Makenzie Shinbara grew up near Minneapolis, MN. Her journey toward a career in music started in high school when she joined the winter drumline and began composing music under the tutelage of her piano teacher, Wynn-Anne Rossi.
Makenzie earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory and Composition from Concordia College in Morehead, MN. She participated in several ensembles and fell in love ... with music theory. After a trip to Ghana, West Africa--during which she studied dancing, hand drums, the Ghanaian xylophone called the gyil with Bernard Woma--Makenzie became interested in music from around the world and was inspired to continue her musical education.
In Tuscon, Mackenzie received her Master of Music degree in Musicology from the University of Arizona. With a focus on ethnomusicology, Mackenzie completed her thesis on the Zimbabwean mibira dzavadzimu. During her studies, she continued to play in ensembles, and after graduation, Mackenzie joined an African dance band called the Key Ingredients of African Soul playing marimba at local venues.
James Ducey is Instructor of Music Technology at Iowa Western Community College.
Director of Vocal Music
Johnson is currently in his sixth year as the Director of Vocal Music at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He conducts the Concert Choir, 1st Edition Show Choir, IWCC Gentlemen, Jazz Choir and Southwest Iowa Community Women’s Chorus. He also oversees voice studies at Iowa Western, teaching college and area high school students. Johnson was previously Director of Vocal Music in Atlantic, Iowa, at Atlantic High School for five years.
He finished his Master’s in Music Education with a choral emphasis at the VanderCook College of Music in Chicago this past summer. He completed his Bachelors of Music in Vocal Music Education from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in May of 2007. He is an active member of Iowa Choral Directors Association and is presently the Treasurer for the North Central American Choral Directors Association. He has enjoyed work as a clinician and judge for choirs, show choirs and private voice work. Johnson enjoys spending time with family and friends, including his pride and joy, his nephew, Kieran.
Director of Instrumental Music
Don is a native of Saint Charles, IL, where he started playing clarinet. In high school, Don was placed in the auditioned Wind Ensemble, playing bass clarinet, a skill he continued through college. He completed his undergraduate studies at Eastern Illinois University in 2012, where he proceeded to teach in the ROWVA school district in northwestern Illinois. There he taught K-12 music and band, recruiting one of the largest band programs in ROWVA's history. He taught successfully at all grade levels, leading the Marching Tigers to a number of placements in various competitions around the state. While living in Galesburg, Don and his wife, River, enjoyed performing in various musicals with the Prairie Players Civic Theatre, most recently performing in the starring roles of Inga and Igor in Mel Brooks' adaptation of "Young Frankenstein". Don was a Conducting Graduate Assistant at Eastern Illinois University, serving the Band Division where his duties included music arranging and drill writing for the Panther Marching Band, serving as a music and visual technician for the Panther Marching Band, Guest Conducting for the concert bands on campus, and maintaining instrument and locker inventory for the Department of Music. He currently resides in Omaha, NE.