ABOUT LVA BAND
Las Vegas Academy of the Arts (LVA), comprised of approximately 1700 students, is a five-star, arts magnet school in the Clark County School District. Our programs of study include majors in the performing arts (music, theatre, dance), visual arts (2-D, 3-D, Graphic Design, Photography, Video Production) and liberal arts (Spanish, French, Japanese). In 2013, the Arts Schools Network named LVA the "Outstanding Arts School in the Nation" and awarded us the "School of Excellence" medallion for 2014-2016.
The Las Vegas Academy Band Department is a part of a Grammy-award winning music program that allows students to participate in comprehensive activities that include instruction in brass, guitar, percussion, piano, strings, vocal, woodwinds, basic musicianship, history, music technology, theory, and world music. Students learn through daily instruction, quarterly ensemble performances, festivals & competitions, and solo performance events.
BRIAN DOWNEY is currently a music teacher at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. LVA is an arts magnet school in the Clark County School District servicing students from one of the largest school districts in the country. His responsibilities there include teaching the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Brass Methods, and Co-Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Downey is a graduate from the University of New Mexico where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. (1995) He later earned a Masters in Arts from Southern Oregon University through the American Band College. (2005) While in college, he was Bass Trombonist in the Santa Fe Symphony for three years, first call substitute for the New Mexico Symphony, as well as playing many other jobs on call. Mr. Downey is currently in his 21 st year teaching. Early in his career, he taught in El Paso, TX, and Rio Rancho NM. For the past 18 years, he has taught in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, NV, and has been at the Las Vegas Academy for the past 11 years. During his career, Mr. Downey has received many accolades as a teacher, and his ensembles have been recognized for their excellence both regionally, and nationally. A few of his individual awards include being named Teacher of the Year for the Southeast Region of CCSD, (2005) and String Band and Orchestra Teacher that Makes a Difference for the state of Nevada. (2005)
Mr. Downey has had great success during his career as a teacher with his groups receiving high ratings and honors both locally and nationally. During the past decade as director of the Las Vegas Academy Wind Ensemble, his groups have performed at numerous festivals and events. A few of the most prestigious events include performing as a feature ensemble at the Western International Band Clinic in 2012 and attending the Music for All National Concert Band Festival in 2011. The band was also named the outstanding Wind Ensemble at the Heritage Festival of Gold in Los Angeles in 2012. The ensemble has also done concert tours which include performing at Avery Fisher Hall in New York with trombonist Joe Alessi as a feature artist, performance exchanges in Nevada, Southern California, Northern California, Hawaii, and in March of 2016 the ensemble is traveling to Spain to play part in a feature performance in Barcelona. In addition, the Wind Ensemble will combine for a performance in Zaragoza with the Zaragoza School for the Arts. The LVA wind ensemble has also performed several times as guests of the UNLV Wind Ensemble, most recently being October of 2015.
Mr. Downey has also had an impact as co-founder and co-director of the Las Vegas Academy Philharmonic Orchestra. This is a true collaboration between the wind program and the orchestra program to create an outstanding group. Under the direction of Karl Reinarz and Brian Downey, this group has performed twice at the prestigious Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. (2009,2014). The ensemble has also performed at the Music for all National Orchestra Festival in 2007, the ASTA conference festival in 2008, and was named outstanding orchestral ensemble at the Heritage Festival of Gold in Los Angeles in 2012. Mr. Downey has also been instrumental in guiding the group on concert tours and performances since its inception in 2005.
Mr. Downey is a large proponent of forwarding the advancement of Wind Band literature. The Las Vegas Academy has been an active participant in commissioning new works for the modern wind band. Mr. Downey through LVA has commissioned and premiered several works from Anthony Labounty. Currently LVA is part of a consortium that commissioned a work for band from Peter Gryc from the Hartt school. Mr. Downey is currently a board member of A.S.P.I.R.E. A group of college and secondary educators engaged in a long term project to enlist some of the best composers of our day to write music for wind ensemble. The group is led by Glen Adsit from the Hartt School of music.
Additional conducting experiences in Mr. Downey’s teaching career have been a 6-year term as co-director for the Las Vegas Youth Symphony. (2002-2008) Mr. Downey served as president of the Clark County Band Director Association’s from 2001-2003, and as President for the Nevada Music Educators Association from 2003- 2009 Recently, Mr. Downey has served as an adjudicator and clinician for middle school and high school festivals. He judged the New Mexico District VII band festival in 2015, and has served as a clinician for ensembles in Clark County and the southwest.
JOHN SEATON serves as the Associate Director of Bands at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, conducting the Wind Symphony, co-conducting the Symphony Orchestra, and teaching Woodwind Techniques, and Music Theory. As a saxophonist, Mr. Seaton has performed multiple times with both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Las Vegas Philharmonic, and has performed concerti as a soloist with both the Wright State University Chamber Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra, the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra, and The Desert Winds. Additionally, he has given recitals across the United States and on the international stage, including performances at multiple North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) Conferences, the U.S. Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) State Conference, the Blue Wisp Jazz Club, and both a solo and quartet recital of world premieres at the 2012 World Saxophone Congress XVI in St. Andrews, Scotland.
Consistently in demand as a guest clinician and private instructor, Mr. Seaton has previously taught applied saxophone lessons for the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, district-wide clinics for the Clark County School District, and high schools across the United States. Students under his instruction have been accepted into the saxophone studios at the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, Youngstown State University, Wright State University, the Interlochen Saxophone Institute, and the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. An avid writer, he has been published multiple times by The Instrumentalist magazine with articles including “Adjusting Saxophone Fingerings” and “The Art of Teaching Saxophone: An Interview with Timothy McAllister.”
Outside of the classroom, Mr. Seaton serves as the Associate Conductor and Principal Saxophonist of The Desert Winds: A Contemporary Wind Ensemble, which recently traveled to perform at The Midwest Clinic in 2016. The organization features a roster of performers that include many local music educators, students and freelance musicians. Since its debut, the Desert Winds has reached thousands of people through both inspiring performances and educational programs.
Mr. Seaton holds an M.M. in Saxophone Performance with Program Honors from the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University and a B.M. in Music Education, summa cum laude, from the Wright State University School of Music. His primary teachers include Timothy McAllister and Shelley Jagow.
Mr. Seaton is a Conn-Selmer Artist and D’Addario Artist Clinician, performing exclusively on Selmer Paris saxophones and D’Addario reeds.
KAREN CAMUGLIA is a Milwaukee native whose greatest joy is being a Mom. She had a career as a computer consultant/trainer/client manager with Quality Systems, Inc. and was based in Southern California. She worked with dental and medical offices across the U.S. and after many years of traveling she met her husband Rosario. They eventually moved to Las Vegas and have been here for almost 25 years.
She continued to work as a trainer in the dental field, but when they had their two sons, she was fortunate to be home with them as they were growing up. Volunteering in the schools, PTA, and helping out in the band room turned into a position as an instructional assistant at Hyde Park. After a year she moved to LVA's band department where both of her sons were attending. That was 12 years ago and she is still here.
Both of her sons graduated from LVA's band department, hold degrees in music performance and are pursuing careers in music. Their education and experiences at LVA have shaped them both. "I feel very fortunate to be a part of the school and the music department here at LVA. I may no longer have any of my children attending the academy, but there is nowhere else I would rather be. I feel like my purpose is to be there for the band students (and directors)...and I have the best job in the world."