BGSU Middle School Honor Band

Monday, May 1st

Nomination Deadline is Friday, February 24th

For application process, please see the two documents below.

Application Letter

Nomination Form


Damien Crutcher is a native Detroiter and a graduate of Cass Technical High School.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Michigan State University, and a Master’s in Conducting from The University of Michigan

After graduating from The University of Michigan, Damien served as Director of Bands and Orchestra at Southfield-Lathrup High School. Under his direction the Southfield-Lathrup ensembles, including the Lathrup Symphony Band have performed in San Francisco, Chicago, the Bahamas, the White House and Carnegie Hall.  Many of his students from Southfield Lathrup are currently professional musicians, music teachers and artists across the country.

He is currently the co-founder and CEO of Crescendo Detroit. Crescendo Detroit is a nonprofit whose mission is to transform the lives of school age children, ages 5-18, in Detroit, by engaging kids in intense instrumental music, vocal music and dance programs that promote artistic excellence and character building.  It is the goal of Crescendo Detroit to create a neighborhood to college pipeline using the arts. Additionally, Mr. Crutcher is the Managing Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Detroit Harmony Initiative, which is guaranteeing an instrument for any student in Detroit that desires to learn an instrument.

Mr. Crutcher begins his 19th season as the Conductor and Artistic Director of the Farmington Community Band, and his 6th as the conductor of the DSO’s Detroit Community Concert Band. Mr. Crutcher is a frequent guest conductor and clinician throughout Michigan and Ohio.


Ryan M. Yahl currently serves as the Assistant Director of Bands at A&M-Commerce.  He is conductor of the Concert Band, “Pride” of the Court Basketball Band, and Assistant Director of The “Pride" Marching Band.  In addition, Dr. Yahl teaches undergraduate conducting, music technology, and other courses in music education. Prior to joining the faculty at TAMUC in the fall of 2018, he served as part-time Assistant Professor of Music at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. 

From 2009-2015, Yahl served as the Director of Bands for the New Bremen Local School District, where he oversaw the instrumental music program in grades 5-12.  Under his direction, the New Bremen Bands performed at both the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) State Marching Band Finals and the State Large Group Adjudicated Event.  Prior to New Bremen, Yahl taught for one year in the Anthony Wayne Local School District, and two years at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Catholic School, in Toledo, Ohio.  He is past staff member with the Ohio Ambassadors of Music, the Indiana University and College of Wooster Summer Music Camps, and former Music Director and Conductor of the Bloomington Community Band.

Dr. Yahl earned his bachelors (2006) and masters (2009) degrees in music education from Bowling Green State University, and his doctorate in wind conducting (2018) from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.  Yahl studied percussion with Michael Sander and Roger Schupp, and conducting with Emily Freeman Brown, Carol Hayward, Kenneth Thompson, Bruce Moss, Walter Huff, and Stephen Pratt. Yahl was a recipient of the  Dr. Richard and Annette Ecker Award in Music Education, the Mark and Helen Kelly University Band Award, and the Ray E. Cramer Graduate Scholarship.

Dr. Yahl currently holds memberships in the Ohio Music Education Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, National Band Association, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, Pi Kappa Lambda, the American School Band Directors Association, and life membership in Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Service Fraternity.  Yahl is a past president of the BGSU Band Alumni Society, a past president of OMEA District III, and currently serves as the Research Committee Chair for ASBDA.


Christina Scherley originally hails from Troy, Ohio. After graduating in 1995, she attended Bowling Green State University, majoring in Music Education. Here at BG she performed as part of the concert and symphonic bands on flute, the Falcon Marching Band on mellophone, and the university band on French horn. She was an active member of Tau Beta Sigma, the band service sorority. After graduating in May of 2000, she obtained a job teaching general music, choir and band at a private school in Lorain, OH. The following year, she got a job as assistant band director in Huron, OH, teaching band to grades 5-12. In 2012, she took over as head director, where she currently serves the band students of the Huron community. Her students perform annually at OMEA adjudicated events, and her high school band travels biannually, performing in Orlando, NYC, Nashville, and Chicago. She currently resides in Huron with her son, Andrew, who attends Ohio State University, daughters, Katie and Libby, her dogs, Iris and Fergus, and cats, Stubby and Georgie.


Dr. Kenneth Thompson currently serves as professor in the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.  His responsibilities include conducting ensembles in the band area, teaching graduate and undergraduate conducting, repertoire and pedagogy. Additionally, he serves on the conducting staff of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Wu Family Academy where he directs the DSO Civic Wind Symphony and the CYE Philharmonic Orchestra. A graduate of Limestone College (SC) with a double major in music education and trumpet, Thompson received a master's degree in music education and doctorate in conducting from The University of Iowa. Previous professional appointments include Artistic Director and Conductor of the Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras and associate conductor of the St. Louis Wind Symphony and Chamber Winds.  He has conducted numerous performances of world premieres, commissions, television and radio broadcasts and critically acclaimed recordings.

With publications in the Journal of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, Journal of Band Research, Journal of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, School Band and Orchestra Magazine, Journal of the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors Association, The Instrumentalist, Bandmusic PDF Archives and the BCM International Web Archive, Dr. Thompson maintains a reputation as both a scholar and performer.  He has appeared as a guest conductor, lecturer or clinician for the International Society for Music Education, the National Conference of the College Band Directors National Association, the National Conference of the MENC, the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Texas, Virginia, Michigan, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Iowa, West Virginia, Ohio and Missouri Music Educators Association conferences, the Missouri Bandmasters conference, the Midwest Composers Symposium and the Iowa Center for New Music.  In demand as a guest conductor and lecturer, Thompson maintains an active schedule with engagements throughout the United States, Canada, Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and China.

Dr. Thompson is an advocate of new music and expanding the repertoire. Along with commercial recordings receiving votes in the Grammy™ Entry List appearance for Album of the Year; Best Engineered Album, Classical, and Best Orchestral Performance, critics have written the following about Dr. Thompson’s work:

“First impressions matter, and BGSU’s wind symphony makes an overwhelmingly positive one. Unison playing is completely silken, and tone clusters are tuned perfectly. The ensemble playing within sections is remarkable, and the band as a whole is balanced evenly.”

Fanfare Magazine

“the music’s power is certainly enough to make its point on its own, captured in a vital, present recording and played with real grit here”

“an enjoyable disc of imaginative music performed to a professional standard and an auspicious beginning to what should be an intriguing series”

Colin Clarke, Gramophone and International Record Review

“a powerful disc that draws the listener in and never lets go”

Amazon Rating



How do I get nominated for the BGSU Middle School Honor Band?

All nominations must come from your school director or a private teacher. Your teacher
can contact us at to get the nomination forms.

How will I know if I’m selected?

All communication is done via the email provided for you on the nomination forms. If selected, you and your teacher will receive an email from us with registration and acceptance forms.

What if I’m having trouble returning my acceptance forms?

All forms must be returned electronically. Most smartphones will let you take a picture of the forms and email them as a PDF document. The ‘Notes’ app on an iPhone works well, but GeniusScan is a free app that many people use.

How do I pay to participate and do you offer scholarships?

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer scholarships or financial assistance. All payments must be made electronically through our EMarket. The links for that will be in your acceptance materials.

What is included in the price to participate?

Cost of all instruction
BGSU Honor Band Shirt
Master Class or other professional presentation
Final concert by all MSHB participants
Lunch and Dinner (all you can eat) on campus
Morning snack of fruit and water

What if I have dietary restrictions? Do I need to bring my own meals?

Our full service dining facilities can manage any food restriction or dietary need. We will use the information you provide in your acceptance forms to coordinate any meal accommodations needed.

Can I bring my own food and snacks?

For the safety of all participants bringing food and snacks is discouraged.

Do I need to bring money?

You will not need any money during the event. All meals and snacks are provided as part of your participation fee.

What should I wear?

The final concert is performed in the BGSU shirt and denim (blue jeans) so you do not need a uniform or ‘dress clothes’. For the event, you should dress comfortably, but know that you will be walking short distances outside to meals, so dressing in layers with a light jacket is ideal. Most likely what you would normally wear to school is appropriate.

Do I need to audition?

The selection to participate is done through the nominations, and parts are assigned on a rotating basis, so everyone plays various parts. No live auditions are done for the event.

I still have questions! What should I do?

There is a chance we have not addressed something you need. Please reach out to us directly at so we may assist you.

The BGSU honor band and select educational programming are presented in partnership with Rettig Music.


Updated: 03/15/2023 04:30PM