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Discipline Headliners

Nathan Rødahl

Nathan Rødahl is a rising star in the world of orchestra education and conducting. Nathan is a trained violinist and conductor who enjoys performing alongside his career as a dedicated classroom teacher. Nathan is serving his second consecutive term on the NAfME National Council for Orchestra Education and Pedagogy where he represents all northwest educators in bringing a renewed vitality to the world of orchestra education. Nathan is the Director of Orchestras at Port Angeles High School in Washington where he works to address emergent needs in small town rural education and advance music education as an integral community partner. Nathan also directs the Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestra, and is a frequent guest speaker and conductor in the northwest. Nathan sees music education as the ticket for any student to reach beyond what is possible: to deepen their love of music, to attain scholarship in higher education, to travel the world, and to connect to a community of musicians united by a common language.

Aileen Miracle

Aileen Miracle is in her 25th year in education. She spent 24 years teaching elementary music in both Michigan and Ohio, before starting a new position in her district this year, as the Unified Arts Curriculum Supervisor. Aileen received her Bachelor of Music Education from Central Michigan University in 1999, and her Master of Music in Music Education from Capital University in 2003; she completed her masters studies at the Kodály Institute in Kecskemet, Hungary. Aileen has served as President of the Tri-City Kodály Educators in Columbus, President and Treasurer of the Midwest Kodály Music Educators of America, and has chaired and co-chaired several OAKE conferences. Aileen has taught Level I Methodology and Folk Song Research for Colorado State University's Kodály Program, Level I and III Methodology and Folk Song Research for DePaul University's Kodály Program, and Level III Methodology and Folk Song Research for Capital University’s Kodály Program. In 2016, Aileen was awarded “Teacher of the Year” at Cheshire Elementary. She has presented at OAKE Conferences, and currently presents workshops across the nation and around the world. She enjoys sharing music education ideas through her blog, Aileen’s Music Room, and her podcast, The Music Room. Her family includes her 19-year-old daughter Jenna, who plays flute, guitar, and ukulele, and is an English major at Ohio University, and her 11-year-old daughter Macy, who loves to Irish dance!

Zachary Buie

Dr. Zach Buie is Assistant Professor of Trumpet and Music History at Boise State University. Prior to accepting this position, Dr. Buie was on faculty at Western Wyoming College where he taught applied brass and directed the symphonic and jazz bands. Hailing from Hallsville, Texas, Dr. Buie has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Central America in various genres. He has performed with the Utah Symphony, Macao Orchestra, Helena Symphony, and is a former member of the Waco and Round Rock Symphonies. He has also performed with the Dallas Winds, Utah Festival Opera, Imperial Brass of Dallas, Brazos Valley Symphony, Utah Metropolitan Ballet, and several commercial groups. From 2010 to 2014, he toured with Soul Track Mind, a 7-piece original soul/funk band based in Austin. Featured on three of their albums as a trumpet player, arranger, and songwriter, Dr. Buie and the band were recognized by The New York Times as leaders in the resurgence of soul music. As a soloist, he has collaborated on commissions and performances of new works by Dr. Lynn Petersen, Dr. Anne Guzzo, Dr. Nathaniel Eschler, and Everette Minchew. He champions new music by composers in the Mountain West and is active as a recitalist throughout the region. Recent solo appearances include performances with the Utah Philharmonia, Carroll College Jazz Ensemble, and Sul Ross State University Wind Ensemble. In recent years, Dr. Buie led a public-school band program including junior high and high school ensembles in Marfa, Texas. He has presented masterclasses at numerous institutions worldwide. He serves as a clinician for the MusAid Organization, which supports El Sistema-inspired programs in several developing countries. Dr. Buie received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Texas at Austin, his Master of Music from Baylor University, and his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Utah. His principal teachers include Travis Peterson, Tim Andersen, Dr. Chris Carrillo, Ray Sasaki, and Wiff Rudd. Dr. Buie is an endorsing artist for Conn-Selmer. For more information, visit

Derrick Brookins

​​Derrick Brookins has served the students, parents, and communities in Texas Music Education for more than 30 years. Dr. Brookins’ teaching experience spans a vast range of elementary and secondary choral music, from kindergarten to collegiate. Brookins has served on the faculties of Travis Jr. High, Williams High School, Plano Senior High School, and Klein Oak High School. In addition, Dr. Brookins has served administratively as Dean of Music for a public charter school, (K-12), as well as an Adjunct Professor of Choral Music for The University of Texas- Dallas. Dr. Brookins currently serves as Director of Choral Music for Braswell High School, in Denton, TX. A native of Fort Worth, Dr. Brookins has studied and completed degrees from the University of North Texas, Concordia University, and an Ed.D. from North Central University. For thirteen years, Mrs. Brookins studied under and performed with world-renowned choral musician Moses Hogan. As a choral music performer, Mr. Brookins has performed on four continents and for several European royal families and two US Presidents in venues such as the White House and the Sydney Opera House. He is a highly sought-after choral clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States. He has presented several educational workshops for the Texas Choral Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Southwestern American Choral Directors Association, and the National American Choral Directors Association. Under Mr. Brookins’ direction, Choirs consistently receive Sweepstakes Awards at the UIL contest and are named “Best in Class” at several choral festivals throughout the United States. Dr. Brookins’ choirs have had the honor of being invited to perform and represent the State of Texas at the following conventions: National MENC Convention in San Antonio (2005), the National American Choral Directors’ Association Convention in Miami, FL (2007), Dallas, TX (2013), and Minneapolis, MN (2017). Dr. Brookins’ choirs have been invited twice to perform for the Texas Music Education Association Convention in San Antonio, TX, in 2009 and then again in 2017. Dr. Brookins has twice been an awarded repentant and named Teacher of the Year. Brookins is also a recipient of the Honorary Life Membership Award from the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers. Dr. Brookins has served and demonstrated his leadership ability as the Multicultural Choral Music Chair for the Southwestern American Choral Directors Association and for the Texas Music Educators Association, both Regional and Area Vocal Chairman position for more than fifteen years. Dr. Brookins has also served the membership of the Texas Music Educators Association as the 2017-2019 Texas State Vocal Chairman. Dr. Brookins presently holds professional memberships with the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, American Choral Directors Association, the Texas Music Adjudicators Association, and the National Society of Leadership and Success.

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