Northwest Region Calendar of Events
April "NWMBDA Spring Virtual Workshop" Sponsored by Schmitt Music - Saturday, April 17th, 2021 9am to 3pm
- Keynote Speaker: Peter Booneshaft
- Relicensure Sessions in English Language Learners & Social Emotional Learning by Wendy Barden
- Scott Hagen, Retired Band Director discussing current issues facing band directors today
- Conn-Selmer discussing additional help for music programs in the COVID era.
Register for the event by clicking Here!
NW MBDA Membership Welcome Letter 2020-2021 - Sent September 30th, 2020
Event and Membership Reminder Letter 2020 - Sent November 5th, 2020
Saturday, February 20th, 2021 - Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 - Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, September 20th, 2020 - Meeting Minutes
Northwest Region Board of Directors
President/Jazz Band Chair
Derek Ziemer is the Associate Director of Bands at Alexandria Public Schools in Alexandria, MN. Originally from St.Cloud Minnesota, Derek is a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Morris.
Prior to his position in Alexandria, Mr.Ziemer was the 5-12 Director of Bands at Brandon-Evansville Public Schools from 2014 to 2016.
Mr. Ziemer's duties at Alexandria include directing the 7th Grade Cardinal and Viking Bands, High School Jazz Bands, Marching Band, and Pep Band. Mr. Ziemer is also an active performer in the Alexandria Area; most notably as a Bassoonist in the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra(CLSO). He is also a Cannonball Educator for Cannonball Musical Instruments and has served as Adjunct Instructor of Saxophone for the University of Minnesota, Morris. Mr. Ziemer is also a member of MMEA, MBDA, and serves as the NWMBDA Jazz Festival Coordinator.
Secretary/7-12 Honor Band Site Host
Mrs.Denise Wiese graduated from NDSU (BS) and the University of St.Thomas (MA).
Denise started her teaching career in Chokio-Alberta Public Schools where she taught both choir and band for five years. Densise then became part of the music staff in Fergus Falls Public Schools where she has taught for 30 years. In here time as a music staff member in Fergus Falls, the school has three times been named a Best Community for Music Education, and once as a Grammy Signature School.
Denise's current teaching responsibilities include 6th grade band, 7th grade band, and junior high honors band. Band lessons are taught to mostly woodwinds and percussion, with a few brass mixed in.
Denise also works with high school band students as an accompanist for solo/ensemble, as the color guard director for the marching band, and as an assistant director for the pep band. Mrs. Wiese is a member of MENC, MMEA, and MBDA.
Treasurer/Jazz Band Site Host
Michelle Robertus is the Director of Bands at New York Mills Public Schools in New York Mills, MN. Originally from Albertville, Ms.Robertus graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities with her Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 2014.
Ms.Robertus' duties and NYM include directing the 5th Grade Band, 6th Grade Band, Junior High Band, Senior High Band, and teaching lessons to 5th and 6th grade band students. She also directs the Pep Band, Junior High Jazz Band, Senior High Jazz Band, and the New York Mills Marching Eagles. The Marching Eagles is a summer parade band that has recently performed in Orland, Chicago, Washington D.C, and Philadelphia.
Ms. Robertus' is an active musician in area ensembles, including the Lakes Area Community Concert Band (clarinet, Detroit Lakes) and Lakes Area All-Stars Jazz Band (alto sax, Fergus Falls).
Social Media, Technology, and Recording
Chuck Speer has been teaching band for 22 years. He graduated from Moorhead State University with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education in 1996. For the past 5 years he has been the Director of Bands at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Secondary School in Long Prairie, MN.
His duties include all instrumental ensembles in grades 7-12: Concert Bands, Pep Band, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, and Summer Marching Band. Prior to that he held similar positions at West Central Area Secondary Schools (Barrett, MN), Underwood School (Underwood, MN), Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Junior-Senior High (Grove City, MN) and Turtle Lake-Mercer School (Turtle Lake, ND).
Mr. Speer is a member of MBDA, MMEA/NAFME, and the Barbershop Harmony Society. He has performed with several groups in Willmar, MN and Fargo-Moorhead areas. Currently he is performing with the Fargo-Moorhead Jazz Orchestra and the West Central Connection Chorus in Willmar. He is also an on-call musician with the Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra.
His interests/hobbies outside of teaching band include technology, sound production, and the recording arts.
Honor Band Chair
Tim Siewert has been the director of bands at Detroit Lakes High School since 2015. He directs the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Laker Jazz Band, and Laker Pep Band.
Prior to Detroit Lakes he held similar positions in New Richland, MN for five years, and Pierz, MN for one year. Siewert holds a degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He is active as an adjudicator, clinician, judge, and section coach for MMEA, MBDA, and MSHSL.
Siewert also plays trumpet with the Lakes Area Community Concert Band, the Lakes Area All Stars big band, as a sub with Doc and the Scrubs big band, and also at area churches. Aside from music and teaching, he enjoys umpiring baseball, golfing, being at the lake and on the boat, and spending time with his wife Kaitlin, son John, and their dog Maggie.
Honor Band Chair
Mr. Brad Thompson grew up in rural Northwest Minnesota near the town of Donaldson and received his high school education at Kennedy Public School. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree at the University of North Dakota in 1993.
Brad has been teaching at Tri-County Public School in Karlstad since 2001, where in the morning he teaches 5-12 lessons, Elementary Band and a combined 7-12 High School Band. In the afternoon, he puts on his work boots and teaches 7-12th grade students in Drafting, Welding, Auto Mechanics, and the Construction trades.
In the evenings, he directs the Pep Band at their many events and also coaches both the Junior High and Senior High Knowledge Bowl teacms during the winter and spring of the year, as well as driving school bus. When time permits, he also likes to play trumpet in the Northland Community Band in Thief River Falls, MN.
Previously, Brad was the 5-12 Instrumental Music teacher at Hot Springs Public School from 1993-2001 in Hot Springs, South Dakota. He was also a Trumpet Instructor, during Cadet Band week, at the International Music Camp from 2004-2013.
In his free time, he likes to fish(in the summer), collect and work on vintage Jonsered chainsaws, and build with both wood and metal in the shop.
Beginning Band Festival Chair
Greg DeGier has been in the Alexandria Area School system since 1998. Over the years he has taught at the high school level, directing the Symphonic Band, the Pep Band, being the Associate Marching Band Director and the Head Jazz Band Director. Greg also taught at the middle school level, teaching the 9th Grade Symphonic Winds and the 7thGrade Viking Band.
Greg fully transitioned into the middle school level in 2014 and now teaches at the Discovery Middle School, being responsible for the 6th Grade Bands, 8th Grade Bands and the DMS Jazz Band. He also is the lesson teacher for the 7th Grade Bands.
Before Greg started teaching in Alexandria he taught at the Clinton-Graceville Schools in Graceville, MN, from 1989 to 1998 and the Grant-Deuel Schools in Revillo, SD, from 1987 to 1989.
Mr. DeGier graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris, in 1986, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. He has also studied Instrumental Conducting with Dr. Rik Hansen at St. Cloud State University.
Greg is a member of Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA), National Association for Music Educators (NAfME) and Minnesota Band Directors Association (MBDA). Greg served on the NW Regional Board for MBDA as president-elect and president. He also served on the State MBDA Board as the 9-10 Jazz Audition Coordinator.
Mr. DeGier is a member of the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra where he serves as principal trumpet and associate conductor. He also plays lead trumpet for Doc’s All Stars, a local swing dance band in Alexandria. Greg has also been involved with the local community theatre, directing and playing in the pit orchestra for several musical productions.
Beginning Band Festival Site Host
Tim Pipinich has taught band in the public schools for nearly ten years and is currently one of two band directors at Horizon Middle School in Moorhead, MN where he leads the 6th and 8th grade bands as well as the honor band and jazz band.
During his time at Horizon, he has hosted the Dallas Brass and has had bands awarded with outstanding band of the day/festival at the Raging Red Band Festival at NDSU for two consecutive years.
He received his Bachelor of Music degree from Concordia College in 2010. He has also played trombone regionally with the FM Jazz Orchestra, the Imperials, Dempsey's Big Band, and as an occasional sub with Post Traumatic Funk Syndrome.
He and his wife Katie have two fantastic future instrumentalist daughters, Olivia (2) and Madeline (1).
For logistical purposes, this roster contains high school, college, and university institutions. The regional assignment for elementary and middle schools is currently identified by the name of the HIGH SCHOOL that serves your student population.
Anoka-Ramsey Community College (Coon Rapids)
Circle Of Life, White Earth
Country Bible Christian, Ashby
Eagle Valley, Eagle Bend
East Grand Forks
Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, Fergus Falls
Kittson Central, Hallock
Lake of the Woods, Baudette
Lake Region Christian School, Baxter
Marshall County Central, Newfolden
New York Mills
Norman County East, Twin Valley
Norman County West, Halstad
North Star Christian Academy, Little Falls
Park Christian, Moorhead
Park Rapids Area
Red Lake County Central, Oklee
Red Lake Falls
Sacred Heart, East Grand Forks
Thief River Falls
West Central Area School, Barrett