagin served on the educational staff for the United States Army All-American Marching Band from 2009-2015 and 2018. He led the organization as head director in 2013, 2014 and 2018.

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