Meet the Meridian Community Band Conductor
Artistic Director and Conductor, Meridian Community Band
John Madden serves as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Meridian Community Band in Okemos, Michigan. From 1989 until 2017, John served on the faculty of the College of Music at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. While at MSU, he served as Professor of Music, Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Spartan Marching Band, and Conductor of the MSU Symphony Band. Additionally, he taught advanced instrumental conducting at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He had previously taught courses on marching band techniques. His former music students hold successful band conducting positions at middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities all across the country.
Madden received the Dortha J. and John D. Withrow Award for Excellence in Teaching, as awarded by his faculty peers, from the MSU College of Music in 2014. Prior to coming to MSU, Madden served from 1987 to 1989 as Associate Director of Bands at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He received his master of music education and master of wind conducting degrees from Wichita State University in 1987. Madden is a 1985 graduate of the Michigan State University College of Music, where he received his bachelor of music education degree.
As Emeritus Professor of Music at MSU, Madden maintains an active schedule as conductor, rehearsal, and conducting clinician, adjudicator, music arranger, and drill designer. Invitations to guest conduct have taken him across the United States, Central Europe, and to Shanghai, China. Madden was inducted into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association in March of 2008. He has presented scholarly workshops for the Midwest Clinic, the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), the Michigan Music Conference (MMC), the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA), the Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF), and for Drum Corps International (DCI). For 15 summers, he served as the resident conductor of the Symphony Band at the New England Music Camp (NEMC) in the Belgrade Lakes region of Maine.
Assistant Conductor, Meridian Community Band
Michael Scholes is the Assistant Conductor of the Meridian Community Band and currently serves as Director of Bands at St. Johns Middle School, a position he has held since 2004. Prior to teaching in St. Johns, Mr. Scholes was Band Director for the Merrill (MI) Community Schools (2000-2004). Additionally, he has worked with marching bands from Michigan State University and Albion College. He holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music Education from Michigan State University, where his primary conducting mentor was John Madden. Mike is in high demand as a trumpet player and has performed with the Lansing Concert Band, the Capitol City Brass Band, and Mason Symphony Orchestra, as well as at several local churches and for school and civic pit orchestras. He is a member of Bugles Across America, an organization that provides volunteer live buglers for funerals of United States Military Veterans. Michael currently serves on the board for the Capital Area Down Syndrome Association and resides in Lansing with his wife, Jen, and their three children, Anna, Ella, and Kyle.
Carolyn Moravitz Sherrill began her affiliation with the Meridian Community Band (MCB) as a clarinetist before becoming its conductor and music director in 1990. She is a native of Ely, Minnesota, and attended Michigan State University from which she earned both Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees. In July 2016 Carolyn stepped down as the MCB conductor after having served for twenty-six years in that position. She continues in her role as the Red Cedar Festival Project Director, a position she has held since 1996. Due to her emphasis on continuing education, the band significantly expanded its repertoire to include a wide variety of contemporary, popular, and classical band literature.
Active as a clarinetist, Carolyn performs with the Clarinet Connexions, Grenadilla Quartet, the MSU Alumni Touring Band, and Keith Brion’s New Sousa Band. Among her awards are Kappa Kappa Psi’s Silver Baton Award and the YWCA’s 1999 Diana Award. Professionally, Carolyn taught elementary and middle school band at Lansing’s St. Gerard School for thirty-seven years before her retirement in 2018.
Among her achievements are helping to establish both the Grand Sousa Concert as the MCB’s traditional season opener and the annual Red Cedar Festival of Community Bands, which attracts adult bands from across the state of Michigan.