Prof. David F. Eccles is a native of Norfolk, Virginia and the son of a music educator. He currently serves as Director of String Music Education and Orchestral Activities at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. He has held string education positions in Virginia and Florida. An active clinician, adjudicator, conductor and cellist, Eccles has held conducting and music director positions with the Florida State University Summer Music Camps, Tallahassee Symphony Youth Orchestra, Southwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, Greater Miami Youth Symphony, Jubilate Youth Orchestra, and Brevard Symphony Youth Orchestra. He has served as a guest conductor for many state, county, regional, and community orchestras.
Mr. Eccles has presented education sessions at many local, state, and international conferences including the Midwest Band and Orchestra Directors Clinic & Conference, American String Teachers Association Conference, Texas Music Educators Conference, Illinois Music Educators Conference, and Florida Music Educators Conference. Mr. Eccles is also a clinician and consulting author for the Hal Leonard Corporation. Additionally, he is a Performing Artist for JonPaul Bows.
Mr. Eccles is completing his doctoral studies at Florida State University. He holds a Master of Music Degree in Music Education from University of Miami (Florida) and Bachelor of Music and Media from Norfolk State University. His principal teachers include Elizabeth Eccles, Laurien Laufman, Ross Harbaugh, and Dr. Michael Allen.
David is a member of Illinois Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Kappa Lambda, College Orchestra Directors Association, and served as President of the Illinois Chapter of American String Teachers Association.
Dr. Stephen Benham is Professor of Music Education at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA). He has degrees from the University of Minnesota, the University of Michigan, and the Eastman School of Music. Dr. Benham is an internationally-acclaimed clinician, speaker, consultant, and conductor with expertise in pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, teacher training, and new program development. His work has been featured in numerous international research seminars and conferences including ASTA, NAfME, and Society for Ethnomusicology, among many others. Dr. Benham is the author of the Yes You Can! A Survival Guide for Teaching Strings Teaching Strings (Carl Fischer), co-author of Sound Innovations: Creative Warm-ups—Exercises for Intonation, Rhythm, Bowing, and Creativity,and lead author of the ASTA String Curriculum: Standards, Goals, Learning Sequences for Essential Skills and Knowledge in K–12 String Programs.He has also written several articles and chapters for scholarly publications, including handbooks and encyclopedias published by Oxford University Press and SAGE publications.Dr. Benham is an active consultant in the development of new music programs in communities without current string programs across the US, in addition to providing expertise to music education projects in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. He is a nationally-recognized leader having served in leadership positions in several states and is past-president of the American String Teachers Association.