Meet our Conductors
During the Season of Discovery, experience the artistry and talent of our roster of guest conductors and music director finalists. Whether you are a long-time audience member or just curious what ONNY is all about, this season is sure to delight!
Music Director Finalist
Michael J. Colburn has a master’s in music degree from George Mason University, with a concentration in Conducting. His undergraduate career began with two years at the Crane School of Music and finished at Arizona State University. Currently, he is the Music Director and Conductor of the Me2 Orchestra in Burlington, VT. Mr. Colburn is the former Director of “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band, where he spent nine years as a performer and eighteen years as conductor. As leader of its Chamber Orchestra, he conducted musicians primarily in performances at the White House, but also in public venues where the repertoire spanned from the Baroque to the modern era. For the past eight years, he was the Director of Bands at Butler University in Indianapolis.
Among his many accomplishments, for eighteen years Mr. Colburn directed the Marine Chamber Orchestra in State Dinners at the White House, in annual White House performances for Kennedy Center Honors receptions, and for two Kennedy Center concerts commemorating September 11. He also conducted the Marine Band for President Obama’s two inaugurations and President George W. Bush’s second inauguration.
Music Director Finalist
Adrian Slywotzky, DMA, earned his doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Michigan. He possesses two master’s degrees in Orchestral Conducting and Violin Performance from the Yale School of Music. Currently, he is the Director of Orchestras at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.
Passionate about welcoming new audiences into the orchestral world, Dr. Slywotzky won Second Prize for the Audite International Conducting Competition in Poland and for the Atlantic Coast International Conducting Competition in Portugal. He was also a semi-finalist for the Mendelssohn Conducting Competition in Greece.
Prior to coming to Potsdam, he was the Associate Director of Orchestras at the University of Michigan for three years. He has worked with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Cornell Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, and the New Haven Chamber Orchestra, among others. He also was a Teaching Fellow with the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra.
Dr. Brian Doyle
Brian K. Doyle joined the Crane School of Music faculty as Director of Bands in 2006. He conducts the Crane Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, and also teaches courses in conducting. A graduate of Michigan State University, his principal teachers included John Whitwell, Joseph Lulloff and James Forger. Doyle later received the AMusD in Wind Conducting under the mentorship of Michael Haithcock at the University of Michigan.
Prior to completing his undergraduate degree in Music Education, Doyle served for two years in the United States Air Force as a saxophonist in the 745th Air Force Band at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana. Returning to Michigan State University, Doyle was a member of the award-winning Borealis Saxophone Quartet, taking top honors at the Coleman, Carmel, and Fischoff Chamber Music competitions in the early 1990s. At that time, he also performed in ensembles backing touring musicians such as Bob Hope, Bernadette Peters, Mel Torme, Jeffrey Osborne, Roberta Flack, and Tommy Tune. Additionally, as an active member of the mid-Michigan music scene, Doyle performed in several big bands as well as the salsa band, Orquesta Tradiçion Latina.
Dr. Doyle’s former teaching posts include faculty positions at Indiana University, UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, and as a grade 5-12 public school music educator in Imlay City, MI. While in North Carolina, Dr. Doyle served as the resident conductor of the Triangle British Brass Band and performed regularly as saxophonist with the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra. For ten summers, Dr. Doyle conducted ensembles at the renowned Interlochen Arts Camp. Dr. Doyle now spends his summers as the conductor of the Crane Youth Music Wind Ensemble. During the year, he is in regular demand as a clinician and conductor.
In March 2016, Dr. Doyle was honored by his peers in the profession by being elected into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. He also is an active member of the College Band Directors National Association, having served on the organization’s Music Education Committee since 2013.
Dr. James Madeja
James T. Madeja is Professor Emeritus at The Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam where, for thirty-six years, he taught courses in instrumental music education and studio trumpet and conducted the Crane Concert Band and Crane Brass Ensemble. Dr. Madeja received his BS, MS, and EdD degrees in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a charter member of the Orchestra of Northern New York and Northern Symphonic Winds and has been a member of the Potsdam Brass Quintet from 1985 to 2020. He has toured as cornetist with Keith Brion's New Sousa Band and held the position of conductor of Skyline Brass, a professional large brass ensemble based in Harrisonburg, VA. Prior to joining the faculty of The Crane School of Music in 1985, he developed two successful high school wind band programs in the state of Illinois and directed the Judson College Wind Ensemble. His ensembles have performed for both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. From 1990 to 2002, Dr. Madeja was Associate Editor of The Journal of the International Trumpet Guild, and from 2002 to 2022, he was Associate Editor of the New York State School Music Association Manual. His research interests include the history of the American wind band and in particular the contribution of Herbert L. Clarke. His written work has appeared in the Journal of Band Research, College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Journal, The Journal of the International Trumpet Guild, The Instrumentalist, The Brass Player, New York State School Music News, Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) Journal, and Music Educators Journal (MEJ). He is recipient of the SUNY Potsdam President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Advising, the MENC Excellence in Teaching Award, and the 2019 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.