Our 2020 Adjudicators

Timothy Anderson

Timothy Todd Anderson has been at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 2011. He is the director of the over 380 member, award-winning Minuteman Marching Band. Dr. Anderson previously served as the Associate Director of Bands at California State University, Fresno for five years. In addition to his marching band responsibilities, Dr. Anderson also directs the Pep Band, the Concert Band, teaches Marching Band Techniques and conducting, and works with student teachers. During the summers, Dr. Anderson is the conductor of the Amherst Community Band. He is a frequent clinician and guest conductor with school band programs throughout New England. Dr. Anderson holds the Bachelor of Music from the University of Iowa, the Master of Music in Wind Conducting from the University of Florida, and the Doctorate of Education in Music Education from the University of Illinois. His career began as an instrumental music teacher in the West Marshall Community School District of State Center, Iowa. Dr. Anderson resides in Amherst, Massachusetts with his wife Jennifer and their cat Gatsby.

Allison Au

Juno-award winning Jazz Saxophonist, Composer and Arranger, Allison Au (pronounced "ow") refuses to be defined. Born to a Chinese father and Jewish mother, and raised in the multicultural metropolis of Toronto, Allison found music as a young child. Exposed to a wide array of musical styles, she was captivated by the unhinged freedom of Jazz. Jazz became Allison’s lab for self-expression, exploration, and musical experimentation. Her work weaves a mosaic of influences into a seamless and soulful sound, a concoction steeped in the tradition of Jazz but skillfully laced with elements of Classical, Pop, R&B/hip hop, Latin, and world music. ​

Au’s music transports you to a place where instrumentals ring bold and emotions run free. Melodies cascade and collide, highlighting Au’s gift for layering voices and rhythms. Her writing showcases the color and character of each instrument, while providing ample room for her band mates to push her compositions to new heights. ​

Au earned her first Juno nomination for her debut album, “The Sky Was Pale Blue, then Grey” in 2013, and in 2016 seized the Juno for "Best Jazz Album of The Year: Group" for “Forest Grove.” In 2019, she garnered another Juno nomination for "Best Jazz Album of the Year: Group" for "Wander Wonder."

Formed in 2009, the Allison Au Quartet has toured extensively in Canada and the US. The group was awarded the TD Jazz Fellowship Scholarship (2011), The Alfred and Phyllis Balm Scholarship (2012), and The Margareta and Benno Nigg Scholarship (2013) for three consecutive artist residencies at the Banff Centre.

The Allison Au Quartet has won the 2017 Montreal Jazz Festival TD Grand Prix de Jazz, received the 2017 Halifax Jazz Festival Sting Ray Rising Star Award, and was named a 2017 Finalist for Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award.

Jonathan Dagenais

Jonathan Dagenais holds a Master’s degree in Conducting from McGill Universityand a Bachelor’s degree in Composition from the Universite de Montreal.

In addition to teaching at CEGEP and university, (music theory, composition, ear training, musicianship and conducting), Mr. Dagenais enjoys an active career as a composer and arranger for wind orchestra. His works have been performed repeatedly by numerous Canadian university and high school ensembles. They also appear on several professional recordings. His compositions are found in many North American concert band music festival syllabus and are currently published worldwide.

Jonathan Dagenais is also a sought after conductor. He is the conductor and artistic director of the Orchestre a Vents Non Identifie (OVNI), a Montreal wind orchestra he co-founded in 2005. OVNI is an ensemble dedicated to collaborative and active listening, tone quality, refined interpretation as well as humour. In 2010 and 2017, he was appointed conductor of the McGill McGill WQInd Orchestra. In 2012 he was a guest conductor for the Montreal Pop Symphony Orchestra (OSPM). Jonathan Dagenais is also the conductor of the Cercle Philharmonique de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a position he has held since September 2012. In September 2015, he was named conductor of the Orchestre de jeux video - OJV (montreal Video Game Orchestra), an ensemble dedicated to video game soundtracks. A longtime fan of video games and their music, this was a natural marriage of two of his passions. Most recently in 2019, he was appointed principal conductor of the Ottawa Pops Orchestra.

Mr. Dagenais has been invited to adjudicate and/or give clinics at more than 25 North American music competitions and festivals. In 2017, he became the artistic director of Musicfest Quebec. Jonathan Dagenais is regularly engaged by Canadian summer music camps to conduct orchestras, bands and chamber ensembles. He has been a guest conductor for many Canadian honour bands. In 2013, Mr. Dagenais was appointed as conductor of The National Youth Band of Canada (NTB), the most prestigious honour band in the country. Jonathan Dagenais is a conductor / clinician / educator for the Twigg Musique Company in Quebec and a Yamaha Canada Master Educational Artist.

Mr. Dagenais is currently a guest lecturer at McGill University.


A graduate of the University of Evansville, Daniel Gress was Principal Horn of the National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) for 25 years and made several tours with the NACO throughout North America, Europe and the Far East. He was a soloist with the NACO on several occasions and was a frequent participant in its Music for a Sunday Afternoon Series performing with some of the world’s best known chamber music specialists. Prior to coming to Ottawa, Mr. Gress was a student of Philip Farkas at Indiana University was Principal Horn with the NORAD Band in Colorado Springs, Colorado prior to that. Most recently he was Director of Performance Studies, Conductor of the Wind Ensemble and Conductor of the Brass Choir for the University of Ottawa School of Music, an association that began in 1977. He is often called upon as a clinician and as an adjudicator, having appeared in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Colorado, Ontario and Quebec. His former students have held positions in Canada’s finest musical organizations including the NACO, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic and the Canadian Brass.

Kevin Hamlin

Recently retired as head of music at Collingwood Collegiate, Kevin Hamlin has been appointed to be Yamaha Music Canada's first Educator-in-Residence, providing workshops and clinics for high school music programs and bands throughout North America. Kevin was awarded the Keith Mann Outstanding Band Director in 2015, awarded to one teacher each year from across the country, chosen by MusicFest Canada. Kevin also presents regularly at numerous music conferences throughout Canada, provides workshops for school boards and universities, and adjudicates at Regional Festivals from Coast to Coast, as well as the MusicFest Canada National Festival. Kevin was also awarded the Collingwood Arts Award in 2015 as well as the Order of Collingwood in 2016.

Neil Yorke-Slader

Neil Yorke-Slader taught music at the elementary and secondary levels for 17 years. He has been the director of the nationally-acclaimed Nepean All-City Jazz Band for 32 years, and is active as a jazz adjudicator and clinician throughout North America. Over 50 of his compositions for jazz ensemble are published through University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press and Burnihla Music Publishing; several are preserved by the National Library of Canada (Archives). He has written several commissions, and was one of the eight contributing composers to the inaugural Canadian “New Sounds of Learning Project”. Neil is a member of the International Association of Jazz Composers and Arrangers. In 2017, through a grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage's "Canada 150" fund, he was commissioned to write an arrangement of "O Canada" for jazz ensemble. He was selected as the inaugural winner of the Tommy Banks Most Outstanding Jazz Director Award in 2018, and was a contributor to “Jazz Pedagogy, A Canadian Perspective”.