Adjudicator Panels

Marty Erickson


I would like to welcome you to the adjudication area of the Falcone Festival. You will find that we invite only highly successful teachers and performers who are dedicated to the furthering of the tuba and euphonium to adjudicate both at the preliminary and festival rounds. Great care is taken during each step of the competition to make sure that only the highest standards are upheld, both by the judges and the contestants. Good luck to all!

~ Marty Erickson

2017 Festival Preliminary Round Adjudicators | 2017 Festival Rounds Adjudicators

2017 Festival Semi-Final and Final Round Adjudicators

DR. STACY BAKER, one of our guest artists, will also be adjudicating at the semi-finalist and finalist competitions. Here is Baker's biography.

THOMAS BROKA is retired as coordinator of music for the Bay City (MI) Public Schools. He also taught in Michigan at the Brighton Area Schools and at Haslett Public Schools. A graduate of Central Michigan University and Michigan State University, he has served with the Falcone Festival for more than 20 years and is currently vice president of the board. Active as a tuba and euphonium player, Broka performs with several community bands and is a former member of the Brass Band of Battle Creek.

CHRIS COMBEST is Assistant Professor of Tuba at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, where he teaches tuba and music theory and performs with the MTSU Faculty Brass Quintet. Prior to joining the faculty at MTSU, Combest held teaching positions at the University of Texas-San Antonio, Southern Illinois University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Principal Tubist with the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra and former tubist with the Louisville Orchestra, Combest has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, the US Army Field Band, Dallas Wind Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, Illinois Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, Huntsville Symphony, and various artists including film composer John Williams, Audra McDonald, and the Canadian Brass. He appears on recordings for National Public Radio, the BBC, and Disney and can also be heard on the Polyphonic and Albany music labels. Combest is a Buffet Performing Artist for Melton Meinl Weston instruments.

DR. MARK COX, professor of tuba and euphonium at Central Michigan University, holds bachelor of music and doctor of musical arts degrees in performance from the Eastman School of Music, and a master of music degree in performance from Northwestern University. Cox has performed major concert halls in the US, Germany, and Japan and has performed with numerous international performers. He gives seminars on teaching, performing, including Proper Breathing Techniques for Musicians, throughout the US. Cox’s students include public school teachers and professional performers. His former students have won the Yamaha Young Artists Competition; placed in the artist division of the Leonard Falcone International Competition; are members of “Pershing’s Own” US Army Band; and have performed as soloists around the nation. Mark Cox is a Yamaha Artist.

DR. JAMIE LIPTON is associate professor of low brass at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. She has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, as well as every ITEA conference from 2006-2014. Lipton has won first place in both the Falcone Euphonium Artist and ITEC Euphonium Artist competitions. She has been on faculty at many of the leading American brass workshops. Currently, Lipton directs and performs with several brass ensembles and is principal euphonium in the Natural State Brass Band based in Little Rock, Arkansas. She holds degrees from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and the University of North Texas, and her major professors include Rex Martin, Dr. Brian Bowman, and the late Dr. Vern Kagarice. Lipton is a Willson performing artist.

DR. EARLE LOUDER is retired distinguished professor emeritus of euphonium and tuba from Morehead State University, Kentucky, where he also served as resident-artist for 27 years. Before his tenure at Morehead State, he was for 12 seasons principal and featured euphonium soloist and head of the brass department of the US Navy Band, and he conducted the Navy Band Ceremonial Unit. Louder was a student of Leonard Falcone, and was the first person to complete the doctor of music degree in euphonium performance at Florida State University. He is a permanent faculty member at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. Louder is in great demand as a guest euphonium soloist, clinician, adjudicator, and conductor in the US and internationally. Acclaimed as one of the finest euphonium virtuosos of all time, Louder performs on three low brass instruments – trombone, tuba, and euphonium.

DONALD PALMIRE recently retired from the Army with a total of 30 years of service. He has been an active euphonium soloist, clinician, and educator for more than thirty years. He began his career as a euphoniumist with the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Band at Parris Island, SC, in 1980 and served as euphoniumist with “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band from 1987-1991. He was a euphoniumist and soloist with the Dallas Wind Symphony from 1992-1994 and is the retired Principal Euphonium with “Pershing’s Own” United States Army Band and has also performed with many military bands and symphony orchestras. Palmire attended Florida Community College and the University of South Florida and earned a Master of Music in Church Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. Palmire is an XO Professional Brass Artist and performs exclusively on the XO 1270 euphonium.

DR. GAIL ROBERTSON, one of our guest artists, will also be adjudicating at the semi-finalist and finalist competitions. Here is Robertson's biography.

PHILIP SINDER is professor of tuba and euphonium at Michigan State University whose students are found in performance and teaching positions throughout the US and have won awards in numerous performance competitions. Sinder has performed with ensembles such as the Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, and Houston Symphonies and the Mariinsky Orchestra. He is a founding member of the Brass Band of Battle Creek, and performs frequently with the Lansing Symphony, Michigan Opera Theatre, and the MSU Beaumont Brass Quintet. His solo tuba recording, “Aerodynamics”, has received strong critical acclaim and he has performed on over 20 ensemble recordings. In 2009, Sinder was awarded MSU’s Withrow Excellence in Teaching Award and in 2017 he received ITEA’s Excellence in Teaching Award. He currently serves as chairman for the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Festival, and since 2005 has been a Valade Teaching Fellow at Interlochen Arts Camp.

Preliminary Round Adjudicators for 2017 Festival

Euphonium Artist Division

Joe Dollard • Principal Euphonium, US Navy Band, Retired
Dr. Adam Frey • University of North Georgia, Director of Brass Studies
Donald Palmire • Principal Euphonium, US Army Band "Pershing's Own", Retired

Tuba Artist Division

Dr. Stacy Baker • Professor of Music - Tuba/Euphonium, Morehead (KY) State University
Les Neish • Freelance tuba player; Tuba Tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music
Dr. Joseph Skillen • Galante Professor of Tuba & Euphonium, Louisiana State University

Euphonium Student Division

Dr. Robert Benton • Assistant Professor of Low Brass & Music Theory, University of Nebraska at Kearney
MSgt. Matt Summers • Euphonium, US Marine Band "The President's Own"
SFC Lauren Veronie Curran (SFC) • Euphonium, US Army Field Band, Washington, DC

Tuba Student Division

Dr. David Earll • Assistant Professor of Low Brass, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Dr. Alexander Lapins • Assistant Professor of Tuba/Euphonium, University of Tennessee
Dr. Deanna Swoboda • Assistant Professor of Tuba & Euphonium, Arizona State University

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March 31...Application Deadline
May 1...Semi-Finalists Notified
August 10-13...Festival Competition 

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