WIU’s Mike Fansler Inducted Into American Bandmasters Association

Mike Fansler, professor WIU School of Music

Mike Fansler, professor WIU School of Music

From University Relations:
Mike Fansler, director of bands at Western Illinois University, was inducted into The American Bandmasters Association (ABA) at its annual convention in March. He is among fewer than 300 elite band conductors and composers in North America who comprise the ABA’s invitational membership.

Each nominee must receive unanimous approval by the organization’s voting body, which considers achievements in the areas of musical leadership and the promotion of the concert band genre. Fansler’s application to the ABA included recorded performances under his direction by the WIU Wind Ensemble, the University’s premier concert band. He also conducts Western’s Chamber Winds. Fansler has been conducting bands for 27 years and has served as WIU’s Wind Ensemble conductor since 2006.

Four ABA members, including former director of bands James Keene of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Jon Dugle of WIU, and current band directors Scott Casagrande of John Hersey High School (Arlington Heights, IL) and David Maccabee of United Township High School (East Moline, IL) comprised Fansler’s nominating committee.

The American Bandmasters Association was founded in 1929, with John Philip Sousa as jonorary life president. The association is recognized as a leading supporter of concert bands worldwide and related services and industries.

Under Fansler’s direction, the Western Illinois Wind Ensemble has performed at the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Conference, the College Band Directors National Association’s North Central Conference, and twice on the prestigious Armour Stage in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall.

Fansler has conducted in Australia, Germany, Holland and throughout the United States, with guest adjudicating and conducting appearances at numerous high schools and with many honor bands. Fansler also has appeared with the Army Ground Forces Bands, Northern Arizona Wind Ensemble and the Johnson City (TN) Symphony Orchestra. He has lectured on the music of Percy Grainger at the Midwest Clinic and received a grant to visit the Grainger Museum in Melbourne, Australia to further study Grainger’s music and life.

Fansler is also an associate professor of music, and he teaches graduate wind conducting and literature and various undergraduate education courses.

He joined Western’s music faculty in Fall 2001 as associate director of bands and was named director of bands and director of Western’s summer music camps in May 2005. As associate band director, Fansler conducted Western’s Concert Band, the Fighting Leathernecks Marching Band, the Pep Band and served as interim conductor of the Symphony Orchestra.

Previously, Fansler directed the Idaho State University and Mars Hill (NC) College summer music camps, was the interim director of bands at Mars Hill College and the director of athletic bands and professor of saxophone at Idaho State University.

Fansler is a member of the College Band Director’s National Association, the National Band Association, the National Association for Music Education, Phi Beta Mu International Band Masters Fraternity and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

He earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education (1993) from James Madison University, a Master of Music in Music Education (1995) from Syracuse University and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Music Education and Conducting (2009) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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