2020 RMC Music Festival
March 5 - 7 : Choir | Handbell Choir | Full Orchestra
Ms. Esther E. Avilés
Mile High Academy
Highlands Ranch, CO
"I am honored to direct the Choir for the RMC Music Festival this year and look forward to working with students in making music together!"
My family is originally from Santiago, Chile, however I was born and raised in Collegedale, TN along with my 4 older siblings. Music became a major part of my life when I began playing the violin at four years old, and would often play or sing duets with my sister at church. Whether it was playing in orchestra or singing in choir, there was always music floating around in my head!
I graduated with a degree in Music Pedagogy from Southern Adventist University, then received a Masters in Secondary Education from the University of Tennessee. I have been a Clinician for the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference and for the Georgia-Cumberland Conference, directing the Orchestra for both music festivals.
Dr. John Howard, DMA, CAGO
Intermountain Adventist Academy
Grand Junction, CO
“I am thrilled to have been asked to be the guest Handbell Choir Clinician this year at the RMC Music Festival. I look forward to combining my love of Handbell music with my love of students and our Lord as we seek to learn, grow, and make His praise glorious!”
Dr. John Howard is a church musician, music educator, conductor and organist, is a native of San Diego, California, and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Christian Heritage College in 2002. In 2005, he earned his Master of Arts in Musicology from San Diego State University, and in 2011, he completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy at the University of Southern Mississippi. He completed the Colleague exam of the American Guild of Organists (CAGO) in 2012.
Dr. Howard currently holds the position of K-8 Music Teacher at Intermountain Adventist Academy in Grand Junction, Colorado. He also serves as Director of Music and Worship Arts at The First Presbyterian Church of Grand Junction. Previous academic appointments have included teaching and conducting at high school, collegiate, and university levels, and has held several church music positions. He is also the recently appointed artistic director of the Messiah Choral Society of Grand Junction.
He works with tireless passion and energy to promote excellence in choral and organ music for the glory of God and the enrichment of contemporary culture.
Mr. George Swanson
Retired Music Teacher
Currently at The Voice of Prophecy
"I am honored to be the band clinician this year at the RMC Music Festival. It will be a joy working together with a great group of staff & students, creating exceptional music, shaping talents together, and creating an experience that promises a bright future with vibrant friendships and glowing memories. This festival is a highlight for me. It has proven to be one of the best music festivals in the North America Division, and I’m eagerly looking forward to it. This will be GREAT! "
My fondest junior high memories were playing the trombone at the annual Music Festivals at Forest Lake Academy near Orlando, FL. It was great playing with a whole section of trombones in a large band, since in my school the band consisted of 15 kids. These festivals were amazing! Great music, wonderful musicians, many of which became life-long buddies.
My early years were saturated with music, at home, church and school. My dad was an elementary school teacher in the south, and our summers were spent around old tent meetings, where dad was the singing evangelist. He had a beautiful baritone voice, and often played his old trombone which fascinated me. My first instrument was our big upright piano, but quickly switched to the trombone. In the 6th grade our school started a beginning band. I was the only one playing trombone, and soon began taking lessons. Music was central to our family. Along with dad’s singing, we would often sing around the piano with mom playing our favorite hymns. We also developed an instrumental trio with dad on the alto sax, my brother on the trumpet, and me on the trombone and mom on the piano.
Through high school, and college I performed in band, orchestra, brass ensemble, vocal octet, and men's quartet... what a blast! All along I knew I wanted to teach music. So, I didn't waste any time getting my Bachelor of Music from Southern Adventist University in 1972. I started teaching that next year. In 1975, I attended Andrews University and received my Master of Music Education. That year I accepted the call to teach at Campion Academy. I taught both band and choir. It was wonderful watching students embrace a love for music, and some pursuing musical careers, sharing their love for music and God with others.