Meet Our 2017 Inauguration Heritage Festival Adjudicators

The Inauguration Heritage Festival only happens every four years. On January 20, 2017, students have the opportunity to be in the nation’s capital for this historic event, then perform at an adjudicated festival!

At our 2017 Inauguration Heritage festival, students will perform before a panel of nationally-renowned adjudicators and listen to student musicians from all around the country. Students will also attend WorldStrides OnStage’s Special Inauguration Dance and Awards Dinner and enjoy lots of sightseeing.

Let’s meet the adjudicators for the 2017 Inauguration Heritage Festival:


Ken Dye

Director of Bands and Professor of Music at the University of Notre Dame. His writing activities have produced over 1,800 works for band and orchestra performed throughout the U.S. and overseas.

Carl Strommen

Adjunct Professor of orchestration/ arranging and composition in the Graduate School at LIU Post. His publishers include Warner Bros., Belwin, Alfred, Carl Fischer, Barnhouse, Kendor, Heritage and Smart Chart. His compositions and arrangements are performed worldwide. Read our interview with Carl Strommen.

Amy Mills

Now a sought after composer and conductor, she is former Music Director of LaCrosse Symphony Orchestra in Wisconsin, former Music Director of the U.S. Air Force Band, Orchestra, and Chorus and Founder of National Women’s Symphony in Washington, D.C.


Marti Newland

Core Lecturer in Music Humanities at Columbia University, and a 2014 Ph.D. alumna of the Columbia Ethnomusicology program.  She specializes in voice studies and African American music.

Donald Brinegar

Professor of Music, Coordinator of the Music Department and Director of Choral Studies at Pasadena City College and adjunct Professor of Graduate Choral Conducting at the University of Southern California.  He directs the Three Summer Masters in Choral Conducting at CSULA where over one hundred graduate conducting students from seven countries and twenty-one states have studied with Brinegar in the last ten years.

Pat Patton

Retired Choral Director at Casper College and current Director of the Gillette Chamber Singers. In 1996, he was the recipient of the Wyoming Music Educators Association’s Outstanding Educator Award, and the Outstanding Music Educator Award by the National Federation Interscholastic Music Association.

Curious about the venues for the 2017 Inauguration Heritage Festival? Learn more about them below!


Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center

Located in Alexandria, Virginia, the Schlesinger Center contains a 1,000-seat multi-purpose theater for music, theater, dance, and public forums and seminars. The theater accommodates many performances and events for various departments at Northern Virginia Community College.

Hylton Performing Arts Center

Located in Manassas, Virginia, ensembles will take the state at Merchant Hall, a 1,123-seat opera house with a 100-foot stage and orchestra pit. Its thoughtful design provides an intimate experience and the perfect setting for a variety of genres – symphonies, dance, opera and theatre.

Learn more about our 2017 Inauguration Heritage Festival and see the rest of our Inauguration programs.