Conductors for the 2015 Wind Band Conference
Timothy Mahr holds a B.M. degree in composition and a B.A. degree in music education from St. Olaf College and a master’s degree in trombone performance and a D.M.A. in instrumental conducting from the University of Iowa.
An internationally acclaimed composer, Dr. Mahr received the 1991 Ostwald Award in the ABA Band Composition Contest for his composition The Soaring Hawk. He was elected to the American Bandmasters Association in 1993. Formerly director of bands at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and founding conductor of the Twin Ports Wind Ensemble, Dr. Mahr is the principal conductor of the Minnesota Symphonic Winds and is active as a clinician and guest conductor nationally and internationally. Recent commissions have come from the United States Air Force Band, the Music Educators National Conference, and the American Bandmasters Association. Twenty-five of his works have been published, with many released on compact disc recordings and included on state contest lists.
Dr. Mahr is a past-president of the North Central Division of the College Band Directors National Association (1999-2001), has served on the Board of Directors of the National Band Association (1996-98) and was a founding board member of the Minnesota Band Directors Association.
David Thomas Kehler
Since 2009, David Kehler has served as Director of Bands at Kennesaw State University where he oversees all aspects of the University’s band program while serving as Music Director and Conductor of the KSU Wind Ensemble.
An advocate of new music, Professor Kehler has commissioned leading composers to write new works for wind ensemble including Michael Markowski, Joel Puckett, James Stephenson, Christopher Theofenidis, and an upcoming commission by Pulitzer Prize winner, Joseph Schwantner. In addition, the KSU Wind Ensemble has been featured on 90.1 FM (WABE- Atlanta public radio), and continues to garner praise from composers including Steven Bryant, Karel Husa, David Lang, David Maslanka, Scott McAllister, and Joel Puckett. In 2012, the KSU Wind Ensemble was a featured ensemble and hosted the Southern Division College Band Directors /National Band Association Conference. In 2013, the KSU Wind Ensemble was the winner of the 2013 American Prize for best Wind Ensemble/Concert Band performance in the United States. In addition to his ensemble responsibilities, Dr. Kehler teaches courses in instrumental conducting, wind literature and symphonic repertoire.
Assistant Professor of Music, Dr. Abel Saldivar Ramirez holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from UCLA. After serving as the Acting Director of Bands at the University Of Illinois School Of Music, the world’s oldest and largest band program, in 2008/2009, he subsequently served as an Associate Professor of Music and Assistant Director of Bands. In 2012, Ramirez accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Music and Conductor of the Del Mar College Wind Ensemble. .
Dr. Ramirez' musical knowledge, teaching experience, and artistic conducting expertise is diverse. He has conducted countless wind ensembles and symphony orchestras, opera, and numerous musicals. In addition, Ramirez maintains a highly active schedule as a consultant, clinician, and adjudicator for wind bands, orchestras, marching bands, and jazz bands from across the United States and abroad.