Empowering event full of Passion, Creation, and Collaboration

A conference for passionate arts educators who are looking to expand their teaching methods, learn new and innovative ways to build student engagement, collaborate with like-minded educators, and much more.

Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs, MI
JULY 10th - JULY 12th, 2017

Join Arts Educators from across the nation as the Lead the Way Conference will dive into backstage industry tips for the classroom, how to expand and develop your arts program, team bonding activities for the performer, and much more.

This conference will emphasize integrating creative and artistic methods into the classroom across arts disciplines. All educators are welcome to join this empowering, professional development event that will be full of brainstorming, collaboration, and creativity.

Together, our main-stage facilitators and participants will dive into educational topics, tips, and strategies that are geared towards the performing arts classroom and curriculum. Come ready to collaborate with like minded educators, create and develop new ideas for your classroom, and learn from some of the top arts educators in America.

Event Schedule: Monday, July 10th - Wednesday, July 12th


3:00-7:00pm Registration Open – BOYNE MAIN LODGE LOBBY
7:00pm Lead the Way Social Mingle and Welcome Gathering – @ The Slopeside Restaurant Patio


9:00am Welcome Ceremony
Introduction from Executive & Artistic Directors – Bill and Robyn Brawley
Meet and Greet- Round Table Introductions
9:30am Session #1:  BILL BRAWLEY- 7 Principles to an Effective Classroom
11:00am Coffee Connections
11:15am Session #2MERRILEE WEBB- Building My Arts Program: From 50-600!
12:15pm LUNCH
1:15pm Breakout Rotation Session #1 Participants choose one.

  1. Everyone Dances Everyday – Robyn Brawley
  2. The “Songalogue.” First Steps in Artistic Freedom- Roger Castellano
  3. Songwriting in 20 Minutes or Less -Jordan Mantey
  4. The CHORUS Makes The Musical- Dan Hays
2:00pm Breakout Rotation Session #2 Participants choose one.

  1. Everyone Dances Everyday – Robyn Brawley
  2. The “Songalogue.” First Steps in Artistic Freedom- Roger Castellano
  3. Songwriting in 20 Minutes or Less -Jordan Mantey
  4. The CHORUS Makes The Musical- Dan Hays
2:45pm Coffee Connections Break
3:00pm Session #3: Tyson Garner– First Who Then What- 6 Key Tips to Engaging Today’s Youth
4:00pm Round Table Takeaways
4:25pm Closing Thoughts/ 45 minute Bonus Session


9:00am Morning Welcome
9:15 am Session #4: DAN HAYS- Theatre Games II: The Fast and Furious
10:15am Impacting the World Through Arts Education!
11:00am Coffee Connections
11:15am Session #5 ROGER CASTELLANO- Acting Out in Class! The Benefits of “No-rules” in the Classroom
12:15pm Lunch
1:15pm Breakout Rotation Session #3 Participants choose one.

  1. Creating a Solo Routine For Your Student; How to Bring Out the Best!- Tyson Garner
  2. Top Tips to Building Writing a Show From Scratch- Bill Brawley
  3. Help, I Need a Better Choral Sound…….FAST!- Merrilee Webb
  4. Using the Arts to Enrich Curriculum for High Ability Learners- Kathy Hays
2:00pm Breakout Rotation Session #4 Participants choose one.

  1. Creating a Solo Routine For Your Student; How to Bring Out the Best!- Tyson Garner
  2. Top Tips to Building Writing a Show From Scratch- Bill Brawley
  3. Help, I Need a Better Choral Sound…….FAST!- Merrilee Webb
  4. Using the Arts to Enrich Curriculum for High Ability Learners- Kathy Hays
2:45pm Coffee Connections Break
3:00pm 2 Minute Power Talk – Collaborative Tips from each participant. (Each participant will share one golden nugget that they have learned throughout their career/or the conference).



Session #6 ROBYN BRAWLEY- One Step at a Time

Wrap- Closing Remarks/Gala Time!

The Young Americans Dinner Theater Show


Register today!
Use Promo Code FRIENDSANDFAMILY to receive a $50 discount!

**YA alumni who are attending the Boyne 40th Reunion – you can attend Lead The Way for $199!
Please register for both events through the reunion page:


  • Two full days of professional development
  • 5-star breakfast and lunch will be provided on the Tuesday July 11th and Wednesday July 12th
  • Specialty vouchers for your night out in Harbor Springs
  • Two free drink tickets and complimentary appetizers for Monday night’s Social Mingle and Welcome Gathering
  • One free ticket to the Gala on July 12th • Boyne Dinner Theater
  • Gift bag full of fun surprises and useful tools
  • Not to mention all of the top quality tips and strategies from some of America’s top educators you will get to take back and implement in your classroom!


Boyne Highlands Resort
600 Highland Drive
Harbor Springs, MI 49740

Room Reservations: Attendees may use this link to make online reservations for The Young Americans’ Lead the Way Conference event, 7/10/2017 – 7/13/2017 at Boyne Highlands Resort: Click here to reserve room

Who's Who? Meet our Lead the Way Speakers for 2017


Bill is the international Artistic Director and Founder of the successful Young Americans International Music Outreach Program, which continues to shape music and performance in schools around the world. The program has reached over 600,000 students and families in over 30 countries and on four continents. Multiple documentary film programs have highlighted the work and success of the Outreach Program and two have been viewed by millions all over Europe.

Mr. Brawley has directly impacted over 500,000 people world wide through his teachings and philosophies in education and the performing arts. In addition, Bill contributes his expertise in education and the arts through Summer at the Center at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. This program works to uplift inner city at-risk students in Orange County and is in conjunction with the Center’s Education and Community Programs Department, the Orange County Department of Education’s ACCESS Division.

One of the highlights of Bill’s year is directing and writing an annual original show for The Young Americans’ Summer Dinner Theatre at Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, Michigan where he empowers youth to reach their full potential with their talents and their message. The theater is proud to be the 2nd longest running dinner theatre in the U.S.

Bill is known for his innovative ways of thinking outside of the box as an educator. Through his artistic and intuitive strategies, Bill will show us how we can allow our students to tap into both the right and left side of the brain through their learning process. Whether you’re a math teacher or a band instructor Bill will provide you with tools to implement diverse artistic methods into your classroom through his international outreach formula.

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Internationally Acclaimed Master Teacher, Director and Choreographer

Robyn Brawley is an internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer, director, and master teacher. For the past 12 years, Robyn has been the Resident Choreographer and Co-Director for The Young Americans where she directly works with young adults coaching them as both educators and performers. Collectively with the Artistic Director and husband, Bill Brawley, Robyn has directed more than 250,000 young adults through over 50 National and International Outreach Tours to Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Germany, Holland, Luxembourg, Sweden, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, Gibraltar, Ukraine, Japan, Canada, and over 40 states in the U.S.

During the past four years, The Young Americans’ International Outreach Tours have been the focal point of one full-length movie documentary and two documentary films – distributed in Europe – with all the films depicting the “OUTREACH” work done with young people all over the world. Bill and Robyn direct and choreograph over 300 performances each year, working on four continents and in over 30 countries.

Robyn Brawley has traveled the world working with young adults on both a professional and educational level. Through her acquired skill and expertise, she will break down some of the struggles our students are dealing with on a daily basis and how we as mentors can uplift them and push them forward to success.

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Nationally Renowned Choral Educator

Merrilee is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) and is well known for her clarity of teaching style and the positive energy she displays as she gives workshops and clinics to piano and choral teachers across the nation.

Miss Webb taught at Brigham Young University Hawaii where she served as the director for the Men’s and Women’s choirs, taught theory, music education courses, piano and voice. She taught choral music for twelve years in both junior and senior high schools in Sandy, Kearns and Bountiful, Utah. While teaching at Bountiful High School, Miss Webb maintained an average of 700 students in her choral program.

Miss Webb is currently the Director of Raging Red (song and dance performing team) at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah. Under her direction, Raging Red travels extensively (including three tours to China) as part of the recruiting tool for DSU.

Miss Webb has been the president of Infinity Business Ventures Inc. since 1996 and owns a successful recording studio. The studio is also responsible for building orchestral minus tracks for musicals as well as producing rehearsal CDs for All State choirs across the country.

Miss Webb has been the Musical Director in several theatres in Utah including Robert Redford’s Sundance Summer and Winter Theatres, Opera West, The Triad and Rodgers Memorial Theatre. She also directed theatre while at Brigham Young University Hawaii. Merrilee directed two shows for the opening season of Playmill Theatre in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and served as the Musical Director for the LDS Nauvoo Pageant in the summer of 2008.

Merrilee has had the opportunity to conduct 11 General Young Women choirs and 5 General Relief Society Choirs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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DAN HAYS, MA in Dramatic Arts
Award Winning Global Apple Educator and Outstanding Young Educator
Building the Perfect Classroom Environment

Dan has been in the field of education for more than 2 decades teaching in both secondary and postsecondary institutions. He was an Associate Professor of Theatre and Coordinator of Musical Theatre at Nebraska Wesleyan University, however, currently Dan continues to teach and inspire youth daily as the Director of Theatre at Midland University in Fremont Nebraska.

His awards and accomplishments in education are incredibly honorable as he has received the Gary Thomas Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Nebraska Kearney; Show Choir Camps of America’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year; Outstanding Young Music Educator Award from the Nebraska Music Educators Association; Outstanding Young Music Educator Award from the Nebraska Choral Directors Association; Sertoma Club’s Man of the Year; and Golden Apple Educator.

Dan is known throughout the Mid-West for his expertise in creating a positive and collaborative environment within his very own classroom and amongst the student body. Dan will show us new ways to engage our students using fun activities, class routines, and cooperative learning.

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Broadway Star and Arts Educator

C. Tyson Garner discovered his passion for the arts at the age of 18. Tyson received a scholarship to Tremaine Dance Center in North Hollywood and continued his training at Orange Coast College, Jimmie DeFore Dance Center, and the Edge. He has an energetic performing style that can be seen in every aspect of the entertainment industry. From the stage to television, from Broadway to the classroom, his unique choreography, and passion for teaching has made him a sought after dance instructor. Tyson has performed on a number of television shows including Mad TV, Family Matters, The Parker’s and The Rosie O’Donnell Show. His stage credits include the European Tour of Grease, and most notably the Broadway Cast of Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA. Tyson also appeared in the major motion picture Marci X. Tyson is excited to share his love and passion of the arts with students of all ages. Together with his wife, Genevieve, they are the proud owners of Dance Dynamics, Rancho Santa Margarita’s Premier Commercial Dance Studio.


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Roger works extensively as a director/choreographer of theatrical and special events, creating original shows, parades and special events for Sesame Street Live, Sanrio Inc. and currently Frozen, Live at the Hyperion for the Walt Disney Company. Recent theatrical credits include the World Premier of South Street at the Pasadena Playhouse, World Premier of The Marvelous Wonderettes at the Laguna Playhouse, West Coast Premier of The Real Housewives of Toluca Lake at the Falcon Theatre, Legally Blonde and Xanadu for Music Theatre of Wichita and productions of Hello, Dolly!, Me & My Girl, and Show Boat in Japan. Theatrical awards include: LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award Nominee for Best Choreographer (Jekyll & Hyde – Cabrillo Music Theatre, The Andrews Brothers – Musical Theatre West); LA Times Critic’s Pick (Me & My Girl – Musical Theatre West); Drama Logue’s Critic Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre – Best Choreography (A Little Night Music – The Center Theatre Group, La Cage Aux Folles and Oliver! – The Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities); Inland Theatre League Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre – Best Director (Suessical – Performance Riverside); AriZoni Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre – Best Choreography (A Chorus Line – The Phoenix Theatre). Roger has studied with the prestigious Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Musical Theatre Workshop, holds a B.A. in theatre from California State University at Fullerton, and has been a guest lecturer for University of California at Irvine, University of California at Los Angeles, Pomona College, and Fullerton College, and is currently on the teaching faculty at The Young Americans College of the Performing Arts. Roger had the pleasure of being a performer with The Young Americans from 1975-1981. rogercastellano.com

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