Purdue Philharmonic & Symphony Orchestras Showcase

On Sunday, April 23 at 2:30pm in Elliott Hall of Music, the orchestral section of the Showcase concert weekend will feature both orchestras alongside guest conductor Dan Whisler and guest pianist Keith Teepen.


Dan Whisler is currently Director of Orchestras at the Youth Performing Arts School in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, and the Conductor of the New World Youth Philharmonic Orchestra in Indianapolis, Indiana. Prior to moving to Kentucky, he was the Director of Orchestras at Center Grove Community School Corporation in Greenwood, Indiana, Founding and Principal Conductor with Intimate Opera of Indianapolis, and served on the faculty of the String Quartet Program of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado.

Mr. Whisler has conducted over 450 works with over 65 ensembles, including professional orchestras in the USA, England, Spain, Lithuania, Hungary, and Romania. His awards as a conductor include the Downbeat Award in 2011 for Best U.S. College Classical Ensemble (conducting Hallfter’s Tiento del primer tono y batalla imperial), the Bel Canto Award for Excellence in Conducting, and winner of the 2015 American Prize in Conducting.

An active supporter of new music, Mr. Whisler has premiered 30 works, both as a conductor and as a performer, including conducting the world premiere of the Celtic ballet, Diedre of the Sorrows. He is comfortable with opera and musical theatre literature as well, having been on the conducting staff with Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte, Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, and numerous opera scenes concerts for the University of Northern Colorado Opera Theatre, Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd for Theater Workshop of Owensboro (Kentucky), Holst’s Savitri and Handel’s Giulio Cesare with Intimate Opera of Indianapolis, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado and Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with the YPAS music department.

An experienced educator, Mr. Whisler has worked with youth orchestras in Kansas, Colorado, New York, Indiana, and Kentucky (USA). At Center Grove, he increased orchestra student enrollment by over 37 percent and won 17 ISSMA Gold awards in three years. Under his direction, the YPAS Philharmonia was selected to perform in the 2015 Music for All National Orchestra Festival, the 2016 Kentucky Music Educators Association Conference, and the 2017 Chicago Heritage Festival. He graduated summa cum laude with a BME from Wichita State University (Kansas) and earned an MM in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Northern Colorado. His primary conducting teachers include Russell Guyver and Mark Laycock, with additional studies at conducting institutes in Colorado, Oregon, Maryland, and Europe with internationally-renowned mentors, including Jorma Panula, Craig Kirchhoff, Markand Thakar, Colin Metters, and Larry Livingston.


Pianist Keith Teepen has performed in Europe, Asia, South America, and throughout North America. He has collaborated with many of today’s important artists including: famous trumpeter, Tine Thing Helseth, internationally renowned euphonium virtuoso, Adam Frey, tuba virtuoso, Marty Erickson, and internationally renowned trombonist, Scott Hartman.  Keith has taught on the piano faculty at Pró-Música Music Festival in Juiz de Fora, Brazil and the International Music Camp at the Peace Garden.

After earning a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from DePauw University School of Music, he received a scholarship to study with Gerald Stofsky in Vienna, Austria. While working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Keith received his Master of Music degree in piano performance from the University of North Dakota. He has studied under Nariaki Sugiura, May Phang, and Claude Cymerman. Keith has held collaborative piano positions at DePauw University School of Music, Summer Vocal Arts at DePauw, and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Keith stays active as a soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist performing throughout the United States and internationally.  Recent and upcoming concerts include performances in Jacksonville, FL, Houston, TX, as well as Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto at Purdue University in Lafayette, IN.  In the fall, Keith will be performing a series of joint recitals with pianist, Nariaki Sugiura.  Together they will perform solo and duo repertoire in major cities across Asia, including: Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and Xiamen.

Keith is currently on the faculty of the University of North Dakota as a Piano Instructor/Collaborative Pianist.

Purdue “All-American” Marching Band Announces 2017-18 Drum Majors

Following a lengthy and demanding audition process, the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band is pleased to announce the Drum Majors for the 2017-18 season, Loretta Trezza and Robert Steele, who will lead the band into another great year of athletic events, travel opportunities, and thrilling performances.

Returning for her third year as a Purdue “All-American” Marching Band Drum Major is Loretta Trezza, a rising senior from Middletown, NJ (Middletown High School South).  She currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina. As a freshman, Loretta marched snare drum in the Purdue Drumline.   She is majoring in Law and Society.  “Being named a drum major for the third time has been an absolutely incredible honor. It means that I get to continue to serve as a leader and as an ambassador for the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band and Purdue University. Finally, it means that I get to welcome Purdue freshmen into the band that I’ve called home for the past three years in hopes that they have an incredible experience like I’ve had here.”

Entering his first season as a Purdue “All-American” Marching Band Drum Major is Robert Steele, a rising senior from Lapel, IN (Lapel High School).  Robert has been a member of the trombone section and served on this past season’s leadership team.  He is majoring in Construction Management Technology. “Being named drum major means the world to me. This is a position I have been chasing since freshman year and my hard work and commitment has finally paid off. This is another reminder to myself to never give up on your dreams despite failure not only once but twice. As I am overwhelmed with joy, I think back to all the individuals who have invested their time and talents into my passion for music and I am sure I have made them proud with my opportunity to lead such a great group of people.”

Professor Matthew R. Conaway oversees the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band Drum Majors and is very enthusiastic about the upcoming season with Trezza and Steele.  “I am extremely proud of Loretta and Robert for the incredibly hard work they have put into this process, as well as the way they have always led from within the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band.  Band members and fans alike will really enjoy watching this team work together next season!”

As the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band celebrates the appointment of these two leaders, the band also wishes outgoing Drum Major Cameron Hein all the best as he prepares for his graduation from Purdue this May with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

The first public performance for the new Drum Majors is on Saturday, August 19, when the 132nd edition of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band takes the field for their End-Of-Camp Performance at Hull Field.


Director of Operations Appointed to Staff

Douglas R. Fletcher will be appointed Director of Operations beginning fall 2017.  Fletcher will organize and implement activities associated with Purdue Band Day, Purdue Jazz Festival, the Indianapolis 500, Leath Scholarship auditions, and the Partners in Music Education program.  He will also oversee and maintain the departmental rehearsal and performance calendar.

Before being appointed Director of Operations, Fletcher served as Visiting Instructor during the 2016-2017 academic year for Purdue Bands & Orchestras.

Fletcher’s public teaching career includes directorships at Monroe-Central Jr. /Sr. High School (1985-1992), Winchester Community High School (1992-1998), Highland High School (1998-2010), Anderson High School (2010-2011), and a second stint at Winchester Community High School (2011-2016).  His high school concert bands have performed at the IMEA State Convention on three occasions with ensembles from three different schools, twice at the ISSMA State Concert Band Finals with the Highland Wind Ensemble, and numerous times at ISSMA Organizational and IMEA Concert Band Festivals.

Fletcher’s successes as a high school marching band director include several appearances at the ISSMA Marching Band State Finals. His true niche and passion, however, has been with the historic Indiana State Fair Band Day contest. He is the only director to win the Indiana State Fair Band Day at four separate schools, and holds a record of thirteen wins for the most State Fair championships. His marching bands have performed in numerous major parades: the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade, the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Hollywood Christmas Parade, the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C., and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Douglas Fletcher was named the 2008 IMEA Outstanding High School Music Educator, and was the recipient of the Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Bandmaster Award in 2010.  Fletcher holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music Education from Ball State University.  He played trombone in the Anderson Symphony Orchestra for twenty years and the Muncie Symphony Orchestra for ten years. Doug has served as choir director/organist at various churches in Anderson, Muncie, and Winchester.  He also arranges music for marching bands, and frequently serves as a clinician and adjudicator.  Doug also coordinated the IMEA Honor Band for several years, and has served on the IMEA Board of Directors.

Fletcher is also a member of the Music Educators National Conference, Indiana Music Educators Association, Indiana Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta Mu honorary fraternity for band directors, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Doug is married to Amy Fletcher, who teaches in the Greenfield-Central Schools.  The Fletchers are excited to be moving to West Lafayette with their two black labs, Bailey and Boaz.

New Twirlers Selected for 2017-2018 Purdue “All-American” Marching Band

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Olivia Zugai of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, is the newest twirler to win the highly coveted position of Purdue Golden Girl. On Saturday, February 25, Zugai received the top score at auditions held at Holloway Gymnasium on Purdue’s campus to earn the title.   She will become Golden Girl No. 29 continuing a tradition started by Director of Bands Emeritus, Dr. Al G. Wright in 1954. This past season, Zugai was one of the Silver Twins alongside Kaitlyn Schleis. She also held a position on the All American Twirling Team her freshman and sophomore years at Purdue.

Zugai won’t be the only twirler making her debut in a new position at the Purdue vs. Louisville football game on September 2. There will be a new face in the Girl-in-Black position as well.

Kaitlyn Schleis, a rising sophomore in speech, language and hearing sciences from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was selected to twirl as Girl-in-Black for the 2017-2018 season.

Next fall, the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band will also welcome two incoming freshmen to complete the solo twirler roster. The Silver Twins for 2017-2018 are Alicia Dennie of Culver, Indiana and Brooke Wyatt of LaFontaine, Indiana.

In addition, seven students were offered spots on the All-American Twirling Team. They include rising seniors Erin Groll and Kara Tighe, sophomores Mackenzie Joefreda and Emma Schafer, and incoming freshmen Meryl Campbell, Sarah Cohen, and Marin Parker.

Purdue University is unique because twirlers, as well as all band members, are required to audition for positions annually. All candidates must be admitted to Purdue University in order to qualify for auditions.

Adam Bodony Joins Faculty as Assistant Professor of Bands, Director of Orchestras

Adam M. Bodony will be appointed Assistant Professor of Bands, effective fall of 2017.  Bodony will serve as the director of the Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestras, and will oversee the department’s Applied Music program.

Before being appointed Assistant Professor of Bands, Bodony served as Director of Orchestras, first as Visiting Lecturer during the 2015-2016 academic year, and then as Visiting Instructor during the 2016-2017 academic year for Purdue Bands & Orchestras.

Bodony currently serves as Executive Artistic Director of the New World Youth Orchestras in Indiana.  Based at the Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis, the New World Youth Orchestras is an organization of youth orchestras with approximately 220 young musicians enrolled from all over the state of Indiana.  The organization’s top orchestra made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2016 under the direction of Bodony, and will make its Orchestra Hall (Chicago, IL) debut in 2017. Additionally, through partnerships with local universities, Bodony sets and oversees a pre-college music education curriculum for the members of the New World Youth Orchestras, including areas in music theory, music history, chamber music, and conducting. Bodony also served as Cover Conductor and Pre-Concert Lecturer for the Indianapolis Symphony during the 2014-2015 season.

Bodony’s previous posts include Associate Conductor of the Missouri Symphony Orchestra’s Hot Summer Nights Music Festival (2013-2015) and Artistic Director of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra (2014-2016).  Bodony has also worked with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Repulic), as well as several high school, college, and community ensembles across the country.  His primary conducting teachers include Arthur Fagen, Leonid Korchmar, and Kirk Trevor.

Bodony earned a bachelor’s degree in both religious studies and trombone performance from DePauw University in 2008. Bodony later received a master’s degree in trombone performance from Indiana University in 2011 where his primary teachers were Jim Beckel and Carle Lenthe, respectively.  He has pursued conducting studies at the St. Petersburg Conservatory (Russia) and Indiana University.

As a trombonist, Bodony has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and can be heard playing 2nd trombone on their latest two albums released under the Telarc label, conducted by Krzysztof Urbański and Jun Märkl, respectively.

In 2013, Bodony was honored with the Beckmann Emerging Artist Award given by the Arts Council of Indianapolis to young professionals with exceptional talent and promise in a given field.


Jonathan Sweet Joins Faculty as Assistant Professor of Bands

Jon Sweet is excited to join the Purdue Bands & Orchestras faculty as Assistant Professor of Bands in the fall of 2017, after finishing coursework towards a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the University of Kentucky. Sweet received his Bachelor of Music Education from Abilene Christian University in 2004, and earned a Masters of Music degree in Wind Band Conducting from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2013.

Prior to his appointment to Purdue’s faculty, Sweet served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Kentucky. He taught undergraduate conducting students, marching band techniques, private lessons in the Euphonium studio, conducted the Concert Band, guest conducted the Wind Symphony and Symphony Bands, assisted with the Wildcat Marching Band, and directed the Wildcat Pep Band for Women’s Volleyball, Women’s Gymnastics, and Men’s Basketball.

Prior to arriving at the University of Kentucky, Sweet spent 11 years as a public school band director in Texas, where his groups frequently achieved superior ratings, best in class awards, best in festival awards, outstanding visual awards, and outstanding general effect awards.

In addition to his teaching experience, Jon has operated a marching band design and consultation business, Sweet Marching, where he has designed over 150 shows since 2004. These designs have included performances at Bands of America Grand Nationals, Bands of America Regionals, and Super Regionals, Texas State, Area and Regional Marching Band Championships, and the University of Kentucky.  These performances include schools from Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

In demand as both a marching and concert band clinician, Jon has worked with many fine groups and incorporates his love of energetic performances and positive experiences in the education of students and leaders.  Jon has adjudicated for UIL (TX), USBands, American Classics Festivals, and other invitational competitions.

Jon is happily married to his wife, Lori. The two just celebrated their 12th anniversary.


“All-American” Marching Band to Bring Back Slayter Hill Pregame Concert

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Pumping new enthusiasm into a beloved event, the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band, in conjunction with Purdue Athletics, will rekindle a football game day tradition this fall. “Thrill on the Hill” at Slayter Center returns and will take place 90 minutes before kickoff of home games. This event will replace the “211 Session” in Mackey Arena.

“For years, the band held pregame concerts at Slayter, and we are excited to bring back this tradition,” director of bands Jay Gephart said.

“I have heard how popular the Slayter concerts were in the past, and we are pleased to help renew a fan-favorite event,” athletics director Mike Bobinski said.

“Thrill on the Hill” will take place at Slayter Center before every game except the Sept. 23 Homecoming contest, when the band will perform on Engineering Mall.

Fans can expect the concert to be fast and upbeat, showcasing the entire 380-plus members of the band, along with cheerleaders, Purdue Pete and guest Purdue celebrities.

After each game, the “All-American” Marching Band will continue to perform a postgame concert on the field at Ross-Ade before marching to the fountain at Hovde Hall to execute the traditional drum major breakdown.

Penn High School Symphonic Winds to Perform with Purdue Wind Ensemble

LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Fifty-nine students from the Penn High School Symphonic Winds will be joining the Purdue Wind Ensemble on stage at the Long Center for the Performing Arts for the “Heroes” concert on Sunday, November 20. The concert will pay tribute to heroes from every walk of life. From Olympic athletes and Rosa Parks, to our active military and veterans, this concert will be one you will not want to miss. This patriotic themed concert begins at 2:30pm, and is free and open to the public.

Penn High School is located in Mishawaka, Indiana. It is a large suburban high school that is consistently rated as one of the highest-performing schools in the state. At this school, over 450 students participate in the five concert bands, three jazz ensembles, two percussion ensembles, pep band, marching band, jazz combo, and five winter color guards.

The Penn Symphonic Winds will perform “Incidental Suite” by Claude T. Smith, “Nimrod” by Edward Elgar, “Psalm 46” by John Zdechlik, “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas!” by Eric Whitacre, and “His Honor” by Henry Fillmore. The Purdue Wind Ensemble will be performing “Fanfare for Freedom” by Harry Bulow, “American Salute” by Morton Gould, “A Movement for Rosa” by Mark Camphouse, “American Pageant” by Thomas Know, and “Proud to Serve” by Michael Davis.

The Penn Symphonic Winds, the top concert band at Penn High School, is under the direction of Glenn Northern and assisted by Chris Paulson. In 2015, the Penn Symphonic Winds were named the co-champion at the Indiana State School Music Association State Concert Band Finals.  The Penn Symphonic Winds have been invited to perform at the Indiana Music Educators Convention three times (2007, 2012, and 2015), and performed at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in 2008.

For further information, please contact Jaclyn Heinz, heinzj@purdue.edu


On Saturday, September 24, the Nevada Wolf Pack football program will roll into Ross-Ade Stadium for a non-conference game against the Purdue Boilermakers. The excitement of Purdue Band Day will bring 23 high school bands to campus to perform under the baton of guest conductor Donald Robertson.

Donald Robertson, who retired in 1996 from Columbus, Indiana schools, was one of state’s most successful high school band directors. At the
beginning of his profession, Don became widely successful with his marching bands in field competition at the Indiana State Fair Marching
Contest. His state fair bands were consistently in the top 25 of the 125 band competition. Throughout his career, his marching bands were
grand sweepstakes winners, appeared in festival parades for bowl games, remained top at ISSMA events, and were featured at an IMEA
convention. Robertson was even named Outstanding Young Educator and later on was recognized as a top three educator in the state.

Donald Robertson was awarded the Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Bandmaster Award in 1995 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005. He served four terms on the ISSMA
board and held memberships in IMEA, NBA, ASBDA, IBA, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Phi Beta Mu, along with being a 50 year member of the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, and
Murat Shrine. Robertson has served as a brass instructor at several summer camps and has been a clinician and judge in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Purdue Bands & Orchestras, 712 Third Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-0770

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