MR. CHARLES DOHERTY
Charles Doherty is the director of Instrumental Music at Damascus High School, leading two wind bands, a jazz band, and two string orchestras. He carries a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education and a Master of Music in Trombone Performance from Duquesne University. Mr. Doherty also serves as the conductor of the Symphonia, a group with the Frederick Regional Youth Orchestra, and has conducted several senior and junior high honor bands. As a performer, Mr. Doherty has played with numerous groups in the DC area, including the Mike Kamuf Little Big Band, Blue Moon Big Band, Martinsburg Jazz Orchestra, Yesterday Swing Orchestra, the Montgomery Philharmonic, and the Trinity Chamber Orchestra.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND YOUTH ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR
MR. JON LOUTHIAN
Jon Louthian has had a love for music since a very young age. He has played the violin since third grade, and is currently a member of the Columbia Orchestra, the Trinity Chamber Orchestra, and the Howard County Ballet Orchestra. He also regularly plays with a string quartet in the Baltimore area. In addition to the violin, Jon also began playing the trumpet in high school. After graduating, he marched with The Cadets drum and bugle corps for two years, winning the Drum Corps International championship once. Shortly after, he began working with high school marching bands: teaching, writing drill, and arranging music. Over the years, he has worked with many different bands. They have finished first in their groups in hundreds of competitions, including numerous first place finishes in state, regional, and circuit-wide championships.
CHAMBER ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR
MS. ASHLEY ASHMAN
Ashley Ashman taught orchestra, band, and guitar in Montgomery County for 7 years before transitioning into the role of Staff Development Teacher at Takoma Park Middle School in 2021. Ms. Ashman earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Towson University and her Master of Arts degree in Gifted and Talented Education from Notre Dame of Maryland University. Ms. Ashman has supported Montgomery County All County and Honors ensembles as an audition judge, a coach and a conductor. Ms. Ashman has also supported Maryland All State orchestras as an audition judge and sectional coach.
PREP ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR
MRS. JOAN FURLANI
Joan Furlani has been teaching students of all age levels and abilities for 15 years. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island (Bachelors of Music in Flute Performance), she has a passion for helping beginner and intermediate students gain an enthusiasm for flute and an appreciation for music of varying genres and time periods. Joan performs with the flute duo Flutes Forte, and with the worship team at Derwood Bible Church. In addition, Joan has performed at various chamber recitals sponsored by the Flute Society of Washington, the Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair, and has played with the Trinity Chamber Orchestra, the Montgomery Philharmonic, and the Annandale Symphony Orchestra.
FLUTE CHOIR CONDUCTOR
MR. RONALD VAZQUEZ
A native of Salinas, Puerto Rico, clarinetist Ronald Vazquez holds a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, where he studied with Kathleen Jones and Genesio Riboldi, and a Master of Music degree in Clarinet performance from the University of Maryland at College Park under Edward Walters and Michael Rusinek. Ronald has been a member of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Puertorriqueña Chamber Orchestra, Piacere Wind Quintet, Puerto Rico's Mayormente Mozart Festival Orchestra, Puerto Rico State Band, and he has also appeared with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. Ronald has performed many recitals in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., New York, and Maryland. His former teachers include Kathleen Jones, Genesio Riboldi, Jose Velazquez, Michael Rusinek, Dr. Cecil Gold, and Ricardo Morales. He was also a clarinet and saxophone instructor at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico continuing education program and a teacher supervisor/substitute for a special band training program. He has performed as a member of many contemporary music groups as a saxophone instrumentalist.
In 1989, after many years as a free-lance clarinetist and saxophonist, Ronald joined the U.S. Navy. After completing basic training, Ronald attended the Armed Forces School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia. After completing the Armed Forces musicians’ training, his first assignment was the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet Band, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where he performed as a clarinetist in the wind quintet, the concert, ceremonial, and marching bands and as a saxophonist in the jazz and show bands. His next assignment was the U.S. Naval Academy Band in Annapolis, Maryland, where he reported for duty in 1991. His duties in this band included clarinetist in the wind ensemble and ceremonial band, saxophonist in the marching band and Recording and Sound Reinforcement Engineer for the wind and jazz ensembles and the band's recital series.
Ronald authored and published "A Book for the Clarinet Reed-Maker," an illustrated single reed-making method for both clarinet and saxophone. He has also been a contributing writer for the International Clarinet Association journal, "The Clarinet." Ronald is also pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in clarinet performance at the University of Maryland at College Park where he studied with Edward Walters.
After leaving the US Navy in 1999, Ronald made a career change and is now an IT professional. At present, Ronald works for Medical Science and Computing where his title is Senior Linux Systems Engineer. He teaches clarinet and saxophone at the Music & Arts chain and for the Academy of Saint Cecilia Youth Orchestra. He also has stayed musically active as a member of the 257th Army Band since 2007.
BEGINNING BAND CONDUCTOR
DR. MARK RUNKLES
Appointed in 2015 as an Instructor of Oboe and Saxophone with Opus Community Music School (Opus), Principal Oboe with the Freedom Philharmonic, and Faculty Clinician with the Academy of St. Cecilia Youth Orchestra (ASCYO) in Damascus, Mark Runkles completed his Doctor of Musical Arts in Oboe Performance at UNLV. In 2013, Dr. Runkles published the culmination of his doctoral research, a critical edition of Gustave Vogt’s 4ème Solo de Concert, with TrevCo Music Publishing. Dr. Runkles became the Artistic Director at Opus in 2018 and joined the faculty at The European Academy of Arts as Instructor of Oboe and Saxophone in 2019. He is a featured oboe soloist on The Clazzical Project, an album released in 2021, presenting jazz arrangements of familiar classical melodies (https://open.spotify.com/album/24xdRXnpKcK0cX8389EtcA). He has been a featured oboe and saxophone soloist with The Clazzical Project, Carroll Concert Band, Carroll County Jazz Band, Carroll Singers, Freedom Philharmonic, ASCYO, and Liberty High School Symphonic and Jazz Bands. Dr. Runkles earned his Master of Fine Arts in Oboe Performance and Master of Arts in Jazz Studies from the University of Iowa and his Bachelor of Arts in Oboe Performance from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He formed the Twin Arch Duo, which plays a mixture of standards and his own contemporary jazz compositions, with guitarist Charlie Trapp in 2013. In 2008, Dr. Runkles performed a series of Jazz Vespers services in Scotland. He served as the Assistant Principal Oboe with the Chesapeake Orchestra from 1999–2004 and performed on 2nd Oboe with the Las Vegas Philharmonic from the winter of 2009 through 2012. Dr. Runkles is an oboe student of Stephen Caplan, Mark Weiger, and Vladimir Lande and a saxophone student of John Rapson and Don Stapleson. Follow Dr. Runkles on his blog, Dr. Mark’s Music Notes (https://drmarksmusicnotes.wordpress.com), and his YouTube channel.
REV. WALTER G. EDMONDS
Walter G. Edmonds has an extensive musical and ministerial background. Formerly, as the Senior Pastor of Damascus United Methodist Church, he directed choirs and conducted The Living Christmas Tree and other major choral and orchestral performances. Since September 11, 2001, he served as the Artistic Director of the Academy of Saint Cecilia Youth Orchestra and conductor of the Youth Orchestra until his retirement in the fall of 2020. Reverend Edmonds conducted the Hymnal Celebration of Constitution Hall in 1989 and chaired the Design Team of the Northeast Jurisdiction Convocation of the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts. Reverend Edmonds holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in organ and voice from Lycoming College, a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University, and a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Temple University.