CYWS Conductors

Daniel Crain (he/him) has been a public school music educator for 17 years. This is his ninth year as a music teacher and band director in the Shaker Heights City School District. His responsibilities include: High School Symphonic Band, Eighth Grade Concert Winds, High School Jazz Band and Music Composition. Mr. Crain also assists with the Pride of Shaker Heights Raider Marching Band and the Seventh and Eighth Grade Symphonic Bands. Mr. Crain previously taught five years in the Mentor Public Schools, Mentor, Ohio, where he was the head concert band and assistant marching director. Mr. Crain also taught middle/high school band in Youngstown City School District for one year and middle/high school band in the Perry Local Schools in Massillon for two years. Mr. Crain earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Bowling Green State University in 2003 and his Master of Arts in Music degree from Case Western Reserve University in 2008. Mr. Crain has completed additional graduate coursework in conducting and music education at Capital University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Northwestern University. In addition to his responsibilities at Shaker Heights, Mr. Crain has been involved with the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony (CYWS) organization for over 17 years. He served as the conductor of the CYWS II Concert Winds from its inception in 2009 until 2016, and he currently serves as the organization’s co-music director and head conductor of CYWS Group I. Mr. Crain was appointed as the director of the Lakeland Civic Band at Lakeland Community College in May 2017. Mr. Crain has been a member of the Lakeland Civic Band for 12 years. Mr. Crain holds memberships in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA), the Association of Concert Bands (ACB), and the American School Band Directors Association (ASBDA).

Darren Allen (he/him) was born and raised in the Cleveland area. He has worked in the Bay Village School District since 2005, where the music program has been voted a Top Music Community in the United States since 2003. He has been head band director at Bay High School since 2006, and has served as music department chair since 2010. His duties in Bay Village include High School marching band, jazz ensemble, symphonic band, concert band, and 5th and 6th grade bands at the Middle School. In 2020, Mr. Allen was inducted into Phi Beta Mu the international band masters fraternity for his accomplishments in music education. Mr. Allen received his master’s degree in music education from Case Western Reserve University. As co-music director, he works with the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony (CYWS), which is housed at Cleveland State University and performs regularly at Severance Music Center. Mr. Allen has participated in five CYWS European tours, including Spain and Portugal, Poland and Hungary, Germany and the Netherlands, France and Austria, and Italy. He has also written many compositions for wind band. Mr. Allen completed his undergraduate work at Youngstown State University, where he was featured on a recording of Bernstein’s West Side Story Suite with the YSU Wind Ensemble and on the Jazz Ensemble I album, Lester Left Town. As a senior at YSU, he was chosen as the only drummer from the state for the OMEA Intercollegiate Jazz Ensemble. Mr. Allen performs extensively throughout the Cleveland area with numerous jazz groups, including the Skatch Anderssen big band, and Powerhouse 5. Mr. Allen and his wife Alice, a harpist, perform together in the Parma Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Winds. This year, Mr. Allen is excited that his daughter is playing clarinet in the group.

Michael Komperda (he/him) is an alumnus of CYWS and a graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree. Currently in his thirteenth year teaching, Mr. Komperda teaches in Rocky River, where he directs the Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, two high school Jazz Bands, the Pit Orchestra and the Pep Band, and teaches Music Technology and AP Music Theory courses at Rocky River High School. He also teaches beginning Brass & Percussion and third grade music at Kensington Intermediate School. Outside of his teaching duties, Mr. Komperda plays clarinet in the Cleveland Winds, and directs and plays in pit orchestras around the Cleveland area. Recently, he has performed in productions of Seussical the Musical, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, and Mary Poppins. Professionally,Mr. Komperda is a member of the Ohio Music Education Association, and the Greater Cleveland Solo & Ensemble Association.


Mark Awad (he/him) is currently in his sixteenth year as director of bands at Bay Middle School. At the middle school, he teaches band in grades five through eight, in addition to the middle school jazz ensemble. Mr. Awad is also the assistant director of the Bay High Rocket Marching Band. Additionally, he is the director of the pit orchestra for the musicals at Bay High School. Some of the musicals that he has conducted include: 42nd Street, Grease, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, The Addams Family, Shrek the Musical, and Chicago: High School Edition. Mr. Awad also serves as the chairperson for the Ohio Music Education Association, District 4 Middle School Honors Festival. Mr. Awad earned his master’s degree in music education from Case Western Reserve University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from Youngstown State University. His primary instrument is the trombone, on which he continues to perform.