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,


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.


The Purdue University Old Masters Program began in 1950 when student leaders, business representatives, and university officials together defined success as “honesty, personal integrity, and good philosophy.”  The mission of the Old Masters program has been defined by uniting distinguished alumni, friends, and students, while embodying the value of the Boilermaker experience.  Each person selected as an Old Master has made significant and recognizable contributions to their field and all desire to share the same philosophies and experiences with Purdue students.

This year, Al G. Wright Chair for Purdue Bands & Orchestras, Jay Gephart, has been selected as an honorary Old Master. Jay S. Gephart joined the faculty of Purdue University in the fall of 1995 after having completed 12 years as a public school band director. In July of 2001, he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure, and in 2009 he was promoted to Full Professor. From 1995-2006, Professor Gephart served as the music director for the Purdue Symphony Orchestra. He currently serves as Director of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band and the Purdue Wind Ensemble.

Gephart received a Master of Music Degree in Performance with High Distinction from Indiana University in 1988 and a Bachelor of Music Education Degree with Distinction from Indiana University in 1983. Under his direction, the Purdue Wind Ensemble has shared the stage with some of the nation’s outstanding soloists and have represented Purdue at the Indiana Music Educators Association state convention on two occasions.

In February 2012, the Purdue Wind Ensemble performed a concert at the national convention of the American Bandmaster’s Association held in Indianapolis.  His wind ensemble has also performed on the stage at Chicago’s Symphony Center and at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City on two occasions.  Gephart has conducted All-State Bands in Indiana, Kentucky, Colorado, Virginia, and Arkansas.  He has also served as a clinician at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago.

Most recently, he served as guest conductor and conducting evaluator at the American Band College in Ashland, Oregon and clinician for the Hawaii Music Festival. In 1997, he was selected to conduct the music camp honor band for the Department of Education in the Northern Region of Queensland, Australia. During his career he has been the recipient of many awards and honors including the Indiana Outstanding Bandmaster Award and the Purdue University New Professional Award. He has commissioned numerous works for wind band, including “Anthem” by Steven Bryant, which was premiered in 2011, celebrating the 125th Anniversary of Purdue Bands & Orchestras.

Since being appointed director of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band, he has heightened the national and international reputation of the program.  In 2008, the band traveled to Beijing, China to perform in the “Meet in Beijing” International Arts and Music Festival prior to the Olympic Games, in 2010 became the first Big Ten Band to lead the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, in 2013 landed in Ireland to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, and in 2015 established a partnership with Colombia when the band performed at the La Feria de Las Flores.

Professor Gephart has been very active in various professional organizations including Music Educator’s National Conference, National Band Association, College Band Director’s National Association, Indiana Bandmaster’s Association, Indiana Music Educators Association, and Phi Beta Mu. From 2010-2012, he served as President of the Big Ten Band Director’s Association and currently holds the position of Treasurer and Vice President of the John Philip Sousa Foundation. He is also a member of the NBA Revelli Composition Contest selection committee. Professor Gephart was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmaster’s Association in 2008 and currently serves on the ABA Board of Directors.

He and his wife Jana have four children and one granddaughter.

Visiting Instructors Appointed for 2016-2017 Academic Year

Adam M. Bodony

Adam M. Bodony will be appointed Visiting Instructor of Bands for the 2016-17 academic year, and will serve as the Director of Orchestras at Purdue University. Bodony will serve as the conductor of the Purdue Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras.

Adam Bodony currently serves as Executive Artistic Director of the New World Youth Orchestras (NWYO) in Indiana.  Based at the Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis, NWYO is an organization of youth orchestras with an enrollment of approximately 220 young musicians from all over the state of Indiana.  The organization’s top orchestra made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2016 under the direction of Mr. Bodony.  Mr. Bodony’s previous posts include Artistic Director of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra (2014-2016) and Associate Conductor of the Missouri Symphony Orchestra’s Hot Summer Nights Music Festival (2013-2015).  Mr. 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.
Mr. Bodony earned a bachelor’s degree in both religious studies and trombone performance from DePauw University in 2008 and 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, Mr. Bodony has frequently performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and can be heard playing 2nd trombone on their latest two album releases under the Telarc label, conducted by Krzysztof Urbański and Jun Märkl, respectively.  Additionally, during the 2014-2015 season, Mr. Bodony served as Cover Conductor and Pre-Concert Lecturer for the Indianapolis Symphony.

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

This appointment comes after the recent resignation of Professor Andy King, who has accepted a position as Director of Orchestras at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis.

Douglas R. Fletcher

Douglas R. Fletcher will be appointed Visiting Instructor of Bands for the 2016-2017 academic year, and will serve as assistant director for the “All-American” Marching Band, director of the Boiler Box Band, director of the Concert and Collegiate Bands, and director of Fall Concert Band.  Doug is thrilled to join the Purdue Bands & Orchestras department after a highly successful thirty-one year career as a high school band director.

Mr. 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 different schools and holds a record twelve wins for the most State Fair championships won as a director.  His marching bands have performed in numerous major parades including 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 in 2010 was the recipient of the Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Bandmaster Award.  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 played for ten years in the Muncie Symphony Orchestra.  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.

Mr. Fletcher is 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 currently reside in Muncie with their two black labs, Bailey and Boaz.

This appointment comes after the resignation of Dr. Ishbah Cox, who is leaving Purdue to join his wife Dr. Monica Cox in Columbus, Ohio.  Dr. Monica Cox was recently appointed the inaugural head of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University. Last week, Dr. Ishbah Cox accepted a position as Director of Bands at Olentangy Orange High School in Lewis Center, Ohio.

Dr. Ishbah Cox Announces Departure from Purdue

Dr. Ishbah Cox, Assistant Professor of Bands, will leave Purdue Bands & Orchestras prior to the start of the next academic year.  He will be moving to Columbus, Ohio where he will join his wife, Dr. Monica F. Cox, who recently accepted the position as Department Chair of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University.

Cox began his tenure in 2008, when he joined the faculty at Purdue Bands & Orchestras.  Since then, he has directed the Symphonic, Collegiate, and Fall Concert Bands, Boiler Box Band, Brass Choir, and assisted with the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band (AAMB).  Dr. Cox was also the founder of the First Year Engineering Learning Community for Purdue Bands & Orchestras and has managed the student staff office corps.

A native of Notasulga, Alabama, Cox received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Auburn University, his master’s degree is in music performance from the University of Alabama, and most recently his Doctorate of Arts in Wind Conducting with a secondary specialization in Euphonium Performance at Ball State University.

He is active as a festival adjudicator, clinician, conductor, and arranger. He has performed and traveled internationally as a conductor in Spain and tours of Eastern Europe, and has traveled with the AAMB to Colombia and Ireland. He has also guest conducted the Middle Tennessee State University and Auburn University Honor Bands, Indiana Bandmasters Association Regional and District Honor Bands, the Northern Illinois University Wind Ensemble, the Mississippi State University Symphonic and Concert Bands, and the University of South Alabama Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. As a published arranger for Hal Leonard Corporation since 2013, his marching and pep band arrangements have been performed before international and national audiences and have garnered over one million YouTube hits.

“Ishbah Cox was such a huge asset to our team at Purdue.  His legacy in our department is far-reaching. We are going to miss his leadership, dedication to our students, and as a faculty and staff, we will miss a dear friend. Ishbah will be a tremendous asset wherever his career leads him,” said Director of Bands, Jay Gephart.

Purdue “All-American” Marching Band Helps IMS Celebrate 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500

Marching in the footsteps of 97 years of band students preceding them, more than 250 members of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band will take center stage at the 100th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 29, when they play for the race’s opening ceremonies.

On Race Day, the Purdue “All-American” Band will be the headliner in the traditional Parade of Bands that begins at 8:00 am at the track. Each year, Purdue invites bands across the United States to participate in the event, which is dominated by high school musicians. This year, 13 bands from across the state of Indiana, Washington, and Florida will be joining the Purdue Band. As it has done for many years, the band will play “On the Banks of the Wabash,” as well as play entertaining music for the mass crowd prior to the start time.
It was the marching band’s first director, Paul Spotts Emrick, who forged the initial relationship with the Indianapolis 500 in 1919, the race’s ninth year of existence. Always interested in promoting his band and Purdue, Emrick leapt at the chance to be associated with the young race that was quickly establishing an international reputation. At that time, the band was a military unit of men enrolled in Reserve Officer Training Corps at Purdue University.

Purdue’s band will again be featured in the IPL 500 Festival Parade at noon Saturday, May 28, which begins at North and Pennsylvania, and winds its way through downtown Indianapolis. The 500 Festival Parade was added to the race month activities in 1957 and the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band has appeared in every parade since then.

New “Voice” Determined for Purdue “All-American” Marching Band

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – John Hultman, a Purdue Band Alum and speech major who graduated from Purdue in 1958, will be the next “Voice” of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band. The announcement was made at the annual Purdue Bands & Orchestras banquet held Sunday, April 24. The appointment comes after Roy Johnson’s decision to retire as the announcer of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band following this academic year.
John has spent his entire career in broadcast media. After graduation from Purdue, he did a brief stint as “Uncle John” on a kids’ TV show in Fort Wayne, then moved to Detroit where he ran the gamut from disc jockey to reporter to weekend anchor. In 1968 he returned to his hometown of Chicago and joined the staff of WBBM Newsradio, Chicago’s all-news radio station. While working for WBBM, Hultman rose to the position of News Director, a role he filled for ten years.
For years, John Hultman’s voice was recognized by hundreds of thousands of Chicagoland residents. He anchored the WBBM “morning drive” for eighteen years of his career and continues to work there part time. Correspondent, he covered many big stories including Pope John Paul’s visit to Chicago, the tragic crash of Flight 91 near O’Hare in 1979, and joined former Governor Jim Thompson on trade missions to Budapest, Warsaw, and Moscow.
John is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Chicago Headline Club. He is the past president of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association and was named Illinois Journalist of the Year in 1994 by the Northern Illinois University Department of Journalism. He is also a retired major in the United States Army Reserve.
John has performed on stage at Orchestra Hall as narrator with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and at Pick-Staiger Hall at Northwestern University with the North Shore Concert Band.
Of his three children, two have attended Purdue and have played in the band. In 2009, 2011, and 2013, John and his two children marched on the field together during Homecoming as members of the Alumni Marching Band. John has also served as the “go to” substitute announcer for the band on several occasions. “Being in Purdue Bands & Orchestras can lead to a lifetime of music and I am happy to be back to support an organization that meant so much to me,” said John. He and his wife Wilma live in Northbrook, Illinois. In addition to their three children, they have six grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. John enjoys sailing, singing in the church choir, and baking hundreds of loaves of bread each year, most of which he gives away!
We look forward to welcoming John Hultman as the “Voice” of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band at our first home football game on September 3, when Purdue takes on the Eastern Kentucky Colonels at Ross-Ade Stadium.

Wind Ensemble Travels to Carnegie Hall

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Wind Ensemble, Purdue Bands & Orchestras premiere wind band, will be taking the stage at New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall in March 2016.  Over 65 Purdue students will make the trip, just ten years after Director of Bands, Jay Gephart, took his first performing group. Students will leave Purdue the evening of March 26 and travel throughout the night, arriving in Manhattan the morning of March 27.  A dinner cruise and sightseeing will be included as part of the student tour.  The concert will take place the evening of the March 29 at 8:00 PM.  Tickets can be purchased via the Carnegie Hall Box Office beginning in January 2016 at

For further information, please contact Courtney Downey,

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