The Indiana University Department of Bands traces its history back through the founding of the Marching Hundred in 1896 to official University records that indicate a start-up fee in 1832 for a “university band,” which began as a nineteen-member unit. During the early period of the band’s history the band members received no college credit, and provided their own uniforms. The original purpose of the band program was to provide recreation for interested students in the 1,016 student enrollment of Indiana University.
With the end of World War I and the return of the American troops to college life, the band increased in size to 125 members. In 1923 the School of Music was organized, and for the first time, band members received university credit for their efforts. More history is below in the “Director of Bands Biographies.”
The department is actively involved in commissioning distinguished new literature for the wind band medium. World premieres have included works by composers David DeBoor Canfield, David Dzubay, Eric Ewazen, Frederick Fox, Don Freund, Bernhard Heiden, Sydney Hodkinson, Jere Hutcheson, Jonathan Newman, Eugene O’Brien, Michael Schelle, Gunther Schuller, Ellen Spokane, Eric Stokley, David Ward-Steinman, John Stout, Kevin Walczyk and others.
Consortium Commission premieres have included works by Anthony Barfield, Robert Beaser, James Beckel, William Bolcom, Steven Bryant, Roger Cichy, Eric Ewazen, Joni Greene, David Maslanka, Cindy McTee, Michael Mower, André Previn, James Primosch, Joel Puckett, Andrew Rindfleisch, Chris Rutkowski, John Stevens, Benjamin Taylor and Gregory Youtz.
Works premiered in transcription by the Indiana University bands include The Upward Stream by Russell Peck, arr. Scott Jones; Down to the Sea in Ships by Robert Russell Bennett, arr. Kyle Glaser; Plenty of Horn by David Stock, arr. John Boyd; Paganini Variations for Solo Piano and Wind Orchestra by Witold Lutosławski, arr. William Petersen; Music for the Theatre by Aaron Copland, arr. Brett Richardson; and Inventing Flight by William Bolcom, arr. Jason Nam.
1916-1925: Archie Warner
(University Band transferred to the Military Department in 1925;
Department of Bands organized separately from the Military Department in 1948 and became a School of Music Department in 1951)
1948-1953: Daniel L. Martino
1953-1955: Kenneth O. Snapp (Visiting)
1955-1956: Michael W. Bowles (Visiting)
1956-1966: Ronald D. Gregory
1967-1982: Frederick C. Ebbs
1982-2005: Ray E. Cramer
2005-2018: Stephen W. Pratt
Director of Bands Biographies
Born in 1915 in Minnesota, Daniel Martino began his collegiate conducting career at the University of Minnesota as a graduate assistant from 1941-1942. While at Minnesota, Martino was one of two students selected to study conducting with Dimitri Mitropolous, Music Director and Conductor of the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera. In 1942, Gerald Prescott, Director of Bands at Minnesota from 1932-1957, was drafted into active duty in WWII. Martino was appointed interim director for the academic year and was to remain at Minnesota for the next four years. Martino left Minnesota after the war to become head of the instrumental music department at Bradley College in Peoria, Illinois. In 1946 he became Director of Bands at Ohio University. In 1948, he was appointed Director of Bands at Indiana University at the time when the band program separated from the Military Department to become the Department of Bands. The newly organized Department of Bands had four main concert units: The Symphony Band, the Concert Band, the Varsity Band and the Junior Varsity Band, as well as two marching units, the Marching Hundred and the Army ROTC Band. The famed Marching Hundred adopted an entirely different style of show—the pageant. In 1951, the department was incorporated into the School of Music. Martino was elected into the American Bandmasters Association in 1951. After leaving Indiana in 1953, Martino was hired as Coordinator of Music Education and Professor of Applied Brass at Brigham Young University. Martino left Brigham Young to become Professor of Music and Head of Cultural Affairs for both Weber State University and the City of Ogden, Utah. He remained in Ogden for 35 years and died in 2001 at the age of 86.
In 1956, Ronald Gregory was appointed Director of Bands at Indiana University, following interim directors Kenneth Snapp and Michael Bowles. He came to Indiana from the University of Utah where he had held an appointment as Director of Bands. He served as national president of Kappa Kappa Psi from 1957-1959, and was a member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. He served as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator in 40 states, Canada, and Europe. He studied advanced orchestral conducting with Louis Fourestier, conductor of the Paris Opera, and with Franco Farrara of the St. Cecilia Conservatory in Rome. After leaving Indiana University in 1966 he served for many years as the Dean of the School of Music at Milliken University in Illinois.
Frederick C. Ebbs, born 1916 in Amherst, Ohio, was appointed Director of Bands at Indiana University in 1967 by Dean Wilfred C. Bain. He retired as Department Chair in 1982 but remained on the faculty until 1984. He was also the director of the IU Summer Music Clinics from 1974 to 1984. He directed many different bands during his tenure at IU, including the Marching Hundred and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Mr. Ebbs received his B.S.M. degree from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1937 and his M.M. degree from the University of Michigan in 1940. He served as supervisor of music in the Rittman (Ohio) Public Schools and moved on to become director of the Hobart (Indiana) High School Band from 1940 to 1948. During the summers of 1947 and 1953 he was a guest instructor and visiting lecturer at the Universities of Michigan and Illinois, respectively. From 1948 to 1954, he was Director of Bands at his alma mater, Baldwin-Wallace College. From there he was hired as Director of Bands at the University of Iowa (1954-1967).
He was honored in 1957 and 1974 with the Alumni Merit and Achievement Awards from Baldwin-Wallace College, and in 1969 he received the Edwin Franko Goldman Award from the American School Band Directors Association. Mr. Ebbs was a clinician, guest conductor for all-state/regional high schools and college bands, adjudicator, and director of many workshops, conferences, and summer camps. His travels took him to 32 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and Japan. One of the highlights of his career was conducting the University of Iowa Symphony Band on a three-month concert tour of Europe, winning high praise from music critics in Portugal, Spain, and the former Soviet Union. Mr. Ebbs took two trips to the Rose Bowl with the University of Iowa marching band and, in 1967, with the Indiana University Marching Hundred.
Mr. Ebbs was a member of the American Bandmasters Association (ABA), College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), Phi Beta Mu, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa Psi, Indiana Bandmasters Association, and the Music Educators National Conference. He was inducted into the National Band Association’s Hall of Fame of Distinguished Conductors in 1987, posthumously. He died in 1984 in Bloomington, Indiana.
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 American Bandmasters Association (ABA) Convention, Indianapolis; the 1984 joint ABA/Japan Bandmasters Association Convention, Tokyo; the 1988 National Association for Music Education (NAfME) National Convention, Indianapolis; the 1991 National CBDNA Convention in Kansas City, the 1994 NAfME National Convention in Cincinnati, the 1995 ABA Convention in Lawrence, Kansas, the 1997 College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) National Convention in Athens, Georgia, the 2003 CBDNA National Convention in Minneapolis, MN, a 2000 spring tour to Japan, 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 several 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 was inducted into the National Band Association’s Hall of Fame of Distinguished Conductors in 2010. 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. For many years, he served as 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 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.
Stephen W. Pratt was a member of the IU Jacobs School of Music faculty from 1984 to 2018 and currently is Professor of Music Emeritus. He served as Director of the IU Marching Hundred from 1986-2002, establishing a number of traditions and appearing at five bowl games. From 2005 to 2018 he was Professor of Music (Wind Conducting) and Director of Bands, personally conducting the internationally renowned Indiana University Wind Ensemble. In addition to his administrative responsibilities as department chair and service on a number of Jacobs School of Music and Bloomington campus committees, he taught graduate conducting and wind band history in the Wind Conducting program. His appearances with the Indiana University Wind Ensemble over the years included a showcase concert at the New York Wind Ensemble Festival in Carnegie Hall, the CBDNA national conventions in Nashville, Tennessee, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, as well as a CBDNA divisional convention in Normal, Illinois, the Music Educators National Conference (now NAFME) national convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the American Bandmasters Association national convention in Indianapolis.
After he succeeded his mentor and colleague, Ray Cramer, as conductor, the IU Wind Ensemble presented premieres or commission premieres of a number of works, including compositions by Samuel Adler, James Beckel, Robert Beaser, Kevin Bobo, William Bolcom, Steven Bryant, David DeBoor Canfield, Chia-Ying Chang, Eric Ewazen, David Dzubay, Don Freund, David Maslanka, Cindy McTee, Michael Mower, André Previn, James Primosch, Joel Puckett, Andrew Rindfleisch, Chris Rutkowski, Michael Schelle, James Stephenson, John Stevens, Kevin Walczyk, David Ward- Steinman, Dana Wilson, and Gregory Youtz.
He was the conductor of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra from 1995-2000, leading the ensemble successfully through its 30th Anniversary season. During his tenure the orchestra expanded in size, premiered several compositions, and helped open its new concert home, the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre. Guest artists with Pratt and the BSO included, among others, Corey Cerovsek, Leonard Hokanson, Howard Klug, Dominic Spera, John Winninger, Diane Rivera, Deanna Hahn Little, Sara Caswell, and the Bloomington Chamber Singers. A founding member of the Bloomington Pops Orchestra, he also appeared as a guest soloist and a guest conductor several times.
Prior to his appointment to the IU faculty in 1984, he taught for several years in the public schools of Sturgis, Michigan, taking his Sturgis HS Symphony Band to a number of convention and festival performances. In 1993, he was a national recipient of The Distinguished Service to Music Medal awarded by Kappa Kappa Psi, the national collegiate band honorary organization. In 1998, he was honored with the Outstanding Bandmaster Award by the Gamma chapter of Phi Beta Mu. In 2001, he was honored with the Outstanding University Music Educator Award, given by the Indiana Music Educators Association. In 2014, he was awarded the James B. Calvert Outstanding Music Educator Award. In 2017, he received The Paula A. Crider Outstanding Band Director Award from the national council of Tau Beta Sigma, and in 2018 he received the Outstanding Hoosier Musician award from the Indiana Music Education Association.
Professor Pratt is in constant demand as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator of bands and orchestras across the nation. He is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, the College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the National Association for Music Education (MENC)/IMEA, Phi Beta Mu, and the Indiana Bandmasters Association. He has served as president of the Big Ten Band Directors Association, the Indiana Bandmasters Association, and the North Central Division of the College Band Directors National Association. His graduate conducting students (MM, DM, PhD) hold prominent positions at some of the leading colleges and universities in the United States and internationally, as well as at outstanding high schools and academies.
Mr. Pratt grew up in Iowa and South Carolina and holds degrees from Indiana University and The University of Michigan. Recordings of his ensembles include a number of performances available from online sources, as well as CDs made with the IU Marching Hundred, the Bloomington Oratorio Orchestra, the Bloomington Pops Orchestra, recordings from convention appearances and a compilation CD released by Mark Records of the IU Wind Ensemble in 2018 – Live! From the Jacobs School of Music.
Assistant Directors (appointed) since 1967
Robert Glidden, 1967-1969
Professor of Music at the University of Oklahoma, Dean of the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University, Dean of the School of Music, provost and VP for academic affairs at Florida State University, President Emeritus of Ohio University
Wilber T. England, 1969-1985
Associate Professor of Music at IU School of Music, retired
Joseph Hermann, 1986-1987
Director of Bands Emeritus at Tennessee Tech University
Kevin Kastens, 1986-1992
Associate Director of Bands and Director of the Hawkeye Marching Band at the University of Iowa.
Douglas Stotter, 1998-2005
Director of Bands at University of Texas at Arlington
Scott Weiss, 2005-2007
Director of Orchestras at the University of South Carolina
Paul Popiel, 2006-2010
Director of Bands at the University of Kansas
Jeffrey Gershman, 2008-2014
Director of Wind Ensembles at Capital University