The Sidney Forrest Clarinet Competition Judges
Dr. Brian Jones has served on the faculty of NVCC Alexandria since 2009. He moved to Washington, D.C. after winning a position with The United States Air Force Band. During his tenure there he was invited by the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor to perform Leonard Bernstein’s Sonata for Clarinet at the U.S. Supreme Court in a recital honoring the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Dr. Jones authored seven articles for The Instrumentalist magazine, presented at the m Virginia MENC conference, and performed at the international ClariFest. In addition to teaching at Northern Virginia Community College, he serves on the faculty of the Levine School of Music. He joined the Army National Guard in 2002 serving in the 257th Army Band, “The Band of the Nation’s Capital” as principal clarinetist, eventually promoted to leadership as First Sergeant, serving as the conductor from 2013-2018, and acting commander for eighteen months. In 2020 he was selected to be the Senior Enlisted Leader for all fifty-one Army National Guard Bands. He hold degrees from Catholic University (DMA), Baylor University (MM), and Florida State University (BME) and his teachers include Sidney Forrest, Richard Shanley, and Frank Kowalsky.
Lora Ferguson is a longtime clarinet faculty member at Levine School of Music. She recently retired from George Mason University, where she held the role of adjunct professor of clarinet. Ferguson served as Assistant Principal Clarinet of Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. She has also been a clarinet soloist with Capitol Woodwind Quintet and other chamber groups.
Lora Ferguson was a student of Sidney Forrest throughout her formative years.
Alexandra (Sandra) Chappell graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet from Washburn University where she studied clarinet with James VanSlyke and minored in piano with artist in residence, James Rivers. Sandra received the annual faculty award “Most Outstanding Musician” upon degree completion. She went on to study clarinet with Sidney Forrest at the Peabody Conservatory and following graduation, began a career with the U.S. Naval Academy Band. The preferentially staffed band performed for many dignitaries including: Presidents Bush, Prime Minister Thatcher, General Schwartzkopf, General Colin Powell, Bob Hope, Tony Curtis, and Senator and POW, John McCain. A highlight of her career was performing solo passages under Maestro Leonard Slatkin for the Naval Academy’s 150th Anniversary Gala. She also played un der guest conductors: Frederick Fennell, James Barnes, David Holsinger, Robert Jager, and Anthony Maiello. Sandra was a clarinet soloist with the concert band, led the Woodwind Quintet, and performed on numerous recital series and ceremonies. She was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal at the end of her 20- year military career as Principal Clarinetist and first Concertmistress of the U.S. Naval Academy Band. Sandra studied clarinet with Robert DiLutis while she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Clarinet from the Catholic University of America. Highlights of her time there included performing as principal clarinetist of the orchestra for Pope Francis’s ceremo nial visit as well as the School of Music’s 50th anniversary gala concert for a sold-out crowd at the Kennedy Center. Sandra was chosen as a research competition finalist by the International Clarinet Association and was invited to present her work at their ClarinetFest in Ostend, Belgium, July, 2018.
Dr. Chappell is the clarinet teacher at Broadneck High School’s magnet music program and teaches clarinet and piano at her home studio. She performs with the Virginia Grand Military Band concert series and is invited to perform for band recordings for music publishing companies. She volunteered her time as a former coordinator of the Sidney Forrest Clarinet Competition for high school and college division clarinetists.