Robert J. Ambrose
Conductor Robert J. Ambrose enjoys a highly successful and diverse career as a dynamic and engaging musician. His musical interests cross many genres and can be seen in the wide range of professional activities he pursues. Dr. Ambrose studied formally at Boston College, Boston University and Northwestern University, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting.
Dr. Ambrose has conducted professionally across the United States as well as in Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. His interpretations have earned the enthusiastic praise of many leading composers including Pulitzer Prize winners Leslie Bassett, Michael Colgrass and John Harbison. He has conducted over two dozen premiere performances including works by Michael Colgrass, Jonathan Newman, Joel Puckett, Christopher Theofanidis and Joseph Turrin. Dr. Ambrose has conducted Arnold Schoenberg’s landmark piece Pierrot Lunaire several times in three different countries and a recent performance of Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms under his direction has been given repeated airings on Georgia Public Radio.
Dr. Ambrose is founder and music director of the Atlanta Chamber Winds a professional dectet specializing in the promotion of music by emerging composers as well as lesser-known works of established composers. Their premiere compact disc, Music from Paris, was released in 2009 on the Albany Records label and has received outstanding reviews in both Fanfareand Gramophonemagazines.
As a guitarist, Robert Ambrose has performed in dozens of jazz ensembles, combos, rock bands and pit orchestras. His rock band “Hoochie Suit,” formed with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, received rave reviews throughout the Chicago area and performed for such distinguished guests as Yo-Yo Ma and Daniel Barenboim.
Dr. Ambrose currently serves as director of bands, associate professor of music and associate director of the School of Music at Georgia State University, a Research I institution of 32,000 students located in Atlanta, Georgia. As director of bands he conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, maintains a highly selective studio of graduate students in the Master of Music in wind band conducting degree program, and oversees a large, comprehensive band program comprised of four concert ensembles and three athletic bands.
Robert Ambrose lives in Peachtree City, Georgia with his wife Sarah Kruser Ambrose, a professional flute player, and daughters Isabelle and Hannah.
Chester B. Phillips
A native of Newnan, GA, Chester B. Phillips is in his ninth year as associate director of bands and director of athletic bands at Georgia State University. His primary responsibilities include conducting the Wind Orchestra, establishing and directing the marching band, teaching conducting and overseeing all facets of the athletic bands. In 2013, Dr. Phillips was presented the Dean’s Early Career Award by the College of Arts and Sciences for his outstanding work in teaching, service and professional development. Under his leadership the GSU Panther Band has received several honors and accolades including participation in the 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, marching in the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade, a national top-ten honor by the 2013 College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), and a top-five honor by the 2012 & 2016 Southern Division of CBDNA.
As a clinician, Dr. Phillips has presented for organizations including: GMEA (GA), AMEA (AL), Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic (IL), Music For All Summer Symposium (IN), Bands of America Regional Championships (TX and PA), Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities (HI), College Band Directors National Association (NC), and Drum Corps Japan (Yokohama, Japan). Dr. Phillips continues a close affiliation with the Rauman Poikasoittokunta (Youth Band) in Rauma, Finland where he regularly conducts, gives master classes, and designs marching drill.
Prior to his appointment at GSU, Dr. Phillips taught for seven years as the associate director of bands at Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Georgia and for two years in the Gwinnett County public schools at the middle and high school level.
Chester Phillips received the Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the University of Georgia, the Master of Music degree in music education from the University of Illinois and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in wind conducting at the University of Georgia. His principal conducting teachers have been John P. Lynch and James Keene. He is affiliated with professional organizations that include the National Band Association, College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, Georgia Music Educators Association, Drum Corps International and Music for All. Chester lives in Roswell, GA with his wife, Megan, their three children and their dog, Bella.
T. Devin Reid
Devin Reid is currently an active musician and educator throughout the southeast. A native of Fayetteville, NC, Mr. Reid is a 2005 recipient of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Scholarship. He holds a Master of Music in Wind Band Conducting from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
In 2016 Mr. Reid accepted the position as Interim Assistant Director of Bands at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA. In this capacity he co-teaches the Panther Marching Band, conducts the Basketball Band, conducts the University Concert Band, teaches undergraduate and graduate level conducting courses, oversees the university’s concert attendance course and supervises student teachers in the field. Since his arrival, the GSU Concert Band has grown to become the largest instrumental concert ensemble at the university. Prior to his appointment at Georgia State, Mr. Reid taught public school in Georgia and North Carolina and served as Graduate Assistant for the Georgia State University Bands. While teaching at James Kenan High School (NC), Mr. Reid grew the program from 0% to 10% of the school population in just three years. His ensembles performed at numerous events in and out of the community including the NC Muscadine Festival, NC PAS Day of Percussion and the Virginia International Music Festival.
Mr. Reid has presented clinics and workshops at the North Carolina Music Educators Conference, Georgia Music Educators Conference and the Georgia State University Bands of Distinction Honor Clinic. He is a two-time guest conductor of the Eagle Ensemble at the International Euphonium and Tuba Festival. He is also an active concert band and marching band clinician and adjudicator throughout Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina.
As a performer, Mr. Reid is an actively sought after musician. He was the percussionist for the popular brass quintet and Delos recording artist “Da Capo Brass”. Their debut album “From The Beginning” stormed the iTunes classical charts at #8 in January 2012. Currently, Mr. Reid is a freelance percussionist in the Atlanta area. He has also been a member of the regionally acclaimed bluegrass band, “T.R. and the Boys” as baritone vocalist and mandolin player. They have three releases, and their most recent album; “Lonesome” features one of his original songs as the title track. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the National Band Association, the Percussive Arts Society, is an endorser for Sabian Cymbals and a registered songwriter with BMI.
Mr. Reid is happily married to his beautiful wife Amy and they reside in Powder Springs, GA with their daughter Katelynn and son Ethan.