This site provides information about the OMEA District 4 and District 7 Honors Festival, which is hosted by the Cleveland State University Department of Music the second weekend in November. At this site, you will find information on the clinicians, an events calendar, and the nomination forms for the Honors Choir and the two honor bands. 

Use the links above to navigate the site.



Falcon Band

Captain Shanti C. Simon is the Flight Commander for the United States Air Force Academy Band. Prior to her arrival, she was the officer in charge of the Air Force Strings, Airmen of Note and Max Impact with The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C.

Capt. Simon was commissioned in October 2011 from Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. She has conducted performances with The USAF Band in the national capital region and around the country including the 2011 National Tree Lighting Ceremony with the Airmen of Note hosted by President Obama and the First Family.

Before joining the Air Force, Capt. Simon earned her MM and DMA degrees from the University of Minnesota where she studied with Craig Kirchhoff. She received her BME and BM degrees from Stetson University in Florida with Bobby Adams. She also served as the Associate Director of Bands at Vero Beach High School in Florida for four years.

In the summer of 2009, Capt. Simon was invited by the Peter Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation and Herrenhaus Edenkoben to participate in the International Master Course and Workshop for Conductors and Composers with professors Peter Eötvös and Zsolt Nagy in Edenkoben, Germany. In 2010, she spent a month in Paris at the European American Musical Alliance summer music program studying conducting with Mark Shapiro.

Viking Band

Dr. Birch Browning, Cleveland State University
Dr. Birch Browning is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Cleveland State University. He is also Music Director of the Cleveland Winds, a professional-quality wind band based at CSU, which was awarded The American Prize in the Band/Wind Ensemble Performance—community & school division, 2015. The Cleveland Winds performed at the OMEA Professional Development Conference in February 2017. Dr. Browning taught high school band and orchestra in Florida prior to earning a Ph.D. in Music Education with an emphasis in Wind Conducting at Florida State University.

Dr. Browning serves as Associate Editor of OMEA’s research journal, Contributions to Music Education, and is a member of the College Band Director’s National Association Research Committee. Dr. Browning has given clinics, conducted wind bands, and presented his research findings at numerous state, national, and international venues, and he will serve as a guest clinician at the Florida State University Tri-State Band Festival in December 2016. In December 2016, Dr. Browning will lead a panel discussion on the the democratization of large ensemble rehearsals at the MidWest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. Dr. Browning's book, Becoming a Musician-Educator: An Orientation to Musical Pedagogy, was be published by Oxford University Press in April 2017.

Honor Choir

Timothy Stalter is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Iowa where he conducts the premier choral ensemble, Kantorei, The University of Iowa University Choir, teaches graduate advanced conducting, and oversees the graduate program in choral conducting and pedagogy. Prior to coming to the University of Iowa, Dr. Stalter was assistant director of choral activities at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, director of choral activities at the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point, and assistant professor of music at Goshen College (IN).

He received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in choral conducting under Robert Fountain, his masters from the University of Illinois—Urbana in choral music under Don Moses, and his undergraduate degree in voice performance from Goshen College.

Dr. Stalter is particularly interested in researching issues relating to the teaching of conducting to undergraduate and graduate students, contemporary British choral music, and historical musical performance. He is a frequent guest clinician in the United States and is an active member with the American Choral Directors Association.

In addition to conducting and teaching choral music, Dr. Stalter is active as a tenor soloist in the United States and abroad, specializing in music of the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods. He is widely known for his performances as the Evangelist in the Passions of J.S. Bach and Heinrich Schütz. Among his credits are appearances as tenor soloist with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in France, the Robert Shaw Chamber Choir in Atlanta, the Classical Music Seminar and Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. He has also served as the tenor soloist in Haydn’s Creation for the International Cathedral Music Festival in Oxford and London, England and as the Evangelist in J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. Dr. Stalter has also recorded as soloist with Robert Shaw on two compact discs (Amazing Grace and Songs of Angels) released on the Telarc label and with Albany Records (Monsterology) as a conductor and soloist of contemporary music.