Honor Band Clinicians
Steven D. Davis
Director of bands and wind ensembles, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Steven D. Davis is a lauded, versatile and cosmopolitan conductor who has inspired ensembles around the world. In constant demand as a guest conductor, he has conducted across four continents, working with ensembles in cities such as Bangkok, Beijing, Lisbon and Sydney, and he regularly conducts in his favorite city, Kansas City.
Davis has worked to break down barriers as a conductor by leading performances across many genres. He has been celebrated as a conductor of wind ensembles, orchestras, opera, ballet and cutting-edge new-music ensembles. In addition to conducting symphonic repertoire of historically significant composers, such as Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler, Schoenberg and Stravinsky, Davis is fervently committed to performing new repertoire. This commitment has been praised by prominent contemporary composers including Robert Beaser, Chen Yi, John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Osvaldo Golijov, Stephen Hartke, James Mobberley, Narong Prangcharoen, Bernard Rands, Paul Rudy, Steven Stucky, Frank Ticheli and Zhou Long.
Davis currently serves as professor of conducting and conductor of the Conservatory Wind Symphony at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance. In this role, he has initiated numerous collaborations with other artists and genres, including dance, theater, visual art and film. A number of world premieres have been dedicated to the ensemble during Davis’ tenure as artistic director.
Davis is a proud advocate for music education and has been a guest lecturer, conductor and clinician at music and music education conferences across the world. Most notably, he has performed at five Midwest Clinics in Chicago, and has led a myriad of All-State ensembles across the United States. His most recent guest conducting and teaching engagements include the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Beijing Modern Music Festival and the Texas All-State Symphonic Band. Davis has for many years served on the orchestra and wind ensemble conducting faculty of the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp.
Davis is now in his ninth season as the conductor of the Youth Symphony of the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra. Under his direction, the Youth Symphony has performed at the Kansas and Missouri Music Educators Association conferences and the Midwest Clinic. In June 2016, Davis will lead the ensemble on a tour of Ireland.
Davis is also the resident conductor of newEar, Kansas City’s premier new music ensemble. As a respected conducting pedagogue, he annually hosts the Kansas City Conducting Symposium at UMKC, one of the largest conducting symposiums in the country. He has received many awards and honorary memberships in professional organizations.
Adam V. Fontana, DMA
Director of instrumental music, Bethel College
Adam V. Fontana is the new director of instrumental music and an assistant professor of music at Bethel College. At Bethel, Fontana conducts the Wind Ensemble and Philharmonia Orchestra, and teaches courses in music and music education.
Fontana graduated in May 2016 with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance, where he studied conducting with Steven D. Davis and served as a graduate teaching assistant of the bands at the conservatory. At UMKC, Fontana managed the Conservatory Wind Symphony and Wind Ensemble, assisted with instruction of undergraduate conducting courses, and taught undergraduate woodwind methods. He also served as the Conducting Fellow for the Youth Symphony of the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra for three seasons. In March 2015, Fontana presented his research on Stanislaw Skrowaczewski’s Music for Winds at the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) conference in Nashville.
Fontana was the conductor and founder of the Hudson Valley Chamber Winds (HVCW), a professional ensemble based in New York’s Hudson River Valley. Under Fontana’s direction, HVCW collaborated with local music students and community organizations and was selected to perform at the 2012 CBDNA Eastern Division Conference at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
As a clarinetist, Fontana is a three-time performer in Carnegie Hall, with the Juilliard Orchestra (under the direction of Marin Alsop), the Hartt Wind Ensemble and the National Collegiate Wind Ensemble. He also appears as a clarinetist on the Hartt Wind Ensemble’s Naxos recordings, Raw Earth and Dragon Rhyme.
Fontana has nine years of public school music teaching experience in New York and Connecticut. He holds additional degrees in music education and conducting from The Hartt School, Columbia University Teacher’s College and SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. He has previously studied conducting with Glen Adsit, Dr. Dino Anagnost and Dr. Timothy Topolewski, and clarinet with Dr. Alan Woy and Thomas Scott.