Elections 2020

MEET THE CANDIDATES

Members of WMEA: Elections take place February 21 – 28. Watch for your email on the 21st!

President Elect

WADE FRENCH

Positions Statement: I was excited to be nominated by a colleague for president of the Wyoming Music Educators Association. I have been on and off the WMEA board since I came to Wyoming in 2007. I served as district president of the North Big Horn Basin for five years (2012-2016) and as Jazz Education Chair while President of the Wyoming Jazz Educators (2016-2018). During my early years on the board, my children were very little. It was difficult but I was able to balance those board duties with those of being a dad and running a music program. Now that my children are older I feel I can dedicate my time and my years of experience to the office of President and give back to the organization that has given me so much. When I was student teaching in Star Valley in 2004 I had no idea the impact Wyoming would have on my teaching career. I’m honored to be a part of such a tight knit, helpful, and professional organization as WMEA. We have so much to be proud of! In my career I’ve taught band 5th grade through 12th grade, as well as high school choir. I’ve taught in both small and large districts. I have a very good idea what most of us are going through and I’d love to represent you. I’m counting on you to vote for Wade French for President-Elect of WMEA!

Bio: Wade French is currently in his sixteenth year teaching in the public schools having come to Cody in 2009. Ensembles under Wade’s direction have consistently received superior ratings at local and regional competitions. Over the years he has been able to work with a wide variety of performing groups from middle school through collegiate levels working with concert bands, marching bands, pit orchestras, jazz bands, and pep bands. Many of these ensembles have also toured and performed at venues across the Western United States and Hawaii. In addition to conducting, Wade enjoys performing with the Billings Symphony Orchestra, the Northwest College Orchestra, the Northwest College Faculty Brass Quintet, the Wyoming Jazz Educators Big Band, the Big Horn Trombone ensemble, and is currently the director of the Buffalo Bill Band.

Wade is an active clinician and adjudicator for clinics and music festivals and has been honored during his career to be a guest conductor for both the Royal Hawaiian Band stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii and the United States Air Force Concert Band stationed in Washington D.C. He is currently serving as the past president for the Wyoming Jazz Educators Association and is treasurer of the North Big Horn music district. Wade is married to a choral colleague from Wyoming, Carisa (Hilton) French.  Together they have six remarkable daughters who range from ages thirteen to twenty four. With a seventh grader and two tenth graders all at home, the French family is always on the run. The three oldest daughters are going to school and working in Powell, Casper, and Laramie. His family is his greatest joy!

 

BRIAN REDMOND

Position Statement: I am running for WMEA President-Elect for two main reasons. First, being a “transplant” to Wyoming, I feel that I owe WMEA a great debt. Prior to moving here, I knew nothing about Wyoming, but through the connections I have made through the association, Wyoming is now my home, and I hope to be able to repay the welcome I received through my service.

Second, while many of you know me as the band director at Rock Springs High School, prior to this position, I taught in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, teaching K-12 general music, choir, orchestra, guitar, and band. With this wide range of experiences, I believe I bring a unique set of experiences to the board, allowing me to help facilitate the growth of music educators (and music education) across the state of Wyoming. 

Bio: Brian Redmond is in his seventh year as director of bands at Rock Springs High School and fifteenth year teaching overall, having taught music at every grade level from kindergarten to college. In addition to his duties as Director of Bands, Brian serves as the district performing arts department chair, has served as Band Vice-President for the Wyoming Music Educators Association, and is currently working on completing his National Board Certification. He has also been a staff member with the Wyoming Ambassadors of Music, touring and performing in Europe with students in 2015, 2017, and 2019. Brian was selected as the Sweetwater County School District 1 Teacher of the Year in 2017, and was honored as the South Big Horn District Music Educator of the Year and the Phi Beta Mu Bandmaster of the Year for 2020. In his spare time, Brian enjoys spending time traveling with his family and running, hoping to complete a full marathon in the summer of 2020. He is a graduate of the University of Idaho and is proud to call Wyoming his adopted home.

 

Band Vice President

TYNA BENNETT

Position Statement: I am interested in serving as the Band Vice President for the Wyoming Music Educators Association board. I am very passionate about bringing music to students through band. I am excited about the opportunity to bring great clinicians to-All State who will help Wyoming students achieve great musical success but also be better people after their experience.

Bio: Faustyna Bennett currently teaches 6th-8th grade bands at Clear Creek Middle School and 2nd grade general music in Buffalo. She also teaches adaptive music for students with special needs. Tyna has recently started a middle school jazz band and is the assistant director for the Buffalo High School Marching Bison. She graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2011 with a Bachelor of Music Education and recently obtained her Masters in Music Education through UW. Previous teaching assignments include 6-12 choir in Buffalo, 6-12 band, choir, and guitar in Big Horn, and elementary general music in Weld Re-8 schools in Colorado. 

Tyna previously served as the secretary for the Northeast District and the Wyoming Jazz Educators. She currently holds an appointed position on the WMEA board as Membership Chair. She is the recipient of the 2019 Wyoming Music Educators Young Educator of the Year award. When not recruiting students to join middle school band, Tyna enjoys running, doing CrossFit, and being in the Big Horns. 

CHAD ROSE

Position Statement: As a band director in Wyoming for the past 21 years, I have had an opportunity to work in 2A and 3A programs exclusively. I’m excited to bring a small-school perspective to the position of Band Vice-President. I’m also looking forward to helping develop and implement the next series of All-Sate etudes that help grow the auditioning instrumentalist through techniques that are crucial to the development of each specific instrument. Wyoming’s band directors have asked to have etudes that are able to be rehearsed as a group, and I will work with the composer to see that tradition continued. I will also continue to bring new faces with dynamic personalities to the podium to work with our gifted All-State instrumentalists. Thank you for your vote! 

Bio: Chad is currently the Director of Bands at Worland High School. In his 21 years of teaching he has taught K-5 General Music, 6-12 Choir, 5-12 Band in the communities of Wind River, Burns, Tongue River, Buffalo, and Worland. This includes experience with Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, Beginning Guitar, Jazz Choir, Chamber Choir, Men’s Choir, Women’s Choir, Mixed Choir, and Advanced Music Techniques. Chad has served the WMEA previously as Northeast District Vice President, Marching Band Chair, President Elect, President, and Past President. He has served the WJE as Jazz Band Chair and Jazz Choir Chair (2 terms). Chad has also served on the Wyoming Coaches Association board as Golf Representative. He is a 1995 graduate of Niobrara County High School (Lusk), a 1999 graduate of the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education, a 2007 graduate of the University of Wyoming with a Master of Arts Degree in Music Education, and a 2019 graduate of the University of Ohio with a Master of Athletic Administration Degree. He was the 2017 Washakie County School District Master Teacher, a 2019 quarterfinalist for the Grammy Foundation Educator Award, and the 2019 Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Bandmaster. He has served as a guest clinician and adjudicator throughout South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, and Wyoming. Chad is the owner of Imagery Sound Mobile DJ and Party Rental, and is proud to employ more than a few WMEA members. In his spare time he enjoys coaching, golfing, boating, camping, and making music with friends. In 2002 he married up, and his wife Jennifer is finishing her doctorate in Nurse Practice – Midwifery & Women’s Health. His daughter Chloe (12) is a beginning French Horn player, Marshall (9) is a percussionist, and Maverick (7) plays the bass. 

TRAVIS SWANSON

Positions Statement:  I would like to be considered for the WMEA Band Vice Presidency as I want to help serve and be more involved with WMEA. Since moving to Wyoming, I have truly enjoyed seeing the hard work, passion, and excitement of the teachers in WMEA. Prior to moving to Wyoming, I served on the Colorado Bandmaster’s Association’s executive Board for 4 years. I am organized and have 20 years of experience, during which I was the chair for the WSCBA Honor Jazz Band for 11 years. The duties included hiring clinicians, running auditions, and organizing logistics and facilities. I would like to continue the tradition of excellence. 

Bio: Travis Swanson is originally from the Grand Junction, CO. He received a Bachelor of Music Education in 2000 from the University of Northern Colorado and received a Master in Music from Colorado State University in 2009. Travis taught in Paonia, CO, for five years and in which the bands received numerous awards including being selected as one of 18 bands throughout the state to perform at the CBA State Concert Band. In 2005, Travis moved back to Grand Junction and taught 6th-8th grade Band at Orchard Mesa Middle School. The Band program at OMMS received many awards including the Colorado Bandmaster’s Association’s Exemplary Band Award for superior performance. In 2016, the OMMS Jazz Knights were selected to perform at the CMEA Music Educator’s Convention in Colorado Springs. This is highly considered one of the top honors in Colorado. While teaching is a passion for Travis, he also enjoys being in the outdoors, hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping while being married to one of the best music teachers in town, Angela Swanson. It is lucky for Travis that his wife shares the same interests.

 

Secondary Vice President

SHARON REETZ

Position Statement: I wish to be the Secondary Vice President because it will be a great opportunity to learn and discuss with other teachers about the different types of sessions they would like offered at our annual music educators conference. Everyone has different teaching situations and in order to know what sessions to bring to our conference the secondary vice president needs to have a full understanding of the different situations. I am hoping to learn about the different needs and find sessions that will fulfill those needs.

Biography: Sharon Reetz graduated with a Bachelor’s of Music Education in 2009 and her Masters of Music Education in 2015, both degrees from the University of Wyoming.  Sharon has been teaching in Kemmerer, Wyoming the last 11 years.  In Kemmerer, she teaches 5th Grade Band, 6th Grade Band, 7/8th Grade Band, HS Band, 7/8th Grade Choir, and HS Choir. Sharon was Kemmerer Junior-Senior High School teacher of the year in 2018-2019 and looks forwards to many more years in Kemmerer. Sharon served as the Southwest District President for two years and looks forward to helping our state organization as much as possible in the future.

KATRINA ROONEY

Position Statement: I consider it a great honor to run for the office of Secondary Vice-President for the Wyoming Music Educators Association. Having lived and taught in the State of Wyoming for twelve years, I know the music community and its needs well, and am proud to be a part of this group of outstanding music educators. My experience as a former ACDA President, teaching in State of Washington, and serving on the Washington Music Educators Association Board gives me a knowledge of clinicians and educators across the country. I hope to serve you by providing these outstanding educators and clinicians each year for your professional development at the WMEA State Conference.  

Bio: Katrina Rooney is in her twenty-first year as a music educator and has been the director of Choirs and Music Theory at Kelly Walsh High for twelve years. Prior to teaching in Wyoming, Katrina taught elementary music, choir at Hanford High School (Richland, Washington), choir and orchestra at Enterprise Middle School (West Richland, Washington), and directed choirs and vocal jazz as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and taught Music Education and Class Voice courses as an Associate Professor at Central Washington University (Ellensburg, Washington).

She holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Music degree in Conducting, and a Cognate in Music History both from Central Washington University.  She studied conducting with Dr. Gary Weidenaar, Dr. Nikolas Kaoile, and Jazz Studies with Dave Cazier, Vijay Singh, and Chris Bruya. Katrina studied voice with Dr. Linda Marra and Dr. Diane Thueson-Reich. Katrina is a member of National Association for Music Educators, Wyoming Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, and served as the 2014-2016 Wyoming ACDA President.

 

IN-Ovations Vice President

SHEENA DAHMSANIA

Position StatementAfter nine years of teaching music in this wonderful state I’ve called home, it would be an honor to serve you as the WMEA IN-Ovations VP. From Songwriting and GarageBand clubs to the Growlin’ Grizzlies (our 3-5th grade modern rock band), I am committed to finding the best ways to keep music education relevant. I am in constant awe of the ingenuity of music teachers in this state, and want to serve as a liaison between the state level and national level for innovative music education. As a councilmember on the NAfME Council for Composition, I can mobilize Wyoming voices to the people who are impacting the decisions being made at a national level to enhance the diversity and creativity of music curriculum. Let’s work together to keep strengthening the possibility of music education. Thank you for your time, and please vote “Sheena D” for WMEA IN-Ovations VP!

BIO: Born and raised in metro-Detroit, Michigan, Sheena Dhamsania graduated with a BA in Music Education and Bassoon Performance from Michigan State University, where she received the MSU College of Music Outstanding Senior Award. Residing in Wilson, Wyoming, she is in her ninth year of teaching elementary music (Uinta County School District #1, Teton County School District #1), and is the recipient of the 2019 Teton County School District #1 Teacher of the Year Award. 

Sheena’s experience in the realm of IN-Ovations is multifaceted. Her lesson on creating music was published in the textbook Musicianship: Composing in Band and Orchestra, a 2012 GIA publication. She has taught sessions on songwriting and composition at the NAfME annual conference in Dallas, Texas (2017), the Little Kids Rock Modern Band Summit in Fort Collins, Colorado (2018), and the Wyoming Music Educators Association conference in Gillette, Wyoming (2020). She has served on the NAfME Council for Composition since 2014, and still serves for the Northwest region. Sheena also coaches an after-school 3rd through 5th grade rock band club that will rock your socks off! In addition to teaching, she is a freelance musician, teaches ukulele and guitar lessons, and has toured and recorded as a bassist and vocalist. Sheena is passionate about the ways we can keep music relevant and evolving with our students. She hopes to continue to expand the boundaries of music education if selected for the WMEA In-Ovations Vice President position.

GARTH MOLINE

Positions Statement: I am excited at the prospect of serving as IN-Ovations Vice President on the WMEA board. Just as we all have our specific areas of expertise as educators, we can all look forward towards any developing and relevant trends in music education. My goal is to provide opportunities to learn and grow in areas such as contemporary and world musics, education psychology and teaching techniques, music therapy, diversity in the music classroom, and organizing performance opportunities that allow music programs in Wyoming to collaborate and create new experiences together. I do not intend to be the sole influencer of the directions taken as I intend to serve as a listener, facilitator, guide, and collaborator for any ideas you as educators may have as well. I choose to live and work in this state because I believe in who we are and what we are capable of as educators, musicians, and community members. Thank you for your time and consideration!

Biography: Garth Moline is currently in his first year as the 6-12 band instructor in Lovell, Wyoming. He also works at Northwest College where he is responsible for teaching saxophone, the Jazz Guitar Ensemble, and Class Guitar for non-majors on campus. Born and raised in Riverton, Garth attended the University of Wyoming and graduated in 2009 with a BA in Music Education. He spent the next seven years teaching in the Tongue River and Buffalo school systems where he was responsible for a variety of classes in 6-12 band, 5-12 choir, 6-12 percussion, and 6-12 guitar. Garth attended the University of Northern Colorado from 2016-2018 where he graduated with a Masters in Music with an emphasis in Music Education. While his wife finished her doctorate at UNC, he worked at the University Charter School in Greeley, CO and the Windsor Charter Academy in Windsor, CO where he taught high school band, middle school general music, middle school yearbook, and life-skills for high schoolers.