Dr. Melissa Gustafson-Hinds was gracious enough to sit down for an interview at our recent Illinois Music Education Association State Conference. Dr. Gustafson-Hinds speaks about how she handles working with students that might move in or out of her school, balancing a schedule that includes band, choir, winter guard, jazz, and a family, and her goals of doing “all the things.”
Check out FloMarching’s feature on O’Fallon Township during the band’s recent BOA Grand National Championship Semi-Finals speech (which was filmed before they knew they would be performing in their first ever BOA Grand National Championship Finals later that night).
Special thanks to Rachel Maxwell for connecting us and co-hosting this episode.
Melissa Gustafson-Hinds is originally from Monmouth, Illinois. Melissa attended Illinois State University, earning a Bachelor's in music education. While at ISU, she played oboe and English horn in the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Symphonic Orchestra, and Chamber Winds. In addition, Melissa was a drum major for the "Big Red Marching Machine" for five consecutive years.
Melissa taught for four years for Unit 5 Schools in Normal, Illinois, where she instructed all levels of instrumental music. During this time, she earned her Masters in Music Education at the University of Illinois.
Her next teaching position was at Belleville Township High School - West, where she instructed Chorus, Concert Band, Instrumental Music, and Marching Band.
From 2001-2003, Melissa was the music director at Centralia High School, in Centralia, Illinois, where she instructed Concert Choir, Symphonic Band, The Marching Showcase, Centralia Winterguard, Flute Choir, Jazz Band, and Pep Band. In 2002, Melissa earned her Type 75-General Administrative Endorsement from SIUE.
From 2003-2008, Melissa was the band director at Collinsville High School, instructing the Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Pep Band and Flute Choir.
Currently, Melissa is the band director at O'Fallon Township High School and is looking forward to many years of providing excellent music education to the band students of OTHS. In 2010, she earned her Doctorate in Teaching and Learning, emphasis in Music Education from the University of Missouri St. Louis. She is also helping to create the O'Fallon United Community Music School to provide music education to the 5th-8th grade students of O'Fallon District 90.