School of Music > Concerts & Events > CBDNA Conference > Sessions
Born in Tatuí (São Paulo, Brazil), Giovani Briguente began his musical studies at the age of 11 in the Conservatory of Tatuí, a distinguished music school in Latin America. Briguente earned degrees in Flute Performance and Conducting (Conservatory of Tatuí), History (University of Sorocaba), and Flute Studies (Technical School of Arts of the State of São Paulo).
An award-winning conductor, Dr. Westover has conducted wind ensembles and orchestras nationally and internationally. He was awarded First Prize by the jury of the 2019 Warsaw Wind Ensemble Conducting Competition. Dr. Westover’s work has been described as “elegant, bold, vibrant, inspiring and centered,” by Augusta Read Thomas. Prior to his current appointment as assistant professor of music at Denison, Dr. Westover led wind ensembles, orchestras and operatic performances at Bethel College (KS), the University of Oklahoma, and the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU. He has received acclaim for his performances with educational and professional ensembles. Dr. Westover has presented his scholarship on Vincent Persichetti and Beethoven at Hong Kong Baptist University and the conferences of the College Band Directors National Association and Internationale Gesellschaft zur Erforschung und Förderung der Blasmusik. He has conducted across the United States and in the People’s Republic of China and Poland. Since 2017 he has been a frequent winner of the American Prize for Conducting in the choral, orchestral, and wind ensemble divisions. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Oklahoma and the Master of Music in Wind Conducting from the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU.
Dr. Birch Browning is Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Cleveland State University (CSU), and Music Director of the Cleveland Winds, a professional wind band based at CSU. He taught high school band and orchestra in Florida prior to earning a Ph.D. in Music Education at Florida State University. A member of the faculty at CSU since 2002, he previously taught music education courses at Stetson University and FSU.
Neil Kimel’s career as a horn player began as anything but a traditional or predictable one. After receiving a B.A. in Cinema Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, he was invited to join the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida where he performed under the baton of its music director, Michael Tilson Thomas. Neil then returned to his home town of Chicago where diverse performance opportunities included backing up various acts on Oprah Winfrey’s popular television show, flying to Hawaii to perform with soprano Charlotte Church, playing in a pit for a Broadway show in New York City, and recording numerous commercial jingles. Summers were filled with performances with many festival orchestras including Spoleto USA, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Tanglewood Music Center where Mr. Kimel was awarded both the C.D. Jackson Memorial Prize and the Harry Shapiro Award for Outstanding Brass Playing. He then won the position of second horn with Chicago’s Grant Park Orchestra in 2000 with whom he has recorded numerous times. The winters found Mr. Kimel fleeing Chicago’s cold and snow for sunshine and warmth as third horn with the Sarasota (FL) Opera Orchestra. Additionally, Neil has performed with the Symphony Orchestras of Kansas City, Nashville, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Toronto, Chicago and the Cleveland Orchestra with whom he toured to Vienna playing in the famed Musikverein.
James Popejoy is Director of Bands and Professor of Music at the University of North Dakota. Conductor of the Wind Ensemble, University Band and Chamber Players, he also instructs graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting, instrumental literature, and jazz pedagogy. Under his direction, the UND Wind Ensemble and UND Faculty Chamber Players have been selected to present multiple performances for the North Dakota Music Educators Association, College Band Directors National Association North Central Division, and the Western International Band Clinic. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Central Missouri State University; the Master of Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Iowa; and earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting with a minor in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. In his twentieth year of teaching at UND, Dr. Popejoy served as Director of Bands and Percussion Studies at McLennan Community College in Texas for five years; was a public-school music educator in Missouri for nine years; and has founded and conducted adult and student community ensembles. Honors include the CMSU Distinguished Alumnus Award; NDMEA Educator of the Year; two North Dakota Spirit Faculty Achievement Awards; two Outstanding Faculty Awards from the UND Greek Council; the UND Faculty Award for Individual Excellence in Teaching; and the Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association. Past President of the North Central Division of CBDNA, he remains active as a jazz vibist, clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor.