Dr. Michael Alexander - joined the faculty of Baylor University in 2006 after 22 years of teaching orchestra in the public schools of Houston, Texas. His duties at Baylor include supervising string student teachers, instruction in classroom string pedagogy, directing the Baylor String Project and conducting the Baylor Campus Orchestra.
Alexander's musical education includes: Bachelor of Music Education (Southwestern University), Master of Music (Sam Houston State University), and Doctor of Musical Arts (University of Houston). He has studied conducting with Kenneth Sheppard , B. R. Henson, Franz Krager, William LaRue Jones, Robert Culver, and Marvin Rabin.
Alexander is in demand as a clinician/conductor and has conducted 25 Region Orchestras in Texas as well as All-State / Honor Orchestras in Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico (twice), North Dakota, Oregon, and South Carolina. He has presented clinics in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, San Antonio, Chicago, Boston, Savannah, Cincinnati, New York, et al.
Alexander is co-author of the "Orchestra Expressions" string series published by Alfred Publishing and "Expressive Techniques for Orchestra" published by Tempo Press. His research focuses on classroom applications of string pedagogy and has been published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, UPDATE: Applications of Research in Music Education, the String Research Journal, Texas Music Education Research, the American String Teacher, and the Southwestern Musician.
During his 22-year tenure as Director of Orchestras at Stratford High School the Stratford Symphony was twice named the Texas Honor Orchestra (1994, 1997) by the Texas Music Educators Association and earned sweepstakes ratings at regional festivals the last 17 of those years. Alexander led the orchestra to invited performances in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, New Orleans, Orlando, Innsbruck, Austria and, in 2000, as the resident orchestra for the conducting master classes at the International Workshops in Glasgow, Scotland.
Alexander has served as President of the Texas Orchestra Directors Association and Vice-President of the Texas Music Educators Association. He has also served as Chairman of the Committee on School Orchestras and Strings for ASTA w/ NSOA. From 1994-2001 Alexander served as Conductor for the Houston Youth Symphony-Philharmonia Orchestra and he has served as Principal Conductor of the Waco Symphony Youth Orchestra since 2006.
Alexander was the first recipient of the Houston Symphony School Bell Award for Excellence in Teaching and, in 1994 and 2006, named Teacher of the Year for Stratford High School. He has received letters of commendation from the City of Houston, the Texas Music Educators Assn., Spring Branch ISD, a Citation of Merit from ASTA/NSOA, and, in 2002, the Elizabeth A.H. Green Award from ASTA/NSOA. In 2006, Alexander was named the Outstanding Alumni in Music Education from the University of Houston and, in 2012, was named Orchestra Director of the Year by the Texas Orchestra Directors Association.
Alexander is active in the Episcopal Church and is devoted to his wife, Suzanne, and their three children: Reed, William, and John.
Royce R. Coatney - After receiving his Bachelor of Music Education from TexasTech University in 1972, Mr. Coatney began his teaching career in Hereford ISD and then began the string program in the Grapevine–Colleyville ISD. In 1979 Mr. Coatney became the Orchestra Director at LamarHigh School in Arlington, Texas and for the 26 years he was at Lamar, the orchestras consistently earned UIL Sweepstakes Awards and Outstanding Orchestra Awards at Festivals throughout the country. The Lamar High School Symphony Orchestra was selected the 2004-2005 Texas Music Educators Association Honor Full Orchestra after having ranked in the final top eight orchestras in the competition for many years. Mr. Coatney has been guest clinician for several region orchestras and adjudicator of the Texas All State Orchestra Auditions, Oklahoma State Orchestra Contest and many concert, sight-reading and solo/ensemble contests in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas. As an active member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Orchestra Directors Association, and Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Mr. Coatney has served on many committees and held several offices during his career, including Region V Orchestra Chairman and Vice President of the Texas Music Educators Association in charge of the Orchestra Division in 1989–1991. Mr. Coatney is a founding member and Past President of the Mu Omicron Orchestra Director Fraternity. He is also the recipient of the Texas PTA Life Membership Award and was named the Orchestra Director of the Year for 2006 by the Texas Orchestra Directors Association.. Teaching and organizing the University of Texas at Arlington Summer Strings Camp with Mrs. Coatney has been a part of past summer vacations; however, he enjoys spending most of his summers on the golf course. Since retiring in May 2005, he has been doing much more guest conducting, adjudicating and golfing.
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Karrell J. Johnson - holds a Bachlor's degree in viola from The University of Texas at Austin and a MME from the University of Illinois in Urbana. His major viola studies have been with Albert Gillis, Paul Rolland, and John Garvey. He studied orchestral conducting with Alexander Von Kreisler and Bernard Goodman.
Mr. Johnson's public school teaching began in Wichita Falls and continued in Freeport, where he implemented the orchestra program in the Brazosport School District. He was on the faculty at the University of Georgia from 1969 to 1973 teaching applied viola, chamber music, music education, string pedagogy, and conducting. He was the violist in the University of Georgia Faculty String Quartet, Faculty Baroque Ensemble, and also served as associate conductor of the University Symphony. Mr. Johnson's extensive background as a soloist and ensemble performer includes performances in Texas, Geogia, South Carolina, Ohio, California, and New York. He has performed the Walton viola concerto with the Shreveport Symphony as winner of the Shreveport Symphony Competition and has performed chamber music in Carnegie Hall. From 1973 to 1989 he served as director of fine arts in Dallas ISD. Karrell has served as principal violist of the Wichita Falls Symphony for 25 years, and during the 1995-1996 season was named interim artistic director and conductor. He has served on the faculty of the University of North Texas in string education since 1996 and is director of the University String Project. as a conductor of all-state and all-region orchestras, violist, educator, clinician, and adjudicator, he is highly respected throughout the United States.
His active membership in TMEA, ASTA, and TODA exemplifies his strong support for and leadership in music education.