Episode 12: Barry Houser, Director of Athletic Bands, University of Illinois

After a long hiatus, we're ready to get back into it by saying OSKEE WOW WOW.  Steve and I visited the University of Illinois and sat down with Professor Barry Houser in the historic Harding Band building.   Professor Houser talks about his journey to the Big Ten, going digital with the marching band, things that go "bump in the night" in the Harding Band building, and much more!  BIO Barry L. Houser is the Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Marching Illini, and Director of the Fighting Illini Athletic Bands where his responsibilities include conducting the Hindsley Symphonic Band, the Athletic Bands, and the 375 member Marching Illini in addition to teaching marching band procedures. Professor Houser’s teaching experience encompasses both extensive public school and university experiences. A native of Indiana, Professor Houser served as Director of Bands and Performing Arts Director at NorthWood High School in Nappanee, Indiana, where his bands developed a reputation for great musicianship which in turn earned the program state and national recognition. Prior to his position at NorthWood, Houser served as the Assistant Director of Bands at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Florida. Bands under Houser have performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the NBC Today Show, the ISSMA State Marching Finals, and the IMEA State Convention. Other performances include the Indianapolis 500 Parade, the Target Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Outback Bowl Parade and Half-Time Show, the Hollywood Christmas Parade, the Washington DC National Memorial Parade, Chicago Bears Game, and performances with Maynard Ferguson, the Dallas Brass, Canadian Brass, Gregg Potter as well as many other talented artists. Houser holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, MENC, Golden Key National Honor Society, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi International Band Fraternity, Honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and has been honored by the Indiana General Assembly and the US House of Representatives. He is the recipient of the Indianapolis Star Academic All Star Award, the WNDU Channel 16 Excellence in Education Award, as well as being listed in various “Who’s Who” publications throughout his career. Professor Houser is active nationally as a guest conductor and clinician in both the marching and concert mediums.  He has served on the staff of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band and the National Events Mass Band, which performs annually at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a contributing author to the popular marching band textbook The System by Gary Smith as well as numerous submissions to the Teaching Music through Performance in Band series.  Houser has served as Governor of the North Central District of Kappa Kappa Psi and currently serves as chapter advisor for the Nu Xi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi on our campus as well as Chapter Advisor for the Phi Mu Alpha Chapter. He is currently serving on the Athletic Band Board for the College Band Directors National Association and as the North Central Division Chair for the National Band Association. During the summer, Professor Houser is the Director and President of the renowned Smith Walbridge Clinics, one of the largest marching band | leadership camps of its type in the country with locations in Illinois and Florida, attracting over 1000 students each year.  Professor Houser is an Educational Clinician for Conn-Selmer

After a long hiatus, we're ready to get back into it by saying OSKEE WOW WOW.  Steve and I visited the University of Illinois and sat down with Professor Barry Houser in the historic Harding Band building.  

Professor Houser talks about his journey to the Big Ten, going digital with the marching band, things that go "bump in the night" in the Harding Band building, and much more! 

BIO

Barry L. Houser is the Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Marching Illini, and Director of the Fighting Illini Athletic Bands where his responsibilities include conducting the Hindsley Symphonic Band, the Athletic Bands, and the 375 member Marching Illini in addition to teaching marching band procedures. Professor Houser’s teaching experience encompasses both extensive public school and university experiences.

A native of Indiana, Professor Houser served as Director of Bands and Performing Arts Director at NorthWood High School in Nappanee, Indiana, where his bands developed a reputation for great musicianship which in turn earned the program state and national recognition. Prior to his position at NorthWood, Houser served as the Assistant Director of Bands at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Florida. Bands under Houser have performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the NBC Today Show, the ISSMA State Marching Finals, and the IMEA State Convention. Other performances include the Indianapolis 500 Parade, the Target Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Outback Bowl Parade and Half-Time Show, the Hollywood Christmas Parade, the Washington DC National Memorial Parade, Chicago Bears Game, and performances with Maynard Ferguson, the Dallas Brass, Canadian Brass, Gregg Potter as well as many other talented artists.

Houser holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, MENC, Golden Key National Honor Society, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi International Band Fraternity, Honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and has been honored by the Indiana General Assembly and the US House of Representatives. He is the recipient of the Indianapolis Star Academic All Star Award, the WNDU Channel 16 Excellence in Education Award, as well as being listed in various “Who’s Who” publications throughout his career.

Professor Houser is active nationally as a guest conductor and clinician in both the marching and concert mediums.  He has served on the staff of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band and the National Events Mass Band, which performs annually at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a contributing author to the popular marching band textbook The System by Gary Smith as well as numerous submissions to the Teaching Music through Performance in Band series.  Houser has served as Governor of the North Central District of Kappa Kappa Psi and currently serves as chapter advisor for the Nu Xi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi on our campus as well as Chapter Advisor for the Phi Mu Alpha Chapter. He is currently serving on the Athletic Band Board for the College Band Directors National Association and as the North Central Division Chair for the National Band Association. During the summer, Professor Houser is the Director and President of the renowned Smith Walbridge Clinics, one of the largest marching band | leadership camps of its type in the country with locations in Illinois and Florida, attracting over 1000 students each year. 

Professor Houser is an Educational Clinician for Conn-Selmer

Episode 11: Ray Cramer, Director Emeritus, Indiana University, and Michael Fiske, Director Emeritus, Joliet Central High School

TWO GUESTS this time around.  Steve and I sit down with Ray Cramer, Indiana University, and Mike Fiske, Joliet Central High School, and realize that they're both better at hosting a show than we are.  

We had a great conversation with Professor Cramer and Mr. Fiske, covering everything from selecting good music, being a role model outside of just music, and even Mike's time as a graduate student under Professor Cramer. 

So much history and information, and so little time!  We hope to have both of these great educators on again.  Press play below, or subscribe on iTunes/Android devices - you won't want to miss episode 11.

BIOS

Ray E. Cramer was a member of the Indiana University School of Music faculty from the fall of 1969 through May 2005. In 1982, Mr. Cramer was appointed Director of Bands. Under his leadership the Indiana University Wind Ensemble earned an international reputation for outstanding musical performances including the 1982 ABA Convention, Indianapolis; the 1984 joint American Bandmasters Association/Japan Bandmasters Association Convention, Tokyo; the 1988 NAfME National Convention, Indianapolis; the 1991 National CBDNA Convention in Kansas City, the 1994 National NAfME Convention in Cincinnati, the 1995 ABA Convention in Lawrence, Kansas, the 1997 National CBDNA Convention in Athens, Georgia, the 2003 CBDNA National Convention in Minneapolis, MN, a 2000 spring tour to Japan performing in six cities and the All Japan Band Clinic plus numerous regional and state conventions and a 2003 performance at The Midwest Clinic.

In addition to his administrative responsibilities as the Department Chair, Mr. Cramer taught graduate courses in wind conducting, history and literature. He also conducted the University Orchestra for seven years during the fall semester.

He is a member of ABA, CBDNA, NBA, WASBE, NAfME, IMEA, IBA, CIDA, and is affiliated with Phi Mu Alpha, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, and Phi Beta Mu. Mr. Cramer is a recipient of the Student Alumni Council Senior Faculty Award (1983), the Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Award (1988), the CIDA Director of the Year Award (1988), the Phi Beta Mu, International Assembly, Outstanding Bandmaster Award (1988), the Kappa Kappa Psi Bohumil Makovsky Memorial Award (1991), the Goldman award (2002), and the 2005 Midwest Medal of Honor. He is a past National President of the College Band Directors National Association, the American Bandmasters Association and has served as president of the Indiana Bandmasters Association, the North Central Division of CBDNA and the Big Ten Band Directors Association. He is the current President of the Midwest Clinic, an international band and orchestra convention held in Chicago each December.

Mr. Cramer is actively involved in clinics and guest conducting engagements nationally and internationally. He has served as regular guest conductor for the Musashino Academia of Music in Tokyo, Japan from the fall of 1990 to the present.

A native of Illinois, Mr. Cramer has a B.A. and Honorary Doctorate from Western Illinois University and an MFA from the University of Iowa. He taught at Indiana University for 36 years, and served as Director of Bands for 24 years.


Michael Fiske is the Director Emeritus of the Joliet Central High School band.  Mr. Fiske returned to his beloved school district when he was appointed the fourth band director of the JTHS Band at Central Campus in 2002. Prior to coming to Central, Mr. Fiske enjoyed a successful 25-year career directing high school bands in Illinois and Indiana, most recently at Morris High School.

Under Mr. Fiske’s direction, the Central Band has continued a tradition of excellence. They were Grand Champions at Illinois State University in 2003, and have been Best in Class several times since then in the Illinois State University Contest. The band has had annual representation in the Illinois Music Educators Association District and All-State Festivals. They have performed in Orlando, Atlanta and New York City. They were Grand Champions at the New York National Freedom Festival in 2006 and Best in Class at Festival Disney in 2008. They also performed at Walt Disney World in 2004 and 2012, and at Six Flags Over Georgia in 2010. Locally, the Central Band remains a favorite in downtown parades and at home basketball and football games. The Central Big Band gives numerous performances each year in Joliet and Chicago. The band maintains an active concert schedule during the school year, having just completed the 106th concert season.

Episode 10: Stephen G. Peterson, University of Illinois

I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Stephen Peterson at the SuperState 2016 band festival.  Dr. Peterson holds the distinguished honor as the current Director of Bands at the University of Illinois, a program that many consider to be one of, if not the most important collegiate band programs based on its history, accomplishments, and directors.   Dr. Peterson was very gracious with his time, and offered some insight on moving into a new program, setting up a band for success, and his opinions on quality band literature.   Dr. Peterson's Bio:  Dr. Stephen G. Peterson was appointed Director of Bands at the University of Illinois in the fall of 2015.  As Director of Bands, he conducts the Wind Symphony, leads the graduate wind conducting program, teaches courses in wind literature, and guides all aspects of one of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most storied band programs. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Illinois he served as Director of Bands at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, for seventeen years. From 1988-1998 he served as Associate Director of Bands at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Dr. Peterson was also conductor of the renowned Northshore Concert Band.  He held positions as Associate and Interim Director of Bands at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas and has several years of successful teaching experience in the public schools in Arizona. Peterson maintains a busy schedule as a conductor and clinician, and as such, has appeared on four continents and in forty-two states. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the College Band Directors National Association, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and has been honored with membership in the prestigious American Bandmaster’s Association.  He is also member of Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, and an honorary member of Sigma Alpha Iota, and Kappa Kappa Psi. He is immediate past president of the College Band Directors National Association. Dr. Peterson was the first to receive the Doctor of Music degree in wind conducting from Northwestern University and earned Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Arizona State University. In 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Ithaca College Faculty Excellence Award, recognizing his contributions to Ithaca College. His ensembles have appeared before national conventions of the American Bandmaster’s Association, the College Band Director’s National Association, the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, the American School Band Director’s Association, at Orchestra Hall with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, and at Lincoln Center.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Stephen Peterson at the SuperState 2016 band festival.  Dr. Peterson holds the distinguished honor as the current Director of Bands at the University of Illinois, a program that many consider to be one of, if not the most important collegiate band programs based on its history, accomplishments, and directors.  

Dr. Peterson was very gracious with his time, and offered some insight on moving into a new program, setting up a band for success, and his opinions on quality band literature.  

Dr. Peterson's Bio:  Dr. Stephen G. Peterson was appointed Director of Bands at the University of Illinois in the fall of 2015.  As Director of Bands, he conducts the Wind Symphony, leads the graduate wind conducting program, teaches courses in wind literature, and guides all aspects of one of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most storied band programs. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Illinois he served as Director of Bands at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, for seventeen years. From 1988-1998 he served as Associate Director of Bands at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Dr. Peterson was also conductor of the renowned Northshore Concert Band.  He held positions as Associate and Interim Director of Bands at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas and has several years of successful teaching experience in the public schools in Arizona.

Peterson maintains a busy schedule as a conductor and clinician, and as such, has appeared on four continents and in forty-two states. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the College Band Directors National Association, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and has been honored with membership in the prestigious American Bandmaster’s Association.  He is also member of Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, and an honorary member of Sigma Alpha Iota, and Kappa Kappa Psi. He is immediate past president of the College Band Directors National Association.

Dr. Peterson was the first to receive the Doctor of Music degree in wind conducting from Northwestern University and earned Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Arizona State University. In 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Ithaca College Faculty Excellence Award, recognizing his contributions to Ithaca College. His ensembles have appeared before national conventions of the American Bandmaster’s Association, the College Band Director’s National Association, the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, the American School Band Director’s Association, at Orchestra Hall with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, and at Lincoln Center.

Episode 9: Edwin Franko Goldman and Bruce Houseknecht

On this episode, we present a interview of Edwin Franko Goldman from the Goldman Band, and Bruce Houseknecht from the Joliet Township High School Band.  This interview is used with permission from WJOL Radio Station in Crest Hill/Joliet, Illinois.  

Edwin Franko Goldman was one of the prominent band composers of the early 20th century.  HIs credits include over 150 works for band and the founding of the Goldman Band of New York City and the American Bandmasters Association.

Bruce Houseknecht was the director of the Joliet Township High School band from 1945 to 1969, and a professor at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, until his death in 1974.  Mr. Houseknecht's ensembles received local and national acclaim, including five performances at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, and a performance at the presidential inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953.

Featured music: On the Mall March, by Edwin Franko Goldman (US Army Band Performance), and Salvation is Created, Tschesnokoff, arr. by Bruce Houseknecht (conducted by the arranger).

Episode 008: Don Owens, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Dan Moore and I were lucky have Dan's mentor, Don Owens (D.O.) come out and work our band in rehearsal.  Of course, we couldn't let D.O. leave without sitting down and recording a podcast about his time in Texas and working at Evanston Township High School and Northwestern University in Illinois.  Enjoy listening to some great band history and teaching tips for band directors everywhere.

Don Owens, Coordinator Emeritus of the Jazz Studies and Pedagogy Program, Director Emeritus, Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University, began his tenure at Beinen School of Music in 1979.  Before coming to Northwestern, he taught for twelve years at Evanston (Illinois) Township High School where his duties included directing band, brass ensembles, and jazz band, as well as teaching classes in music theory, popular music, free improvisation, and composition.  He created the Electronic Music Studio at ETHS in 1971.  

Owens received the Bachelor of Music Education degree from North Texas State University, where he studied Composition and Jazz.  His Master of Musical Arts degree is from the University of Illinois, where he majored in Composition.  He studied composition with Morgan Powell, Merrill Ellis, Samuel Adler, and Salvatore Martirano.  He has won several grants and awards, and is regularly commissioned for new works.

In his first few years at Northwestern, Mr. Owens conducted the nationally renowned Jazz Ensemble, directed the "Wildcat” Marching Band and Symphonic Band, and taught advanced Method classes for undergraduate Music Education Majors.  He eventually was appointed Coordinator of the Jazz Studies and Pedagogy Program, teaching courses in Jazz Writing, Seminar in Jazz Pedagogy, Jazz in the Public Schools, and conducted the Jazz Ensemble.  Under his leadership, the Northwestern Jazz Program grew to offer the B.M. in Jazz Studies and the M.M. in Jazz Pedagogy. 

In addition to Owens' responsibilities in the Jazz area, he served as Director and Primary Conductor of the internationally acclaimed Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble for over 20 years.  This group performed over 200 world premiers, as well as the standard 20th century repertory.  In 1991, the Northwestern CME served as the primary chamber music ensemble for the John Cage Now World Festival.  In the spring of 1995, the CME served as one of two visiting Artist Ensembles for the National Meeting of the Society of Composers at the University of Iowa.  In 2002, the CME played a major role in the Stephan Wolpe Festival, sponsored by the School of Music.

During the summers, Owens served as Director of the National High School Music Institute, from 1991 to 2004.  Under his leadership, the enrollment increased by 100%.  With a curriculum that required the attending students to declare a Major - Classical Guitar, Composition, Jazz Studies, Music Education, Piano, Strings, Voice, or Winds and Percussion- NHSMI consistently attracted students from all 50 states, as well as many foreign countries.


Episode 007 (No, not THAT episode 7): James Lambrecht, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL/Musashino Academia Musicae Wind Ensemble, Tokyo, Japan

Let's be honest; this is the episode 7 that we've all been truly waiting for.  My guest co-host Daniel Moore and I sit down with Dr. James Lambrecht, director of bands and professor of trumpet at Augustana College in Rock Island.  James M. Lambrecht is the director of bands and professor of trumpet at Augustana College, where he conducts the Symphonic Band and teaches studio trumpet, wind conducting, brass methods and in the music theory program. He also has conducted the Opera@Augustana Orchestra, and served as the conductor and music director of the Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra from 1994-1998. Before coming to Augustana in 1988, he was director of bands and assistant professor of music at Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan.  Dr. Lambrecht is one of our unofficial "international guests" as well, serving as guest conductor for the Musashino Academia Musicae Wind Ensemble in Tokyo Japan.  

Dr. Lambrecht talks about his journey through his career, his mentor Ray Cramer, and the similarities and differences of the US and Japanese performing ensembles. Featured music is Symphony No. 3, by James Barnes. 



Episode 006: Charles Menghini, VanderCook College of Music, Chicago, IL

Charles T. Menghini is President, Professor of Music and Director of Bands at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to his appointment as President in August of 2004, Charlie served as Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Bands. He began his teaching at VanderCook College in 1994 and his teaching has included conducting, organization and administration, curriculum and supervision, brass methods and rehearsal techniques classes.

Dr. Menghini holds an impressive list of accomplishments and experiences, including 18 years of successful high school band experience, contributions to professional journals and magazines such as "The Instrumentalist," and co-author of Essential Elements 2000 Band Method, published by the Hal Leonard Corporation.  

We had a lot of fun sitting down with Dr. Menghini, and as usual, we learned something.  We know you'll all enjoy hearing Dr. Menghini talk about time management, his first years teaching, and his thoughts on education.  


Episode 005: Chip Staley, Neuqua Valley High School, IL

Under the leadership of Charles "Chip Staley, the Neuqua Valley High School music program has received seven Grammy Gold Awards for excellence in music, and is recognized as a 2013 and 2015 National Grammy Signature School, a Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts National School of Distinction, and a Sudler Flag of Honor Recipient.  

Chip Staley was a great guest, and talked to us about selecting great literature and planning for a wind ensemble as opposed to a symphonic band.  Chip is also an educational trailblazer, and tells us about the current and future state of education, and what we can all do to help.

We open and close the episode with excerpts from the Neuqua Valley Wind Ensemble performance of Selections from Turandot from their 2009 Midwest Clinic performance under the direction of Mr. Staley.

After the episode, check out artspeaks204.org.


Episode 004: Ken Snoeck, Lake Park High School

We interview Steve's high school band director and mentor, Mr. Ken Snoeck.  Ken is a member of the Music for All Hall of Fame.  Under his direction, the Lake Park Wind Ensemble appeared at the University of Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival four times and traveled to Moscow Russia, and has toured France, including a joint concert with the French Navy Band in Toulon.  

Mr. Snoeck's time with the Lake Park Marching Band saw the group earning State of Illinois class champions twenty times, State Grand Champion thirteen times, BOA Grand Nationals finalist eighteen times, class AAA Champion twice and BOA Grand Champion in 1996.  

We open this episode with the fourth movement from Ken's composition "Scaramouch," which was voted Best Original Manuscript for Band for the biennium 1971-1973 by the membership of the College Band Directors National Association.  We close out with "Dribble Drabble," performed by trumpeter Dr. Mark Ponzo and the NIU Wind Symphony.

Episode 003: Ted Lega, Part 2

Part two of our interview with Ted Lega, which is actually part one!  We kick off with a sample of a track from the Teddy Lee Orchestra's album "Sentimental Journey," and then Ted goes into some great history of his time with the Joliet band.  Some fantastic history in this episode for not only people from the Joliet area, but for anyone interested in band history dating back to the early 1900s.