FACULTY AND STAFF
BARRY L. HOUSER
DIRECTOR OF THE MARCHING ILLINI & ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF BANDS
Professor Barry L. Houser is the Chair of the Conducting Area, Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Marching Illini, Director of the Fighting Illini Athletic Bands, and Clinical Associate Professor of Music where his responsibilities include conducting a number of concert ensembles in the Illinois Bands program, the Athletic Bands, and the 400 member Marching Illini in addition to teaching conducting courses. 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 Indiana Music Educators State Convention. Other performances include the Indianapolis 500 Parade, the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Outback Bowl Parade and Halftime Show, the Hollywood Christmas Parade, the Washington DC National Memorial Parade, Chicago Bears Halftime shows, and performances with Maynard Ferguson, the Dallas Brass, Canadian Brass, Boston Brass, Gregg Potter, Douglas Yeo and many other talented artists.
Houser holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, NAfME, 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 has served as the North Central Division Chair for the National Band Association and is currently serving on the Athletic Band Board for the College Band Directors National Association as well as the Chair of the Athletic Bands for the Big Ten Band Directors 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 in the country with locations in Illinois and Florida, attracting over 1000 students each year.
Professor Houser is an educational consultant for Ultimate Drill Book and is recognized as a Yamaha Master Educator.
Hannah Rudy | ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF ATHLETIC BANDS
Dr. Hannah Rudy serves as Assistant Director of Athletic Bands where she conducts the University Band, teaches conducting courses, serves as assistant director for the Marching Illini, and leads the volleyball and women’s basketball bands. Previously, she served as the Assistant Director of Bands at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. Prior to her appointment at Kennesaw State, Dr. Rudy was a doctoral conducting associate and graduate teaching assistant at the University of Oklahoma studying in the studios of Dr. Shanti Simon and Dr. Michael Hancock. Currently she is presenting and expanding her research in artistic score study, conducting pedagogy, and wind band literature.
During her graduate studies at both the University of Oklahoma and the University of Colorado Boulder, she served as the assistant conductor for all concert ensembles and collaborated regularly with featured soloists from the OU and CU faculties, as well as composers-in-residence. During University of Oklahoma’s Wind Symphony album recording and video projects, she served as Assistant Producer, a member of the design team, and coordinated personnel and logistics for the sessions. Dr. Rudy has since served as conductor and producer for video projects such as a digital collaboration featuring composer, vocalist, and activist Dr. Leila Adu-Gilmore in her poignant work, Freedom Suite. Dr. Rudy has lead projects and presentations that have provided resources to music education students and aided in building connections between students and diverse composers from around the country.
Concurrent with her work with the concert ensembles, Dr. Rudy has been instrumental in the design and execution of multiple halftime shows and student development of bands in the Big XII, PAC 12, Big South, and Big Ten athletic conferences.
Dr. Rudy holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Georgia. Following her undergraduate studies, she taught high school and middle school band in the state of Georgia. She began her graduate studies with Dr. Donald McKinney and earned a Master of Music in Wind Band Conducting and Repertoire from the University of Colorado Boulder. Following her time in Colorado, she earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Wind Band Conducting from the University of Oklahoma.
Aaron Kavelman | DRUMLINE INSTRUCTOR AND TEACHING CONSULTANT
Aaron Kavelman is a percussion educator, clinician, performer and composer who grew up listening and performing jazz alongside his father, an accomplished jazz pianist. Growing up in a musical family, Aaron watched his four older sisters in the high school band program. Inspired by the local marching bands, Aaron would tape a set of bongos onto a chair and choreograph drill in the backyard, thus the beginning for his love with the marching arts.