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Bands Faculty and Staff

Interim Director of Bands Dr. Chad Simons joined the faculty at the University of New Mexico in 2005. His duties as Associate Director of Bands include directing the Spirit Marching Band, Soundpack, Symphonic Band, and teaching various courses in music education. He is also the Director of the Zia Marching Band Fiesta, one of the largest independent marching competitions in the southwest.

From 2001-2005, Dr. Simons was the Associate Director of Bands at Idaho State University, where he directed the ISU "Bengal" Marching Band, taught courses in music education, theory, student teacher training, and music appreciation. Before going to ISU, Dr. Simons taught in the public schools in Forsyth, Montana, where both his middle school and high school bands consistently received superior ratings at local, district and state music festivals.

Active as a clinician and guest conductor, Dr. Simons has given marching band clinics and conducted concert bands throughout the country.

Dr. Simons holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Montana, where he graduated with a president's recognition award, a Master of Music in Wind Conducting from Oklahoma State University, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Kansas University. Dr. Simons' conducting teachers include Dr. Joseph Missal and Dr. Steve Bolstad. Pedagogical influences include Dr. Michael Raiber, and Mr. Bill Ballenger. His percussion instructors include Dr. Robert LedBetter and Prof. Wayne Bovenschen. 

Dr. Geoffrey B. Harman (b. 1986) is the Director of Athletic Bands and Assistant Director of Bands for the University of New Mexico. Prior to completing his Doctorate in Music Education at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Harman was the Director of Bands for the East Lycoming School District in Hughesville, PA.

Dr. Harman earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from West Chester University and Master of Music Education from VanderCook College of Music. He credits Dr. Kristen Albert and Dr. Sterling Murray for inspiring his love for higher education. Dr. Harman thanks Dr. Shanti Simon and Dr. Andrew Yozviak helping him to develop his conducting technique.

Within the drum corps world, Dr. Harman has participated with numerous ensembles and taught internationally with Starriders Drum and Bugle Corps in Bad Münder, Germany. Other drum corps experience includes performing with the Crossmen (2006), the Bluecoats (2008), and the Reading Buccaneers (2010), as well as teaching brass with the Bushwackers (2012–2014).

Outside of music, Dr. Harman enjoys hiking and playing ice hockey. He lives in Norman with his girlfriend and hopes to one day have a dog.


Brett Penshorn is finishing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting at the University of North Texas, where he studies with Eugene Migliaro Corporon. At UNT, Mr. Penshorn served as the conductor and instructor of record for both the University and Concert Bands, taught undergraduate conducting, oversaw the graduate staff and Wind Studies library, and served as a guest conductor and teaching assistant for six concert ensembles comprised of more than 500 undergraduate and graduate instrumental music students. Before coming to the University of New Mexico, Mr. Penshorn served as the Visiting Director of Bands at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Penshorn received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of North Texas and a Master of Music degree in Band/Wind Ensemble Conducting from The Pennsylvania State University under Dennis Glocke. While at Penn State, he conducted the Concert and Campus Bands, was a teaching assistant for undergraduate conducting classes, guest conducted the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, and assisted with the Penn State Marching Blue Band.

His teaching career began in the Schertz/Cibolo/Universal City Independent School District in Texas, where he was Head Director at Barbara C. Jordan Intermediate School and an assistant director at Byron P. Steele II High School. Following his Masters's degree, he was Assistant Band Director in the Luling Independent School District, where he taught the Junior High Varsity Band, the High School Concert Band, and assisted the Luling High School Eagle Marching Band. During his tenure, both ensembles earned First Division awards from the UIL Concert-Sight Reading Contest, and the marching band made its fourth consecutive appearance at the UIL State Marching Band Contest.

Penshorn advocates the wind band as a medium of serious artistic merit and has been actively involved with GIA Publications, serving as the Coordinator of Research Associates and as a contributor to the Teaching Music through Performance in Band series. He also contributed to several recording projects, including the Windworks and Composers Collection recording series. He is also a strong advocate for community outreach and served as Assistant Conductor, Personnel and Artistic Manager for the Lone Star Wind Orchestra. He has coordinated residencies with groups such as the international Barcelona Clarinet Players and the Canadian Brass. In 2019, he worked as a production assistant on the Grammy-nominated One for All (2020) album.

 

Mikal Thompson is the Program Coordinator for UNM Bands. Graduated from UNM with her Bachelors of Music Education and currently working on her Master's of Business Administration from Andersons School of Management at UNM. She is delighted to join the UNM Bands Department!

In Memorium

Eric Andrew Rombach-Kendall, 64, died on the night of January 24, 2022 from a major heart attack. He lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico since the Fall of 1993.Eric Rombach-Kendall was the Director of Bands at the University of New Mexico since 1993. He served as College Band Directors National Association president from 2011-2013. He was the Band Director at Boston University from 1989-1993. Eric also served as the Band Director of Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota in 1988 and as a high school band director in Washington.

Professor Eric Rombach-Kendall was a kind, honest teacher and conductor with fantastic musicianship, but even more importantly, he was an incredible human being. Eric was many things to many different people: husband, father, son, brother, mentor, teacher, conductor and friend. On this we can all agree, we loved him dearly. His spirit lives on in our hearts and the music we make.