Statue of “The Spirit of American Youth, Rising from the Waves”
Normandy American Cemetery
Meet the Staff
Dr. Corey Spurlin
Collegiate Mass Band and Southeast Region Director
Corey Spurlin serves as Marching Band Director, Professor of Music, and Associate Director of Bands at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. In addition to leading the athletic band program, he conducts the Concert Band and teaches courses in wind band literature, conducting, and secondary instrumental leadership. For the past six years, Dr. Spurlin has served as the Southern Division Chair for the National Band Association and, for five years, has served on the College Band Directors National Association Athletic Band Committee.
Dr. Spurlin is also active throughout the U.S. as a conducting and marching band clinician and adjudicator. He is published in six volumes of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, twice in the National Band Association Journal, and he is a contributing author for the marching band textbook The System by Gary Smith. He has presented twelve times at the CBDNA Athletic Band Symposium, co-presented at the Midwest Clinic, presented twice for the Reach Through Music series, and was as a feature guest for Music for All Lunchtime Chats. In addition, he serves as the head drill design clinician and lecturer at the Smith Walbridge Camps at Eastern Illinois University.
Dr. Spurlin earned both is Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music Education degrees from the University of Alabama and earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting from Louisiana State University.
Dr. Craig Aarhus
Southeast Region Assistant Director
Dr. Craig Aarhus is Associate Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at Mississippi State University. At MSU, he co-directs the Famous Maroon Band and basketball pep bands, conducts Wind Ensemble "B," the Concert Band, and Campus Band, and teaches Conducting and Brass Techniques in the Department of Music. He also currently serves as the area coordinator for Music Education in the department. As a member of the band faculty, Dr. Aarhus has been part of a team that has helped lead the band program to unprecedented growth, making it currently one of the largest bands in the Southeast.
A native of Alabama, Dr. Aarhus received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Auburn University and his Master of Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Conducting from The University of Iowa.
The Southeast District of Kappa Kappa Psi recently named their "Outstanding Director/Sponsor" Award after Dr. Aarhus. Other recent honors and awards include the A. Frank Martin Award from Kappa Kappa Psi for excellence in fraternity service (2017), the Clyde Muse Service Award from the MSU College of Education (2015) and the selection to the George Duke Humphrey Faculty Leadership Program (2015). In 2010 and 2011, he was a recipient of the “StatePride” Award for excellence in teaching, research, and service. He has served as a clinician/instructor at the Smith-Walbridge Drum Major Clinics for 19 years, and in that capacity had the opportunity to teach hundreds of high school and college drum majors from across the country. He and his family reside in Starkville and are members of First Presbyterian Church, where he has served as Music Director since 2007.
Dr. Andrea E. Brown
Northeast Region Director
Dr. Andrea E. Brown was appointed the Associate Director of Bands at the University of Maryland in 2018. In this position she conducts the University of Maryland Wind Ensemble, serves as the Director of Athletic Bands, and teaches conducting. Brown is formerly a member of the conducting faculty at the University of Michigan and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
While under her direction, the UMD Wind Ensemble was selected to perform at the 2022 College Band Directors National Association Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore. Brown led a consortium commissioning Omar Thomas’s setting of Shenandoah and participated in commissions for works by Katahj Copley, Catherine Likhuta, and Harrison Collins.
A proponent of inclusion and equity issues in the music profession, Brown is a frequent guest speaker on these topics. She currently serves on the CBDNA Diversity Committee and is a member of the Drum Corps International In Step Committee. Brown is the founder of “Women Rising to the Podium”- an online group of over 4200 members supporting and celebrating women band directors.
Brown previously served on the brass and conducting instructional staff of the DCI World Champion Phantom Regiment (2004 – 2017). Other marching organizations she has instructed include the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band and Carolina Crown. Brown served as a music judge for Drum Corps International in the 2022 season and was nominated to membership of the John Philip Sousa Foundation Sudler Shield Jury in 2021.
Originally from Milan, Tennessee, she recently received a Distinguished Alumni Award both from Austin Peay State University (B.S) and University of North Carolina at Greensboro (M.M., M.M.Ed., D.M.A.). Prior to her position at Georgia Tech, Brown was the assistant director of bands at Austin Peay State University and taught public school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and McKinney, Texas. Brown is a frequent guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator in the US, Europe, and Asia. She resides just outside of Washington, D.C., with her dog Applesauce.
Dr. Corey Pompey
Northeast Region Assistant Director
Corey Pompey serves as Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He succeeded longtime director Mike Leckrone in 2019.
His duties include leading the athletic band program, conducting the concert band, and teaching conducting.
Before UW-Madison, Dr. Pompey was assistant professor of music, associate director of bands/director of athletic bands at the University of Nevada-Reno. Prior, he served as the assistant director of bands at Pennsylvania State University, where he assisted with the Penn State Marching Blue Band and Athletic Bands, conducted the Concert Band, taught undergraduate conducting, and assisted with student teacher supervision.
Dr. Pompey also served as an assistant instructor with University Bands at The University of Texas at Austin. He was involved in all creative and administrative aspects of the program, some of which include The University of Texas Wind Ensemble and The Longhorn Band. Dr. Pompey taught in the public schools of Alabama for seven years prior to moving to Texas.
Dr. Pompey holds the bachelor of science degree in music education and the master of arts degree in music education from The University of Alabama. He earned his doctor of musical arts degree in wind conducting at The University of Texas. Principal conducting teachers include Jerry F. Junkin, Kenneth Ozzello, and Gerald L. Welker.
Professional affiliations include the College Band Directors National Association, the Big Ten Band Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education, Phi Mu Alpha, and Kappa Kappa Psi.
Mr. Brian A. Britt
Southwest Region Director
Brian A. Britt has served communities and universities in Oklahoma and Texas as a band director and fine arts administrator for the past 36 years. Currently, Mr. Britt is the Associate Dean of Research for the Weitzenhoffer Family of Fine Arts, Director of Athletic Bands, and holds the Gene Braught Chair in Music at The University of Oklahoma. Mr. Britt is the Director of “The Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band” and conducts the OU Boomer Campus Band.
Mr. Britt is active nationally as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, lecturer, and consultant. He has presented sessions and served on panel discussions at state conventions for OMEA, TMEA, OBA, TBA, the CBDNA National Convention, and the CBDNA National Athletic Band Symposium. As a conductor, he maintains an active schedule conducting All-Region and All-State bands throughout the southwest and he has appeared as a guest conductor with the OU Wind Symphony at several state, regional, and national conferences.
Mr. Britt, earned both his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music (percussion) degrees from the University of Oklahoma. His professional associations include the Oklahoma Music Educators Association, Oklahoma Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta Mu, Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa, Psi, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Tau Beta Sigma (honorary), and Kiwanis International.
Dr. Cliff Croomes
Southwest Region Assistant Director
Cliff Croomes serves as the Associate Director of Bands and Director of the Longhorn Band at The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to this appointment, Croomes was the Assistant Director of Bands at Louisiana State University and the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Baton Rouge. Previous to his appointment to the faculty he studied at LSU for his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees.
Dr. Croomes also taught at the secondary level as the Director of Bands at Georgetown High School in Georgetown, Texas. Under his baton, the Georgetown Wind Symphony was named a 2014 Mark of Excellence Commended Winner. Earlier in his career Mr. Croomes was the Associate Director of Bands at Douglas MacArthur High School in San Antonio, Texas.
Dr. Croomes earned his Bachelor of Music Studies degree from the University of Texas at Austin and is an alumnus of the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps from Rosemont, Illinois. Croomes is a frequent clinician and adjudicator throughout Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Illinois, New Jeresey and Florida. He has performed with ensembles throughout the United States, London, Paris, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and consulted throughout Japan. Dr. Croomes holds an endorsement with Innovative Percussion Inc. and is a founding board member of the composer diversity initiative “And We Were Heard” as well as a member of the Dr. William P. Foster Project advisory board. Dr. Croomes also holds an honorary membership in Kappa Kappa Psi.
Dr. Troy Bennefield
Northwest Region Director
Since 2014 Dr. Troy Bennefield has served as Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at Washington State University. In this role he oversees all aspects of the athletic bands, is the principal conductor of the Symphonic Band, and assists the Director of Bands with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and instrumental conducting courses. Under his leadership, his ensembles have demonstrated growth both in size and performance quality, with the Cougar Marching Band reaching nearly 250 members pre-COVID for the first time since the early 2000s.
Dr. Bennefield is active as a guest-conductor, adjudicator, clinician, and percussionist, having presented, conducted, or performed in Vietnam, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, and all across the United States. Some of the more notable appearances include the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, CBDNA National Conference, and the IGEB International Conference. Active in the marching arts for almost three decades, Dr. Bennefield has been involved as a performer, teacher, and adjudicator in DCI, WGI, and in several state and regional circuits.
Dr. Bennefield previously held the same position at the University of Houston and also taught band at Alpharetta High School in suburban Atlanta where he was chosen 2007 Teacher of the Year. He earned his Doctorate in Instrumental Conducting as well as a Masters in Percussion Performance from the University of Oklahoma, and a Bachelors in Music Education from the University of Alabama.
Mr. Anthony M. Falcone
Northwest Region Assistant Director
Anthony M. Falcone is the Associate Director of Bands at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His duties include directing the Cornhusker Marching Band, conducting the Symphonic Band, teaching instrumental arranging, and assisting with the administration of all University Bands. He is also active in the Percussion Studio, teaching lessons, and working with the Percussion Ensemble. He has held previous appointments at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville; James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA; and Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. He earned his B.M.Ed. and M.M. degrees from James Madison University where he studied percussion with C. William Rice and conducting with Dr. J. Patrick Rooney. He was also a student of concert artist Leigh Howard Stevens in his intensive Summer Marimba Seminar.
Mr. Falcone is very active as a marching and concert band clinician, arranger, and adjudicator for school music programs throughout the country. He serves regularly as a guest conductor for honor bands and his clinics have been received at several state conventions including TMEA and the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. Arranger’s Publishing Company and Alfred Publications have published his arrangements. He has also performed across the nation as a percussionist and percussion soloist appearing on national television, radio and motion pictures. Locally he is a member of the Plymouth Brass, and a regular performer with the Lincoln Municipal Band, and Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra. He is also an educational artist for Innovative Percussion and Remo Inc. He currently serves as National Vice President for Professional Relations for Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity and has served as Concert Band Chair for the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association and Nebraska Chapter President of the Percussive Arts Society.