Golden Silks Color Guard Coach Named

Purdue Bands & Orchestras is pleased to welcome Jef Furr as the new Golden Silks Color Guard Coach this upcoming 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.

Jarrard Harris Named Clinical Assistant Professor of Bands

Purdue Bands & Orchestras is excited to welcome Jarrard Harris as the Clinical Assistant Professor of Bands. Harris will teach alongside Dr. Mo Trout in the Purdue Jazz department, in addition to a Jazz History class in the Purdue University College of Liberal Arts.

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, saxophonist and educator Jarrard Harris attended the DuPont Manual/Youth Performing Arts School High School and attended the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music to pursue a degree in jazz studies. At CCM he studied with Rick VanMatre, Pat Harbison, and Marc Fields. Upon Graduation from CCM Harris moved to Chicago in 1998 to attend DePaul University where under the tutelage of Bob Lark, Tim Coffman, and Marc Colby he earned his master’s degree in jazz studies. Harris currently lives in Chicago, where he served on the jazz faculties of Northwestern University, Columbia College Chicago and the City Colleges of Chicago. He also serves as the director of jazz studies with the Chicago Public Schools Advanced Arts Education Program at Gallery 37.

He maintains an active private teaching studio in addition to serving as a director, clinician, guest artist and adjudicator at college and high school festivals, and state band festivals. He has performed in the United States and abroad at numerous jazz festivals and performed with jazz artists Jon Faddis Big Band, Barry Harris, Joe Magnarelli, Nicholas Payton, Joe Lovano, Claudia Acuna, Jimmy Heath, Brian Lynch, Antonio Hart, Bobby Watson, Benny Green, Eric Reed, Stefon Harris, The Chicago Jazz Ensemble, the Chicago Sinfonietta, Sean Jones, Sharel Cassity, Eric Alexander, and Johnny Griffin to name a few. He has performed at the Goodman and Court Theater in the musicals “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Five Guys Named Moe”.  Jarrard was a founding board member of the Jazz Education Network and serves as a current board member for the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Jarrard plays Vandoren saxophone Reeds and mouthpieces and is currently a Vandoren Performing Artist.


2019 – 2020 Golduster Dance Team Announced

After an extremely competitive audition process, the 2019-2020 Golduster Dance Team has been announced. The team welcomes 5 new members this year. Malaya Atisso is a high school senior at Harrison High School from West Lafayette, Indiana, and majoring in Development and Human Science. Jadin Benge is a Purdue freshman from Carmel, Indiana, and will be majoring in Biology with a concentration on Nursing. She attended Southport High School. Payton Fine is a high school senior at McCutcheon High School from Lafayette, Indiana, and will be majoring in Finance. Peyton James is a high school senior at IC Catholic Prep from Elmhurst, Illinois, and will be majoring in Anthropology. Julia Vogele is a high school senior at Archbishop McNicholas High School from Loveland, Ohio, and will be majoring in Data Science.

Returning members include Brittany Gallarneau, Kate Giglio, Ally Kiger, Rylee Madden, Emma McAlister, Hannah Ortman, Brittany Rogers, Sarah Sipe, Sophia Strain, Dayna Tanner, and Lauren Waddington.

New Twirlers Announced for 2019-2020 Purdue “All-American” Marching Band

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Kaitlyn Schleis of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, will serve for a second year as the 30th Purdue Golden Girl, continuing a tradition started in 1954 by Director of Bands Emeritus, Dr. Al G. Wright. On Saturday, March 2, her audition earned her one of the most iconic positions on Purdue’s campus. Schleis is a junior in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, and she has held the positions of Silver Twin, Girl-in-Black, and Golden Girl during her time at Purdue.

Current freshman, Amanda Coy of Saline, Michigan, will return as the Girl-in-Black. Coy began twirling in 2003 and twirled on a competitive team for 13 years. Coy is studying Political and Health Sciences.

For the second consecutive year, the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band will feature Miss Boilerette. Alicia Dennie, from Culver, Indiana, will return as Miss Boilerette for the upcoming season. Dennie is a sophomore majoring in Pre-Dental, and previously held the position of Silver Twin as a freshman. Miss Boilerette was originally part of the Purdue Twirling program during the 2010-2011 season.

Current freshman, Alexis Piskulic of Arnold, Missouri, and sophomore, Brooke Wyatt of LaFontaine, Indiana, will return next season as the iconic Silver Twins. Wyatt, who is majoring in Hospitality and Tourism Management and minoring in Event and Meeting Management, is returning to her position as a Silver Twin for her third year. Piskulic, studying Political Science and Sociology with a minor in American Sign Language, will perform as one of the Silver Twins for her second season.

In addition, eight students were offered spots on the All-American Twirling Team as part of the Purdue Twirling program. They include returning twirlers, juniors Mackenzie Joefreda and Emma Schafer, sophomore Marin Parker, current freshmen Ashley Brazeau and Leah DePasquale, and incoming freshmen Marissa Grigora, Caroline Hawkins, and Alexa Tamburlin.

All twirlers and band members are required to audition for positions annually, and candidates must be admitted to Purdue University in order to qualify for auditions. We are thrilled to welcome our new team to Purdue this fall. They will make their debut performance on Saturday, August 17, when the 134th edition of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band takes the field for their End-Of-Camp Performance.

Clinical Professor of Bands Position Announcement

Purdue Bands & Orchestras has announced a new a faculty position. The Clinical Assistant Professor of Bands will have shared responsibilities for coordination of instruction in Purdue’s Jazz Department which is part of Purdue Bands & Orchestras in the College of Liberal Arts. To apply or find more information about the position, visit the link below:

Clinical Assistant Professor of Bands Position Description

2019-20 Drum Majors Announced

Following a demanding audition process, the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band is pleased to announce that Lucy Bays and Brendan Schultz will serve as the Drum Majors for the 2019-20 season. The two will lead the band to carry on its tradition of excellence through athletic events, travel opportunities, and thrilling performances.

Lucy is a Junior from Zionsville, Indiana (Zionsville Community High School). She has served in the AAMB as a trombone player and student leader. She is majoring in Public Health with minors in Spanish and Biology. On being named Drum Major, Lucy stated, “The Purdue “All-American” Marching Band has provided me with countless once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. The ability to give back and serve the band in a greater capacity as Drum Major is such a joy, and I’m extremely excited for the 2019-2020 season!”  

Brendan is a Senior from Brighton, Michigan (Brighton High School). He has been a member of the alto saxophone section and also served as a student leader in the AAMB. He is majoring in Mechanical Engineering with minors in Global Engineering and Material Science in Engineering. Brendan also expressed his excitement at this opportunity, “Being a B1G Drum Major has been a dream of mine since I was 12 years old. I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity and excited for next season to start!”

As the AAMB celebrates this appointment, the Band also wishes their outgoing Drum Major, Zach Sutton, all the best as he begins a very successful career. The first public performance for the new Drum Majors is on Saturday, August 17, when the 134th edition of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band takes the field for their End-Of-Camp Performance.

Inclement Weather Cancels Saturday Events for Purdue Jazz Festival

Due to projected inclement weather, the Purdue Jazz Festival events originally scheduled for Saturday, January 19th have been cancelled. These events will not be rescheduled. However, jazz fans may still attend a FREE concert at 12:00pm on Saturday at Loeb Playhouse featuring the Purdue Jazz Band, along with guest artists Brian Lynch, Roxy Coss, and Jarrard Harris. The Friday night 8pm performance by Stefon Harris + Blackout at Loeb Playhouse will also continue as regularly scheduled. Tickets are required for the Friday night concert and can be purchased through Purdue Convocations:

Save the Date for next year, January 16-18, 2020 as Purdue Bands & Orchestras celebrates the 30th Annual Purdue Jazz Festival in Stewart Center, Pao Hall, and the Purdue Memorial Union.

Announcing the 2019 Purdue Winter Guard

The Purdue Winter Guard is pleased to announce their 2019 production, “Up, Up, and Away!” They will be performing to the music of Ron Nelson’s “Rocky Point Holiday.” The Purdue Winter Guard season will begin with a Preview Night at Lambert Fieldhouse on February 13th, where members will display guard techniques, warm-ups, and their production of “Up, Up, and Away.” Season performances will include appearances at WGI Indianapolis, Chicago, and Cincinnati Regionals, as well as a Send-Off performance in April. We hope you will join us in celebrating 2019 The Purdue Winter Guard!

2019 Purdue Winter Guard members include: 

Christina Davidson, Erin Hendrix, Roxanne Huff, Allie Megl, Maddie Moore, Lindsay Muller, Sarah Myers, Maraya Neff, Sarah Niehaus, Lauren Richardson, Breanna Roti, Nina Scheel, Kaitlyn Scholl, Aidan Selvia, Caitlin Sever, Colbye Skeens, Maxwell Smith, Hailey Stoddard, Sarah VanBuskirk, Isabel Weatherhead, Katelyn Witcraft, and Teresa Woerner.

Lafayette Christmas Parade Cancelled Due to Weather

The 2018 Lafayette Christmas Parade, originally scheduled for Saturday, December 1 at 5:30pm, has been cancelled due to projected inclement weather. For more information, click the link below to read the story on WLFI. The Purdue “All-American” Marching Band’s next public performance will be at this season’s football bowl game (location and date TBA). Follow the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band on Facebook for updates and information on upcoming performances.

Click here for the WLFI Story


Indy 500 Alumni Band and Alumni Hawaii Trip Dates Announced

Purdue Bands & Orchestras has announced the finalized dates for two highly anticipated upcoming Alumni Events.

In celebration of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band’s 100th Anniversary as the host band for the Indianapolis 500, alumni are invited to participate in the Purdue University Indy 500 Alumni Band. Participating alumni will perform in the 2019 IPL 500 Festival Parade on Saturday, May 25 and in the 2019 Indianapolis 500 Parade of Bands on Sunday, May 26 (Race Day). The Festival Parade will take place in downtown Indianapolis and the Parade of Bands on Race Day will take place on the track of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Alumni will have rehearsal on Friday night of May 24 at Butler University, where they will also be housed for both Friday and Saturday nights. Cost for the Indy 500 Alumni Band experience will cover housing for two nights at Butler University, four meals throughout the weekend, ground transportation to the parade downtown and the IMS on Race Day, and a ticket to the Indy 500 race. Further details including cost, itinerary, and registration will be announced in the near future.

The Purdue Bands & Orchestras Alumni-only Hawaii trip is now scheduled for June 2020. The Hawaii trip is open to all of our Purdue Bands & Orchestras alumni and will include opportunities for sightseeing, additional optional excursions, and unique performance experiences. The trip will take place from June 6 – 14, 2020. Music Travel Consultants, an organization that has planned many national and international trips for all of our ensembles, will be organizing the Hawaii Trip. Registration through Music Travel will go live on January 1, 2019 for the June 2020 event. More information, including the itinerary, will be released by the time registration goes live in January. This longer registration period will allow alumni nearly 18 months to plan and prepare for this exciting trip.

Alumni are encouraged to sign-up for the department email list here and follow Purdue Bands & Orchestras on Facebook for the most up-to-date information.

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