Band Invitational

Band Ivitational Header7th Annual KSU Band Invitational
Friday and Saturday, February 16-17, 2018

The Kennesaw State University Band Invitational is a unique event that offers high school and middle school concert bands the opportunity to experience performing in one of the finest concert halls in Georgia: Morgan Concert Hall in the Bailey Performance Center. Ensembles will be critiqued in a non-competitive format and given feedback by caption from KSU brass, woodwind, percussion, and conducting faculty. Ensembles will also have a short clinic with a nationally-recognized guest clinician and receive a professional audio recording of their performance.

Applications are due by Friday, November 3, 2017. 

  • The KSU Band Invitational is open to high school and middle school bands. Applications are submitted entirely online. 

    For the application, you will need to provide your contact information and two recent performance recordings.  These two selections should be live, unedited, and vary in musical style.  Along with the aforementioned, you will need to provide a non-refundable application fee of $100.00.  The payment should be made out to Kennesaw State University (KSU) School of Music. 

    All accepted ensembles will be required to pay a $500.00 ensemble participation fee, which is due one month prior to The Concert Band Invitational.  This fee covers the cost of the two guest clinicians, and the costs associated with performing in the Bailey Performance Center. This payment will also be made out to Kennesaw State University (KSU) School of Music.

    The payments should be sent to Mr. Richard Peluso, KSU Music Building, 491 Bartow Avenue, Room 117, MD 3201, Kennesaw, GA 30144.

    Please click on the link below to apply to perform at the 2018 KSU Band Invitational to be held on Friday, February 16 and Saturday, February 17, 2018. Applications will be reviewed upon submission and schools will be notified once accepted.

           APPLY NOW        

    Application deadline:

    Friday, November 3, 2017 
  • Your performance experience will include:  

    • 30-minute rehearsal warm-up in the Brooker Rehearsal Hall (in the Bailey Center and adjacent to the performance stage)
    • 20-30-minute performance on the stage of the Bailey Performance Center (depending on length of selections and grade level.)
    • 10-minute clinic with one of the nationally-recognized guest clinicians.
    • Evaluations of your ensemble by KSU applied faculty by caption, which will include Strings, Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion.
    • Conductor video and feedback from the KSU conducting & music education faculty.
    • Professional audio recording

    In addition, your group can listen to live performances mid-day from the KSU Symphony Orchestra and have opportunities to hear other high school and middle school bands and orchestras from around the region.

  • Guest Clinicians

    Dr. Albert Nguyen

    Dr. Albert Nguyen
    Director of Bands, University of Memphis

    Albert Nguyen is the Director of Bands at the University of Memphis.  His responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of the university bands, conducting the Wind Ensemble, leading the graduate wind conducting program, and serving as the director of the Memphis Music Camp.  He also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music education. Prior to this position, Dr. Nguyen served as the Assistant Director of Bands and the Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Memphis.  He began his professional teaching career in Arkansas as the Director of Bands at Morrilton High School and maintains his connection to the public schools by frequently serving as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor.

    Dr. Nguyen holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education from Arkansas Tech University and the Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Educators, and is a contributing author in the GIA publication Teaching Music through Performance in Band.

    Mr. David Puckett

    Mr. David Puckett
    Band Director, Keller Independent School District, Texas

    David Puckett is currently band director in Keller I.S.D, Texas, where he opened both South Keller Intermediate and Indian Springs Middle School in 2001.  Mr. Puckett is in his twentieth year as a Texas music educator where he has taught at both the middle and high school levels. He teaches all the beginner brass classes, jazz band as well as team-teaches three performance bands and percussion ensembles with his colleagues. Mr. Puckett was named the recipient of the 2013 John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Cup. In 2014 the Indian Springs Band was a feature performance group at The Midwest Clinic. The ISMS band program has made it to the state level of the TMEA Honor Band process three times and won the 2015 Texas Music Educators Association Honor Band competition allowing them the honor to perform at the 2016 TMEA convention as the CCC Honor Band. In 2016 Indian Springs MS was chosen to attend Music for All’s National Concert Band festival and were honored to travel to Indianapolis in March 2017 to perform. Choice Music’s Mark of Excellence has recognized Indian Springs nine times in the National Wind Band Honors contest, once in the Citation of Excellence and once in National Jazz Honors. Mr. Puckett’s bands receive consistent Superior ratings at Texas UIL Concert and Sight-reading contests and many Best in Class or outstanding bands of the day recognition at local festivals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Students from Mr. Puckett’s program consistently have the highest representation at District and Region level honor bands and Superior ratings at solo and ensemble contests. Mr. Puckett is a member of Phi Beta Mu – Alpha Chapter, an International Bandmasters Fraternity where he serves on the public relations committee; the Texas Music Educators Association; the Texas Bandmasters Association and enjoys regular visits to The Midwest Clinic. Mr. Puckett serves on the PML Music Selection Committee and has been named ISMS’s Teacher of the Year. He has served in several offices at the TMEA region level and currently serves as lead teacher of the six Keller ISD middle school band programs. He thoroughly enjoys spending time outside of his own band hall as a band consultant, clinician, conductor, adjudicator, mentor and trombone performer. Mr. Puckett graduated with his Bachelors of Music Education from the University of Nebraska –Lincoln and now resides in Keller, Texas with his loving wife Becky and beautiful daughter Rachel.

    KSU Faculty and Staff


    Dr. David Kehler
    Director of Bands

    Since 2009, David Kehler has served as Director of Bands at Kennesaw State University where he oversees all aspects of the University's band program while serving as Music Director and Conductor of the KSU Wind Ensemble.

    An advocate of new music, Professor Kehler has commissioned leading composers to write new works for wind ensemble including Michael Markowski, Joel Puckett, James Stephenson, Christopher Theofenidis, and an upcoming commission by Pulitzer Prize winner, Joseph Schwantner. In addition, the KSU Wind Ensemble has been featured on 90.1 FM (WABE- Atlanta public radio), and continues to garner praise from composers including Steven Bryant, Karel Husa, David Lang, David Maslanka, Scott McAllister, and Joel Puckett. In 2012, the KSU Wind Ensemble was a featured ensemble and hosted the Southern Division College Band Directors /National Band Association Conference. In 2013, the KSU Wind Ensemble was the winner of the 2013 American Prize for best Wind Ensemble/Concert Band performance in the United States. In addition to his ensemble responsibilities, Dr. Kehler teaches courses in instrumental conducting, wind literature and symphonic repertoire.

    Previously, David Kehler served The University of Texas at Austin as a Graduate Conducting Associate receiving a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. From 2001-2009, Dr. Kehler served as Associate Conductor of America's Premier Windband; The Dallas Wind Symphony where he was the director of the Dallas Wind Symphony International Fanfare Project. In addition, Dr. Kehler conducted the Dallas Wind Symphony throughout Texas, including the annual Labor Day Concert at the Dallas Arboretum, various Chautauqua festivals, holiday concerts, and a formal gala presented by the United States Armed Forces with all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in attendance.

    While in Texas, Dr. Kehler was also Founder and Conductor of the GDYO Wind Symphony, an ensemble affiliated with the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestras, Inc. During his ten years of service, the GDYO Wind Symphony established itself as one of the premier youth wind ensembles in the United States. They were a featured ensemble at the Texas Bandmasters Association/National Band Association Convention in San Antonio, Texas, and were heard internationally on "From the Top", a syndicated radio program featuring the finest young classical musicians in the country. In addition, the GDYO Wind Symphony participated in exchange concerts with the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony and performed with Jeff Nelson, former horn of the Canadian Brass. In the summer of 2008, the GDYO Wind Symphony embarked on an extensive two-week tour of China, performing at all of the major music conservatories throughout China and Hong Kong.

    Previous university appointments were at Southern Methodist University, the University of Rhode Island, and Bay City Western High School, in Bay City, Michigan. Growing up in Michigan, Dr. Kehler received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Michigan State University. Professor Kehler is an active conductor and clinician throughout the United States, and has memberships in many musical organizations including CBDNA, NBA, NAfME, Phi Beta Mu, GMEA and others.


    Dr. Debra Traficante
    Associate Director of Bands

    Dr. Debra Traficante serves as Kennesaw State University’s Associate Director of Bands/Director of Athletic Bands.  In this position, Dr. Traficante guides and directs all aspects of the KSU Marching Band (“The Marching Owls”), premiered in the Fall 2015, as well as the KSU Basketball Pep Band. Professor Traficante also serves as the Conductor of the KSU Concert Band, teaches beginning instrumental conducting, wind band literature, arranging and pedagogy, and marching band technique courses, while also advising Music Education students.  She also serves as the Kappa Kappa Psi (Nu Mu) and Tau Beta Sigma (Iota Psi) chapter advisor. Dr. Traficante serves on the brass staff for the Boston Crusaders. 

    Dr. Traficante formerly served as Assistant Professor of Music/Assistant Director of University Bands at the University of Oklahoma where she conducted the Symphony Band, assisted in directing the “Pride of Oklahoma” Marching Band, taught conducting lessons to graduate and undergraduate students, taught graduate wind literature courses, served as the lead teacher for the undergraduate conducting and methods course, and oversaw music education students. She also served as the School of Music: Music Minor advisor, Honors College Music Coordinator, faculty sponsor for Sigma Alpha Iota, and faculty sponsor for the Delta Chapters of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.

    Professor Traficante earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education, cum laude, from the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL), a Master of Music degree in Wind Band Conducting from the University of Florida, and earned a Fellowship to pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Band Conducting degree from the University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK).  She served as Director of Bands for five years at New Smyrna Beach High School, Florida and Assistant Director of Bands for two years at Buchholz High School, Florida.

    Dr. Traficante frequently judges, guest conducts, and clinics ensembles across the United States, and has conducted at the International World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles Conference in Singapore in 2005.

    Professor Traficante is the immediate past National Vice President of Professional Relations for Tau Beta Sigma, and an Honorary Member of the Delta Chapters, Alpha Eta Chapter, Iota Psi, and Beta Xi Chapter of the Kappa Kappa Psi National Band Fraternity and Tau Beta Sigma National Band Sorority. Additionally, she was honored in 2010 as a Distinguished Member in Sigma Alpha Iota and has been awarded the Martha Starke Memorial Scholarship for Women Conductors.

    Trey Harris School of Music

    Dr. Trey Harris
    Assistant Director of Bands and Lecturer

    Dr. Trey Harris primary duties include directing the University Concert Band, the Basketball Pep Band teaching courses in Music Education, and assisting in the direction of the KSU Marching Owls.

    Prior to pursuing his undergraduate studies, Harris served as a trombonist in the United States Marine Corps. He performed throughout the continental United States as well as Japan, Australia, and Guam while a member of the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band (Okinawa, Japan) and Marine Forces Reserve Band (New Orleans, LA). Upon receiving an honorable discharge from the United States Marine Corps, Harris pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the Michigan State University College of Music. While completing his degree, he served as the band director at St. Martha’s School (MI). He earned his Master of Music degree in Wind Conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Music Education from the Florida State University College of Music. His teaching experience includes Director of Bands at Yeokum Middle School (MO) and at Lake Howell High School (FL), as well as serving as Adjunct Professor of Trombone/Euphonium at Bethune-Cookman University (FL).

    Harris has presented music education research at both state and national conferences. Recent presentations include Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA) Annual Conference, Desert Skies Research Symposium, and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Research and Teacher Education National Conference. His primary area of music education research is the programming selections of high school band directors as they relate to educational philosophy.

    Harris’s musical mentors include Richard Clary, Patrick Dunnigan, Steven D. Davis, Joseph Parisi, John Whitwell, Ava Ordman, and LeMoine Emerson Fantz. He maintains an active schedule as presenter, clinician, and trombonist.


    Mr. Richard Peluso
    Coordinator of Band Operations and Outreach

    Richard Peluso graduated Cum Laude from the Berklee College of Music in 1982, with a Bachelor of Music degree, Major in Performance. He then began his musical career in the Atlanta area as a freelance trumpet player. He performed with numerous entertainers to include; Lou Rawls, Diahann Carroll, Debbie Reynolds, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Temptations, Four Tops, OJays, Spinners, Ringling Bros. Circus, Ice Capades, and the Atlanta Symphony Pops Orchestra in addition to numerous club dates and show performances in the Atlanta area. He also toured the Caribbean as a staff trumpet player with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. His final musical position was the staff trumpet player for the original Ruperts Orchestra in Atlanta.

    He then began a law enforcement career with the Cobb County Police Department which lasted 25 years and included numerous assignments in both the detective and uniform bureaus. After obtaining his retirement criteria, Mr. Peluso then sought out other career opportunities and accepted the position of Coordinator of Band Operations and Outreach at KSU.

    Mr. Peluso is very excited to be a part of the music department at KSU and looks forward to many years ahead back in the music business. In his off-time, Mr. Peluso enjoys spending time with his family and riding his motorcycle.


    Dr. Doug Lindsey
    Lecturer of Trumpet
    Brass Feedback and Evaluations

    Dr. Douglas Lindsey joined the faculty at Kennesaw State University in the fall of 2012, and is very active in the Southeast. Recently as a soloist, he has been a featured artist with the Memphis Symphony, the Kennesaw State Orchestra, the Kennesaw State Wind Ensemble, the Georgia Brass Band, at the International Trumpet Guild conference, at the Atlanta Trumpet Festival, and at the Trumpet Festival of the Southeast.  An advocate of new music, over the course of the two years he has premiered 4 new works for trumpet.  Alongside pianist, Judy Cole, he has performed solo recitals all over the Southeast as a founding member of Duo Trompiano.  In addition to solo work, Dr. Lindsey enjoys an active chamber music career as first trumpet with the Premiere Brass, as founding member of the Atlanta Trumpet League, and as a member of the Isthmus Brass.  As an orchestral musician, he regularly performs as the principal trumpet of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, as section trumpet with the Atlanta Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Macon Symphony, and spent two summers at the Aspen Music Festival. As an educator, he maintains a vibrant studio of young trumpeters at KSU and at various high schools in the area, and recently started a popular regional high school ensemble, the North-Atlanta Trumpet Ensemble. Most recently, the KSU trumpet ensemble garnered praise at the 2015 International Trumpet Guild conference where they performed Erik Morale’s Infinite Ascent, and continue to find success at the National Trumpet Competition with their consecutive semi-finalist placements.  Other studio accomplishments include multiple winners from theInternational Trumpet Guild scholarship contest, job placements, successful graduate school placements, and multiple winners of KSU’s concerto competition.

    Dr. Lindsey’s former duties as music history lecturer at KSU as well as his many experiences on the cornetto and the baroque trumpet reflect his keen interest in the fields of early music and musicology.  As an avid composer and arranger, he enjoys creating work for trumpet ensemble, brass quintet, and brass ensembles.  His published dissertation, “Beyond the Galant,” is an arrangement of four Haydn symphonies for trumpet with historical information about Haydn, performance practice, and the history behind many of the works.  This work is distributed by Hickey’s music and available  His many other arrangements and compositions are available on his website

    Previous to his time at KSU, Dr. Lindsey played concerts all over Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois with the acclaimed Wisconsin Brass Quintet. Prior to his tenure with WBQ, Dr. Lindsey performed with the Yale Faculty Brass trio in a series of concerts ending inCarnegie Hall in New York City. In addition to the faculty brass, Dr. Lindsey also pursued a busy schedule with the Atticus Brass Quintet –winner of the 2009 Aspen Music Festival Quintet Fellowship. With Atticus, Dr. Lindsey had the opportunity to play outreach concerts all over Connecticut, perform alongside the American Brass Quintet, and play an exclusive concert on the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

    Previous to earning his DMA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Lindsey studied with Allan Dean at Yale, earning his Master of Music with the distinction of winning the John Swallow excellence in brass prize. Prior to Yale he studied with Ray Mase, Louis Ranger, Kevin Cobb, Scott Moore and Richard Rulli.  Dr. Lindsey received his music performance and music education degrees magna cum laude from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

    Dr. Lindsey is a Schilke performing artist and performs on Facet Mutes.


    Prof. John Warren
    Associate Professor of Clarinet
    Woodwind Feedback and Evaluations

    John Warren joined the Kennesaw State University faculty in 2006. After a national search, he was selected as the Professor of Clarinet in 2011.

    His previous university affiliations include Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia, and The University of Nebraska at Omaha. For 15 years, he was the principal clarinetist of the Savannah Symphony Orchestra and prior to that position, the principal clarinetist of the Omaha Symphony. He served as principal clarinetist of the Des Moines Metro Opera for many summers prior to arriving in Atlanta. At KSU, Mr. Warren teaches studio clarinet, wind chamber music, and Woodwind Techniques.

    Mr. Warren is a member of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, the IRIS Orchestra of Memphis, TN, as well as performing frequently and recording with the Atlanta Symphony. His playing can be heard on the Telarc, Naxos, Albany, and New World labels.

    He has performed as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the IRIS Orchestra, the Curtis Institute Orchestra, and the Symphonies of Savannah, Omaha, Hilton Head, and Beaufort, SC. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Mr. Warren has appeared at the Aspen Music Festival, the Evian Festival and the Highlands Chamber Music Festival. He performed the American premiere of selections from Kurt Weill's opera Der Protagonist in Carnegie Recital Hall. He was a featured recitalist at the International Clarinet Association's 2005 conference.

    Originally, from Shreveport, Louisiana, Mr. Warren holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati College/Conservatory of Music and The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. His most influential teachers include Donald Montanaro, L. Thomas LeGrand, and Richard Waller.


    Prof. John Lawless
    Senior Lecturer of Percussion Studies
    Percussion Feedback and Evaluations

    John Lawless, Senior Lecturer, joined the music faculty of Kennesaw State University in 1998 and became the Director of Percussion Studies in 2004. Principal Timpanist of the Atlanta Opera orchestra since 1979, John held the same position with the Chattanooga Symphony for 21 years. Since 1978, Mr. Lawless has performed, toured and recorded with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra while maintaining a thriving freelance career as a studio and pit percussionist.

    A founding member of the Atlanta Percussion Trio, Mr. Lawless performs hundreds of school concerts a year for thousands of children throughout the Southeastern United States. Along with Scott Douglas and Karen Hunt, the trio has been a performing group for 32 years, bringing educational programs to children of all ages.

    As a soloist, Mr. Lawless played several concertos with the Chattanooga Symphony, including: The Olympian for 8 Timpani and Orchestra as well as The Messenger for Multiple Percussion and Orchestra, both written by James Oliverio. In 2009, Mr. Lawless performed Joseph Schwantner's Concerto for Percussion with the Cobb Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, he performed the Southeastern premier of Christopher Theofinidis' Marimba Concerto with the KSU Wind Ensemble for the Festival of New Music.

    A graduate of Georgia State University, Mr. Lawless' teachers include Tom Float, Jack Bell, Cloyd Duff, Paul Yancich, Bill Wilder and Mark Yancich. Previous faculty appointments include those at Georgia State University, Clark Atlanta University and West Georgia State University.

  • KSU Band Invitational

    KSU Band Invitational

    KSU Band Invitational

    KSU Band Invitational

    KSU Band Invitational

    KSU Band Invitational

    KSU Band Invitational

    KSU Band Invitational

  • For more information, contact:
    Mr. Richard Peluso


  • Testimonial from a Director
  • "I wanted to send a quick thank you for accepting our group to play at KSU this past weekend. This past weekend is one that I will never forget and I know that my students feel the same. Being afforded the opportunity to come to visit the KSU campus, play in that wonderful hall and to receive the feedback we received is truly a blessing and will help our group as we prepare for the next event, whatever it may be. The professionalism of all that were involved from being met as we arrived until we left for the trip home was outstanding. The students did a great job of making sure we were well-taken care of and the facilities were outstanding."