Instrumental Emphasis

(Strings, Brass, Woodwinds & Percussion)

Daily Festival Activities Include:

  • Festival Orchestra Rehearsal
  • Sectionals led by Faculty
  • Faculty / Student Chamber Groups Rehearsal
  • Private Lessons and Chamber Coaching
  • Evening Activities – Performances and Entertainment

Faculty - Strings/Orchestra

Amber PetersonDr. Amber Dahlen Peterson is an assistant professor of music at Southwestern College, the Mazie Barnett Kilmer Chair for String Education, and the conductor of the South Kansas Symphony.  She oversees the Southwestern College Youth Symphony, coaches the Williams String Quartet, and teaches viola and violin, string methods, and music fundamentals. Amber holds music education degrees from Case Western Reserve University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She also completed Suzuki Violin teacher training at Cleveland Institute of Music.

Prior to coming to Winfield, Amber taught orchestra in Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and Iowa and played violin and viola in many regional symphonies. Her research has appeared in Contributions to Music Education, Arts Education Policy Review, and American String Teacher. Amber has been an active presenter for numerous state and national conferences, including American String Teachers Association, American Educational Research Association, Symposium on Music Teacher Education, and the NAfME Research and Teacher Education National Conference. Her specializations and research interests include music teacher education, string education, and music cognition and psychology.

Faculty - Instrumental/World Music

Jeremy KirkJeremy Kirk is active as a performing artist, clinician, and adjudicator throughout North America and is currently Associate Professor of Music at Southwestern College (Winfield, KS) where he serves as Director of Bands, Percussion, and Music Education.  At Southwestern, Kirk directs the Band program, Percussion Ensemble, Drumline, African Drum & Dance Ensemble and teaches courses in Percussion Techniques, Applied Percussion, and Music Education.  Kirk has appeared at notable events such as the National Association for Music Education National Conference, Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Kansas Music Educators Association Conference, West Virginia Music Educators Association Conference, and various PAS Days of Percussion throughout North America.  He frequently tours to universities and high schools to present recitals, master classes, and clinics on topics such as contemporary multiple percussion, marimba, orchestral percussion, timpani, marching percussion, percussion ensemble, world percussion, effective practice habits, and mental performance preparation.  He has been blessed to share the stage with renowned musicians including percussionists Michael Burritt, She-e Wu, Dave Samuels, Ney Rosauro, and Arthur Lipner; country music artists Sarah Evans and Kathy Chiavola; bluegrass legends Ralph Stanley and Jim & Jesse Reynolds; and groups including the Huntington Symphony Orchestra, Manheim Steamroller, and Flat Baroque (Mostly) Marimba Quartet.  

Kirk serves on the Percussive Arts Society Technology Committee and is currently working on several commissions for percussion ensemble and solo percussion.  He previously served as Director of The Presidents Drum & Bugle Corps, Percussion Caption Head of The Presidents, Director of Bands & Percussion at Coffeyville Community College, Instructor of Percussion at Marshall University, and has taught in the public schools of West Virginia and Kansas.  As an educator, Professor Kirk is deeply committed to providing students the skills necessary to excel in today's world as an educator and/or performer.  Kirk combines his traditional training in Western percussion instruments (snare drum, keyboard percussion, timpani, drumset, multiple percussion, marching percussion) with his extensive knowledge in world percussion including Ewe drumming, Shona mbria, North Indian tabla, Japanese taiko, Javanese & Balinese gamelan, and Caribbean steel pans to create a unique global perspective in his teaching and performing. 

He holds a Masters Degree in Percussion Performance from Marshall University and Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Glenville State College. His previous teachers include Leigh Howard Stevens, (marimba), She-e Wu (marimba), John McKinney (percussion), Ben Miller (percussion), Steve Hall (percussion), Mark Zanter (composition), Paul Balshaw (conducting and composition), Joe Porcaro (drum set), and Paschal Younge (African drumming and dance ).

Mr. Kirk is an artist, clinician, and consultant with Majestic Percussion, Mapex Drums, Vic Firth Sticks & Mallets, Sabian Cymbals, Remo Drumheads & World Percussion and Black Swamp Accessory Percussion, and holds memberships in the Percussive Arts Society, College Music Society, College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, and Kansas Music Educators Association. 

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