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.

Purdue Band Day Tradition Continues This Weekend

Purdue Band Day is an annual partnership between the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band and high schools from around the Midwest. During the day, high school band students have the opportunity to meet, rehearse, and perform with members of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band and get a feel for what a Big Ten college marching band is like. This year, over 20 high schools from all across the state will bring band students to participate, making a “mass band” of around 1700 students.

Purdue Band Day 2018 will feature guest conductor, Jim Butz. Jim is the retired Director of Bands and Music Department Chair at Ben Davis High School where his bands won 6 state championships and his jazz band won numerous awards including an invitational performance at the Indy Jazz Fest.

The day will begin with a mass band rehearsal at the Hull Practice Field where high school bands will join Purdue in their halftime show preparation. Following the rehearsal, students can eat lunch and watch the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band at Slayter Center, a 20,000-person outdoor amphitheater on Purdue’s campus, where they perform in an exciting Purdue pre-game tradition, “Thrill on the Hill”.

The visiting high school bands will have special seating in Ross-Ade Stadium during the game. The Halftime show will feature the Band Day performance with the Purdue and high school bands on the field together.

Scott Pazera Joins Purdue Bands & Orchestras as Visiting Instructor

Purdue Bands & Orchestras welcomes Scott Pazera as the newest member of the department. Pazera will serve as a Visiting Instructor for the Purdue jazz bands alongside Dr. Mo Trout.

Scott Pazera has been teaching and performing on guitar and bass for over 30 years and is a motivated instructor, small business owner, and spirited performer. Scott has been performing publicly with his own jazz groups and often works as a sideman to some of the top performers in the Midwest. He has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Rich Little, Veruca Salt, Ce Ce Peniston, Med Flory (Supersax), Fareed Haque, Henry Johnson, Charlie Hunter, Byron Stripling, Rachel Yamagata and many others. He is currently the jazz band director at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN. Scott is also an MSMT graduate of IUPUI as well as a BS and MPA graduate of Indiana University. Recently he directed the Purdue University Jazz Band and other ensembles while Dr. Marion Trout was on sabbatical. He also assists with the Lafayette Jefferson High School Jazz ensembles and has worked as a clinician for the Indy Jazz Fest as well as many other festivals.

2018-2019 Golden Silks Color Guard Announced

After a very competitive audition process, the 2018-2019 Golden Silks Color Guard has been announced. The team welcomes 11 new members this year, including Christina Davidson studying Pharmacy, Elexis Farrell studying Microbiology, Eva Hensley studying Nursing, Roxanne Huff studying Biochemistry, Michaela Huffman studying Medical Laboratory Sciences, Sarah Myers studying Kinesiology, Nadiah Muhammad studying Creative Writing, Breanna Roti studying Secondary Education – Mathematics, Nina Scheel studying Anthropology, Hannah Tomkins studying Engineering, and Sarah VanBuskirk studying Psychology.

Returning members include Sara Cunningham, Kaycie Eide, Erin Hendrix, Allie Megl, Maddie Moore, Lindsey Muller, Maraya Neff, Sarah Niehaus, Lauren Richardson, Kaitlyn Scholl, Aidan Selvia, Caitlin Sever, Colbye Skeens, Hailey Stoddard, Hannah Tubbs, Isabelle Weatherhead, Katelyn Witcraft, and Teresa Woerner.

2018-19 AAMB Drum Major Announced

Following a lengthy and demanding audition process, the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band is pleased to announce that Zach Sutton will serve as the Drum Major for the 2018-19 season, and will lead the band into another great year of athletic events, travel opportunities, and thrilling performances.

Zach is a Senior from Valparaiso, IN (Valparaiso High School).  He has served the AAMB as a baritone player and student leader. He is majoring in Mechanical Engineering Technology through the Purdue Polytechnic Institute.

Professor Matt Conaway oversees the AAMB Drum Majors, and is very enthusiastic about the upcoming season with Zach.  “Zach has worked extremely hard for this opportunity, and the entire staff has great confidence in his ability to lead our band.  He commands respect and will be a fantastic Drum Major for the 2018-19 season.”

As the AAMB celebrates this appointment, the Band also wishes outgoing Drum Majors Robert Steele and Loretta Trezza all the best as they prepare for graduation and the start of long and successful careers.  The first public performance for the new Drum Major is on Saturday, August 18, when the 133rd edition of the “All-American” Marching Band takes the field for their End-Of-Camp Performance.

2018 – 2019 Golduster Dance Team Announced

After an extremely competitive audition process, the 2018-2019 Golduster Dance Team has been announced. The team welcomes 5 incoming freshmen as new members this year. Ally Kiger is a senior at Harrison High School, from Lafayette, Indiana, and majoring in Marketing. Rylee Madden is a senior at Ottawa Township High School, from Ottawa, Illinois, and majoring in Engineering. Hannah Ortman is a senior at Carroll High School, from Bringhurst, Indiana, and is majoring in Exploratory Studies. Brittany Rogers is a senior at Perry Meridian High School, from Indianapolis, Indiana, and is majoring in Engineering. Sophia Strain is a senior at Center Grove High School, from Greenwood, Indiana, and is majoring in Industrial Design.


Returning members include Anna Collins, Jayne Denson, Brittany Gallarneau, Kate Giglio, Keiley Kordick, Emily Lins, Caitie Madden, Emma McAlister, Madison Rinehart, Sarah Sipe, Sara Strahl, Dayna Tanner, and Lauren Waddington.

French Horn Rebecca Salo wins 2018 Sudler Prize in the Arts

Rebecca Salo has been named the 2018 winner of the Purdue Sudler Prize in the Arts. This marks the eleventh time in fifteen years a Purdue Bands & Orchestras student has been named Purdue’s top senior in the arts.

This prestigious prize was endowed by Louis Sudler, a Chicago industrialist with an incredible appreciation of the arts. It has since served as an annual prize in the arts at fourteen major universities:  Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, MIT, University of Chicago, Michigan State, Oberlin College, Purdue University, Duke, Rice, and Stanford.

Each year, top seniors in the arts are nominated by their respective departments at Purdue to compete for the award.  Contestants come from Visual and Performing Arts, Purdue Musical Organizations, Purdue Bands & Orchestras and the Purdue Black Cultural Center.

Salo is a senior at Purdue University, majoring in electrical engineering with minors in mathematics and music theory. Rebecca currently plays principal French horn in the Purdue Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also been a member of the Purdue Brass Quintet and the Purdue Wind Ensemble. She has recently performed as a soloist with the Kokomo Park Band and Purdue Wind Ensemble, and will be the guest soloist with the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra later this spring. After graduating from Purdue in May, Rebecca plans to pursue a Masters in Horn performance.

Professor Jay Gephart elected Vice President of American Bandmasters Association

Professor Jay S. Gephart of Purdue University was elected Vice President of the American Bandmasters Association (ABA) at their recent convention in Fort Worth, Texas. Gephart will serve as Vice President in 2018, President-Elect in 2019, and will assume the role of President of ABA in 2020.

The American Bandmasters Association, founded in 1929, with John Philip Sousa as Honorary Life President, recognizes outstanding achievement on the part of Concert Band conductors and composers. The current membership (invitational) comprises approximately 300 band conductors and composers in the USA and Canada, and 80 Associate Members (music businesses and corporations that provide significant services to bands and to the publication of band music.)

This marks the second time the Director of Bands at Purdue University has been elected to this prestigious role with Dr. Al G. Wright of Purdue University Bands serving as President in 1981. Professor Gephart currently serves as the Director of Bands and Al G. Wright Chair for Purdue Bands & Orchestras. The election to Vice President comes on the heels of Gephart being named the 2018 Outstanding Collegiate Music Educator of the Year by the Indiana Music Education Association (IMEA). For more information on ABA, visit To view Professor Gephart’s full bio, visit

Purdue Bands & Orchestras remember Dianne Jones


Dianne Dwiggins Jones (71), a remarkable and beloved elementary music teacher, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 1, 2018, at home in Lafayette, Indiana surrounded by her husband, Max Jones, son, Gavin Jones, family and friends.  Dianne was born with a congenital heart defect and for the last five years, although she struggled with advanced heart failure, continued to enjoy and live her life to the fullest.

Dianne was born in Winchester, Indiana on February 1, 1947, to Phyllis Ann Dwiggins and the late Donald Dwiggins, where her love of music began and was nurtured in the Dwiggins household. Guided by their father, Dianne and her brothers often sang and performed together at home and at local venues.  The “Dwiggins kids” continued to participate in music in high school and sang in many of the school’s musicals, including Annie Get Your Gun, Oklahoma and South Pacific, where Dianne played major roles. After high school, they continued singing, with three of the siblings entering college as music majors.

Dianne graduated from Lee L. Driver High School in 1965.  She continued to pursue music at Ball State University, where she graduated as a voice major with a B.S. in education in 1968 and later earned a M.A. in music in 1976.

Dianne met Max when they were assigned an instrument locker to share in the music building at Ball State in the Fall of 1966.  The two became fast acquaintances and as time went on, Max was able to persuade her that he should be the love of her life. On July 13, 1968, Dianne and Max were married at College Avenue Methodist Church in Muncie, with Max’s father, John Paul, officiating.

Dianne began her teaching career as an elementary music teacher in Parker City and Farmland, Indiana and also later taught at Eaton, Winchester and Concord Schools in Elkhart.  Over the 30+ years of teaching vocal music and assisting Max with his Indiana high school marching bands, Dianne touched an overwhelming number of students who have reached out, even in recent months, to share their heartfelt memories. A common theme is the recognition of Dianne’s dedication to teaching, enthusiasm for life, positive energy, love of all children, and commitment to the pursuit of happiness through music.  Families, parents, colleagues and students consistently thanked Dianne for the extra effort and significant contributions she made year after year.  Apparent to everyone who met Dianne was the standard of excellence she brought to everything, from Spring and Christmas programs to Circle the State with Song to marching band rehearsals, and even her famous Halloween witch cackle that delighted teachers and students alike.

Dianne retired from teaching in 2007, when she and Max moved to Lafayette permanently to be closer to Purdue University for Max’s appointment as Assistant Professor of Bands.

Over the years in Lafayette, Dianne made many close friends through the Purdue Women’s Club and maintained an active social calendar with the Green Plate Society, Concord Eastside’s Best and the Directors Dinner Bunch.  She loved eating out with Max and all of their friends, as she happily boasted achieving a lifetime goal of never having baked a pie!  She also enjoyed spending time directing a number of remodel projects of the Lafayette home, which she recalled was purchased by Max without her input.  As she would explain to you, she spent the required time making an unacceptable home into the beautifully acceptable one that we all know and love today.  Dianne was thankful for every visitor that came to their warm Lafayette home, but she and Max were especially grateful for all of the Purdue band “’kids” that came by to help on various home projects over the years.

Dianne and Max approached life as a team, whether it was music, family or community.  Together, they were members of the United Methodist Church for her entire life.  While Dianne spent a significant part of her life committed to music and education, she and Max always put family first.  Dianne recalled her break from teaching while Gavin was young as the most wonderful time.  Dianne and Max loved to travel all over the US and neighboring countries, Canada and Mexico, including frequent visits to Lake Norris, Tennessee, where they spent time with their family and best friends in cabins, on houseboats or at their condo over the past 30 years.  Following Dianne’s retirement, they also traveled to England, France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece, and Germany with Dianne’s last international adventure taking them to Hong Kong this past Spring, where Gavin and his wife, Erika, currently reside.

Dianne will be most remembered for her exceptionally beautiful singing voice, her passion for music, her humor, her love of shopping, her fashion sense and most of all, her radiant smile that lit up any room.

Dianne was predeceased by her father, Donald, sister, Daralee, and brother-in-law, Randy.  She is survived by her mother, Phyllis Ann, her husband, Max, her son, Gavin (Erika), her brothers, Dean, Dennis (Judy), Doug (Carolyn), Daniel, her brothers-in-law, Keith (Cindy), Ken (Marian), sisters-in-law, Marna (Paul Vandenberg), Kathy Carey, and many nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Dianne’s life will be held at the Towne Square Community Centre at 123 W. Franklin Street on Saturday, March 31, 2018 in Dianne’s hometown of Winchester, Indiana. Visitation will begin at 1pm until the start of the service at 3pm. All are welcome to attend and share in this public celebration to honor Dianne’s legacy.

At the family’s request, in lieu of flowers, memorial charitable contributions are preferred and may be made to the Max and Dianne Jones Memorial Music Lesson Scholarships Fund (for Winchester Community High School Band & Choir Students) c/o Community Foundation of Randolph County, 213 South Main St., Winchester, IN 47394,  Checks should be made payable to the Community Foundation of Randolph County. Please note Dianne Jones on the memo line.

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