Very Young Composers Project

Jon Deak

Jon Deak was born in Hammond, Indiana, on April 27, 1943. He was educated at Oberlin College, the Juilliard School of Music, the University of Illinois, and, as a Fulbright Scholar, at the Conservatorio de Santa Cecilia, in Rome. He is currently enjoying his second year as Composer-in-Residence with Colorado Symphony under the Meet the Composer Residencies Program, which includes the Colorado Children's Chorale and Denver Public Schools. He is also Associate Principal Bassist and Creative Education Associate of the New York Philharmonic, as well as Resident Composer of the Apple Hill Chamber Players (New Hampshire) and the Grand Teton Music Festival (Wyoming). His training includes work in the visual arts, and he was active in the "performance art" movement in New York's Soho district.

His compositions have been performed at music festivals worldwide and by such institutions as the New York Philharmonic, National, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Seattle, New Jersey, Atlanta and Colorado Symphonies, Rochester Philharmonic and major chamber groups around the country. Recent commissions include a string quartet concerto for the Manchester Quartet performed by both the National and New Jersey Symphonies and a work for the 150th anniversary of the New York Philharmonic. His Concerto for Contrabass and Orchestra ("Jack and the Beanstalk") was nominated for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize by the National Symphony.

Jon Deak has become particularly noted for his successes in bringing new music to young people. His interest in children is such that he now teaches a composition class in the public school that his own children attend in New York City. An avid wilderness mountaineer, he has led climbing expeditions into the Canadian Rockies, Alaska and the Himalayas. He was Chairman of the New York Philharmonic Artistic Advisory Committee, which helped select Kurt Masur as the Philharmonic's Music Director. He also participated in Leonard Bernstein's historic Freiheitskonzert (freedom concert), in what was then East Berlin on Christmas Day, 1989, an event which he regards as one of the musical highlights of his life.


Sandra Weyers, General Music Teacher

She has taught elementary and secondary music for 27 years in the Stevens Point public and private schools. She has received the Herb Kohl Teacher Fellowship Award in 1995. She is an executive board member on the North Central Wisconsin Orff Schulwerk music chapter. She is a member of the Music Education Committee on the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra. She has played keyboards in three CWACT fall musicals and currently accompanies many school choir concerts and community music festivals. 


Schuyler Gardner, General Music Teacher

Prior to coming to Stevens Point, she taught in the Appleton Public School District. Schuyler also taught music theory and sight-singing classes through the Lawrence Academy of Music. She spent 4 years as manager for the Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir program. Last summer Schuyler served as the choir coordinator/director for the Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth’s Accelerated Learning Program. She is a section representative and council member of the White Heron Chorale and was a member of the Wisconsin Music Education Association’s steering committee. 


Emily Kiefer, General Music Teacher

Emily currently teaches elementary general music in the Stevens Point Public School District; she previously taught K-12 general and instrumental music in the Gresham School District for four years. A member of the National Association for Music Education, she has performed in community bands and flute choirs in the Green Bay area, as well as in many pit orchestras. She is also an accompanist for school concerts and community music festivals.  


Planning Committee

Robert Rosen, Associate Prof. of Music & Project Director

He will manage the overall administrative responsibilities of the project. He has taught public school music in North Carolina and was for 16 years on the faculty of the North Carolina Governor's School, a program for gifted and talented HS students. Along with his clarinetist wife, he created the Uwharrie Clarinet-Percussion Duo. Supported by grants from the NEA the duo has performed throughout the USA. For the past 26 years he has been on the faculty of the Music Department at UWSP. He has been a member of the percussion section of many orchestras.

Charles Young, Prof of Theory/Composition/Electronic Music

His works have been performed by members of most major orchestras in the US as well as some of the world’s foremost soloists and chamber ensembles. His works are widely published and recorded. In 1999, the Carnegie Foundation and the Council named him “Wisconsin Professor of the Year” for the Advancement and Support of Education. The University of Wisconsin system named him as the recipient of their University of Wisconsin System Teaching Excellence Award in 2000.

Judy Bond, Prof. & Coordinator of Music Education

She has presented workshops and courses for teachers across the United States and in Canada, Europe, and China. In 1990 she was Co-Director of the International summer Course at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria. Judy served on the Board of the American Orff Schulwerk Association for ten years, and also served as National Conference Chair and President. She is an author of SHARE THE MUSIC and SPOTLIGHT ON MUSIC, two widely used music textbooks for K-8 published by Macmillan/McGraw-Hill.

David Story Assistant Prof. of Music

He received his M.M. in performance from Western Michigan University where he studied with Tom Knific as a graduate fellow. He earned his B.M. in performance from UWSP under virtuoso Catalin Rotaru. He has also received training in the Suzuki Bass Method from Virginia Dixon. He is a two-time semifinalist in the International Society of Bassists classical soloist competition. While a graduate student at WMU, he received three Downbeat awards as a member of the Kruiziki Transatlantica Quintet.

Brendan Caldwell

Brendan Caldwell is the Director of Bands for the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point where he conducts the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band and teaches courses in conducting and music education. Mr. Caldwell’s prior teaching appointments include a two-year residency at the University of Dayton (Ohio) where he served on the conducting faculty and at Lee High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he served as Director of Bands for four years. Caldwell’s education has taken him across the country starting in Alexandria, Virginia, where he attended Bishop Ireton High School. He then attended LSU receiving a degree in Music Education, University of Colorado where he earned a Masters degree in instrumental conducting and finally the University of Minnesota where he is finishing doctoral work in conducting.

Brendan Caldwell has been active as a clinician and adjudicator for fourteen years and continues to guest conduct and speak throughout the country on topics ranging from music education to youth leadership. All the while receiving high praise from composers and audiences alike. Caldwell’s teachers include Craig Kirchhoff, Allan McMurray, James Byo, Michael Butterman, Frank Wickes, and Garwood Whaley.