Director of Auxiliaries
Since 2013, Joy McEwen has been Director of Auxiliaries and Golduster Dance Team with the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band. In this capacity, she is the director of the Golduster Dance Team and oversees the Golden Girl, Girl-In-Black, Silver Twins, the “All-American” Twirling Team and the Golden Silks Color Guard.
Ms. McEwen has also been an instructor at Purdue University in the College of Health and Human Sciences in the Department of Health and Kinesiology, and in the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts in the Department of Theater and Dance.
Miss McEwen received a Master of Fine Arts: Performing Arts- Concentration in Dance, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts. She began her formal dance education at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. Following her years there, she attended the University of Michigan, where she received a BFA in Dance. She is a past winner of the Indiana Dance Educator of the Year Award, presented by the Indiana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (IAHPERD).
She began her professional career in New York City at the Erick Hawkins School of Dance. Shortly after, she was invited to join the Hawkins Company, becoming the last member personally selected by Erick Hawkins before his death. Hawkins, a modern dance pioneer, was known as the “poet of modern dance” and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton. During her years with the company, she was able to tour venues such as the American Dance Festival in North Carolina and the Jacob’s Pillow Festival in Massachusetts, in addition to an annual season in New York City at the Joyce Theater.
While in New York City, Ms. McEwen co-founded The Wellspring Project (Dance), which continued the Hawkins legacy by commissioning original works. She has also performed with companies such as the Nancy Meehan Dance Company, LIFEDANCE/Gloria McLean and Dancers and Valerie Green Dance Entropy. Highlights of her time in New York included performing at Lincoln Center, La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, The 92nd Street Harkness Dance Center, St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery and dancing alongside Mikhail Baryshnikov. Ms. McEwen also had the opportunity to perform and teach in Portugal, Switzerland, the former Yugoslavia, Canada, Yeshiva University (NY), Hunter College (NY), and Marymount Manhattan College (NY) and as a guest artist at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
Director of Twirling
Morgan Loetz graduated from Purdue University in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education. During part of her time at Purdue, Morgan was a member of the Twirling Line (now know as the All American Twirling Team). While a member of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band she performed at the Capital One Bowl, the Sun Bowl, and on a Purdue team at the NBTA National Championship. She started twirling in 1994 and was a member of the Royal Majestics Baton Corp in Mishawaka, Indiana. In 2015, Morgan started working with the Purdue Twirlers. She coaches the Golden Girl, Girl in Black, Silver Twins, and the All-American Twirling Team.
Golden Silks Color Guard Coach
Jef Furr joined Purdue Bands & Orchestras as the new Golden Silks Color Guard Coach for the 2019-2020 season. Jef has played an integral role in many of the department’s travel opportunities and has a rich history in the performing arts.
Travel and music are always Jef’s choices for fun and adventure! A trombone player at Noblesville (IN) Middle School, Jef honed his talents and graduated from Ball State University with a B.S. in Music Education. While his sisters gravitated straight to travel careers (a flight attendant and Holland America Cruises representative), Jef taught for 16 years before working in student travel full-time.
After stints at North Miami (IN) and Alexandria-Monroe (IN) high schools, he moved to Southport High School in Indianapolis as Band Director and, later, Music Department Chair. Following 1986’s featured performance by Jef and the Southport Band in the classic film, “Hoosiers,” he realized a life-long dream as the band won the coveted 1987 Indiana State Fair Band Day Competition. He capped the year with the band’s performance in the 1987 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Parade in 1991 featured the Southport Band as the opening act, and in 1992, Jef’s Southport Winter Guard garnered first place in both Indiana’s and Winter Guard International’s annual competitions. His concert bands placed within the top eight in Indiana four times.
Once Jef assisted as a Tour Director for an Orange Bowl-bound band, nearly every school vacation thereafter found him guiding a student group throughout the USA or Europe. In 1994 he joined Music Travel Consultants full-time. Although he travels frequently, Jef still finds time to appear regularly as a trombonist at his church and in local theatre productions. Jef recently retired as Executive Vice President for Music Travel Consultants, Inc.