BGSU Middle School Honor Band

Monday, May 6, 2024!

Nomination info TBA...



Kristin Blanchard grew up in Grand Blanc, MI and received her undergraduate degree in Music Education from Western Michigan University in 1996. She holds a Master’s Degree (2004) in Conducting & Education from The American Band College in Ashland, Oregon. She is in her 28th year of teaching band.

She began her teaching career in Edwardsburg, MI (1996) where she taught 5th Grade General Music, as well as Middle School & High School Band. After 2 years, Ms. Blanchard moved to the Detroit area to teach in Milford (Huron Valley Schools). She has been at Muir Middle School in Huron Valley Schools for the past 26 years. Her duties include 6th, 7th and 8th grade bands, and an 8th Grade Curricular Jazz Band, as well as an adaptive music class. Approximately 30% of the students at Muir are in band. Her students consistently participate in Solo & Ensemble festivals and have great success. The Muir Jazz Band performs at school events, as well as many community outreach events each spring. As a music educator, Ms. Blanchard puts an emphasis on having real world connections by inviting many guest conductors and composers to work with her students. She has had Tyler S. Grant and Brian Balmages as guest composers, twice. She commissioned a piece by Tyler S. Grant in 2018 (River Poem) and collaborated to fund the piece Ash & Stone, and then Mr. Grant came to Milford to conduct these works. She also participated in funding the piece (not) Alone, by Randall Standridge, in 2022. In 2024 she commissioned a piece by Randall Standridge and he was in Milford in March of 2024 for the March Musical Madness concert, to conduct the world premiere of this piece. Ms. Blanchard is looking ahead and has already contracted/commissioned Carol Brittin Chambers to compose a piece for Muir Middle School for the 2025-26 school year.

Ms. Blanchard currently conducts the Civic Youth Ensemble Concert Band through the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She has been affiliated with the DSO since June of 2022. She was a conductor at the DSO Honor Band Day in 2023, and is a sought-after guest conductor and clinician for school groups and Honors Bands. Ms. Blanchard inducted into the American School Band Director Association in 2007.

Ms. Blanchard’s primary instruments are the flute and piccolo and she has been a member of the FCB for almost 20 years. She also performs with the Southeastern Michigan Wind Ensemble and has been a part of that ensemble since 2019. Ms. Blanchard has a small private lesson studio and enjoys teaching privately. Ms. Blanchard is active in MSBOA as an adjudicator Solo & Ensemble Festivals, as well as similar festivals throughout the state. Ms. Blanchard has held the office of VP of B&O, and she was active on the FIC Director Development Days committees. Her most impactful contribution is being the founder and chairperson for the District IV MSBOA Middle School Honors Band, which is in its 18th year. This festival has recently expanded to include two honor bands, allowing more students to participate. This year the MSBOA District IV commissioned a piece for both groups from Michigan composer, Andrew David Perkins.

Ms. Blanchard is a Grammy Nominated Music Educator and is in Who’s Who Among American Teachers. She was honored to receive the Middle School Teacher of the Year award by Huron Valley Schools in 2014-15, and was then nominated for Oakland County Teacher of the Year that same year. She was recently named Band Director of the Year in 2023 for the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association in District IV. She subsequently earned the MSBOA Teacher of the Year for Band for the State of Michigan in 2024.


Dr. Allison Davis serves as Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where she currently teaches music education courses and directs the Symphonic Winds. An Ohio native with roots in Massachusetts, Dr. Davis holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education from the University of Missouri with a Cognate in Wind Conducting and Band Pedagogy, a Master of Music in Music Education with a Specialization in Wind Conducting from Bowling Green State University, and a Bachelor of Music Education from Bowling Green State University. She has worked with top-tier collegiate ensembles and athletic bands in both the Southeastern and Mid-American Conferences since 2018. Dr. Davis also served as the Woodwind Director for the Rock Bridge High School band program in Columbia, MO and founded the Missouri Youth Symphonic Band. She has had the pleasure of studying with Dr. Brian Silvey, Dr. Wendy Sims, Dr. Amy Knopps, Dr. Ken Thompson, and Dr. Bruce Moss.

Dr. Davis’s primary areas of research focus on instrumental conducting and rehearsal techniques, preservice music education curricula, repertoire selection, and democratic practices in large ensemble settings. Her dissertation, A Multiple Case Study of Preservice Music Educators Experiences in Rehearsal Clinic, investigated the experiences of secondary instrumental music education majors in an advanced conducting and rehearsal skills course. Dr. Davis is active in both state and national research settings, presenting at conferences and publishing in both peer-refereed and practitioner journals.

Prior to her university teaching experience, Dr. Davis taught a combination of secondary band, choir, general music, and marching band in the public schools of Ohio. Due to her time spent with a diverse student populations, she has advocated for the performance of contemporary music by minoritized composers. Ensembles under Dr. Davis’s direction have premiered works by Cory Brodack, Mat Campbell, Emilio José González, and Yoell Tewolde (student composer), and she has worked closely with other acclaimed composers including Katahj Copley, Kevin Day, Grace Baugher Dunlap, Kelijah Dunton, Roshanne Etezady, and Jennifer Jolley. She actively integrates technology in both lecture-based and ensemble-rehearsal settings, including utilizing ForScore in full ensemble rehearsals and frequently hosting collaborative Zoom sessions with composers, to create a more interactive and enhanced student experience. Dr. Davis regularly works as an adjudicator, clinician, and music arranger for bands of all ability levels and age ranges around the country.


Zach Hinson has been a band director with Mason City Schools since 2014. Zach joined the MHS Band Staff as a high school band director in 2023, and leads the woodwind curriculum from grades 6-12. From 2014-2023, Zach team taught the 7th and 8th grade concert bands and jazz bands. During his time as a part of the team of teachers at Mason Middle School, ensembles performed at the Music for All National Festival, the Music for All Cincinnati Regional Concert Band Festival, Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) State Conference and the Bowling Green State University Reading Clinic.

Zach has also instructed the woodwind section of the William Mason High School Marching Band as the woodwind caption head and assistant director since 2014. During this time, the marching band has performed in Bands of America Grand National Finals several times, and also performed in the 2016 and 2024 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.

Zach received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Bowling Green State University, and his master’s degree in music education from Miami University. A saxophonist, he studied with Distinguished Artist Professor Dr. John Sampen, and was selected as a winner in the BGSU Concerto Competition and BGSU Chamber Music Competition.  In 2017, Zach received the "Outstanding Young Director Award" from the American School Band Directors Association. Zach's professional memberships include OMEA and ASBDA. 

Zach appreciates his family, friends, colleagues, and mentors for supporting his teaching career. Zach and his wife Abby enjoy spending their free time together with friends and family.


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


8:00 am: Arrive at Kobacker Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center – meeting with all participants
8:30 am: Move to rehearsal sites, rehearsals begin
11:45 am: Concert event TBA
12:30 pm: LUNCH
1:30 pm: Depart Lunch and Rehearsals Resume
5:30 pm: DINNER
7:00 pm: Concert

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: 03/07/2024 10:38AM