SIUE Bands - Department of Music - Box 1771 SIUE - Edwardsville, Illinois 62026


​Dr. John Bell is Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he conducts the Wind Symphony and Chamber Winds, teaches conducting and music education courses, and coordinates recruiting and auditions for the Department of Music.  Dr. Bell is completing his 29th year as Director of Bands at SIUE.  He earned Doctors and Masters degrees in Music Education from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Louisiana State University where he served on the LSU “Golden Band from Tigerland” staff.  During his tenure at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the SIUE Wind Symphony has premiered 16 works for wind band, appeared as the only United States university wind ensemble to be invited to perform at the 2011 WASBE conference in Chiayi City, Taiwan, toured Europe, performed twice in New York City's Carnegie Hall, state meetings of the Illinois Music Educators Association, and divisional conferences of the North Central and Southwest Divisions of the College Band Directors National Association. Additionally, they have mounted eight compact disc recording projects.  Dr. Bell’s research interests lie in the work of famed choreographer Rudolph Laban and the application of his theory of movement to conducting pedagogy.  His workshop The Choreography of Conducting has been warmly received.

Prior to his present appointment, Dr. Bell was Associate Director of Bands at the University of Northern Colorado, where he founded and directed the university's marching band, the Pride of the Rockies. While in Colorado, he was appointed the music director and conductor of the Rocky Mountain Brassworks in Denver. Seven years of Dr. Bell's career were spent in the public schools of suburban Chicago, where he was Assistant Director of Bands at Rolling Meadows High School, and Director of Bands and Chair of the Department of Music at Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, Illinois.  His wind ensemble at Willowbrook was named Grand Champion at the University of Illinois Super-State Concert Band Festival, the state championship for concert bands in Illinois, and was invited to perform at the opening general session of the national conference of the Music Educators National Association (NAfME). 

Dr. Bell’s conducting teachers have included L. Bruce Jones, Harry Begian, Kenneth Singleton, Paul Vermel and James Keene. He is an elected member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and the American School Band Directors Association.  Additionally, he holds memberships in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, and Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.  He has received the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence and is a contributing author to the acclaimed series Teaching Music Through Performance in Band.  He has conducted honors and all-state bands in Taiwan, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Texas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Colorado and Nebraska.

John Korak is Professor of Trumpet and former Music Department Chair at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  He holds B.M.E., M.M., and D.M.A. degrees from the University of North Texas, where he was a student of Leonard Candelaria.  Having performed with such groups as the Mexico City Philharmonic, Illinois Symphony, Texas Baroque Ensemble, Dallas Bach Society, Texas Brass Ensemble, Texas Wind Symphony, the Saint Louis Brass Ensemble, the Saint Louis Bach Society, the Kansas City Baroque Consortium, the Kingsbury Ensemble, the Saint Louis Brass Band, the Bluebonnet Brass, and the Saint Louis Symphony, Dr. Korak maintains a busy schedule as a trumpet soloist and chamber musician.

Presently principal trumpet in the American Kantorei Orchestra, Dr. Korak has been a featured performer with the SIUE Wind Symphony at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church in London, England, and the American Cathedral in Paris, France.  He was a featured artist at the International Music Festival in Nagaoka, Japan, and was a member of the Texas Baroque Trumpet Ensemble at the European Trumpet Days Conference in Bad Sackingen, Germany.  He performed the Illinois premier of Eric Ewazen’s Danzante for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble, and has performed at International Trumpet Guild conferences in Bangkok (Thailand), Goteborg (Sweden), Sydney (Australia), and throughout the United States, including a performance at the 2009 ITG Conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with the SIUE Trumpet Ensemble. He also performed as a featured artist with the SIUE Wind Symphony at the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in Chiayi City, Taiwan, and with the Bach Society of St. Louis in a performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata no. 51, Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landen.

Dr. Korak has directed both middle school and high school band programs in Lewisville, Texas, and is presently the director of the University Concert Band at SIUE.  He is sought as a clinician in both the trumpet performance and wind band areas, and has presented clinics to students throughout the country and abroad, including master classes at the Krakow (Poland) Academy of Music, the Monterey (Mexico) Youth Music Camp, the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (Michigan), Nagaoka (Japan) area schools, and Tainan University in Taiwan.

Dr. Korak is a member of Who's Who, Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society, Alpha Chi Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Honor Society, and the International Trumpet Guild. Since 2000 he has been the Book Reviews Editor for the International Trumpet Guild Journal, and authored two books published by Balquhidder Music: Giuseppe Concone:  The Complete Solfeggiand Bel Canto Studies for Trumpet.  He lives in Edwardsville with his wife, Jennifer, his two children, Brendan and Abby and many animals.

Department of Music Wind and Percussion Applied Faculty

Dr. Shelly Monier - Flute

Dr. James Hinson - Clarinet and Saxophone

Dawn Striker-Roberts - Oboe

Dr. Robert Jordan - Bassoon

Dr. John Korak - Trumpet

Cara Kizer - French Horn

Tyler Vahldick - Trombone

Matt Kuebler - Euphonium and Tuba

Dan Smithiger - Percussion

Concert Program Notes

University Concert Band

Amparito Roca, Spanish March (1935)

Jaime Texidor was a composer, conductor and publisher who lived most of his life in Northern Spain. In 1927, he became the conductor of the Baracaldo Municipal band, a position that he retained until 1936. Over this period, he composed so much band music that he decided to establish his own publishing company. In addition to his enormous contribution to band music, Texidor wrote many pieces in the Paso Doble style, which are lively march-like dances. Texidor is credited with the composition of Amparito Roca, which is one of the most well-known paso dobles in the band repertoire. There is, however, some mystery attached to the composition of this piece, which was reportedly written by British Bandmaster Reginald Ridewood (1907-1942). Texidor arranged for the publication in Madrid, but the piece had already been performed in England prior to the copyright date. It is assumed that Ridewood wrote the music, but failed to apply for copyright before Texidor rearranged it and had it published as his own. Nevertheless, it is still one of the most well-known Paso Dobles in modern band literature. 

 - Program notes compiled by Brooke Humfeld, Anthony Messina, and Nicholas Waldron of the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble.


Ballad for a Lonely Lover,A Modern Trombone Solo with Variations (2018)

World Premier

Ballad for a Lonely Lover was composed for and dedicated to the former Rebecca Ann Woods. Based on the Kiss ballad "Beth" (1976), it also has themes "God of Thunder and Great Expectations" from the band’s 1976 album Destroyer. The story is of a young wife and mother of three, married to a Marine musician, who often finds herself without her husband, as he is on the road performing, deployed to foreign shores, or training with his various units. One deployment to Iraq, brought him home suffering from PTSD that lay dormant for five years triggering suddenly into depression and anxiety. The solo changes to minor signaling the difference in their marriage and household and his rapid decent into the disease. One can hear the demons coming through in the distortion of the solo as the scene in hell is set. Thankfully their marriage survives the turmoil, medication issues, and job problems. With years of counseling, they come out on the other side with a stronger marriage and family. Thank you to the soloist for his hard work and musicianship that brings this real-life story to life in performance.

- Program Note by Michel Jean Farris


Enchanted Spaces (2012)

Samuel R. Hazo (b. 1966) resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his wife and three children. In 2003, Mr. Hazo became the first composer in history to be awarded the winner of both composition contests sponsored by the National Band Association: the William D. Revelli icomposition contest in 2003 and the Merrill Jones contest in 2001. He is a full member of ASCAP and has been honored with multiple ASCAP-Plus Awards. Mr. Hazo has composed for the professional, university and public-school levels in addition to writing original scores for television, radio and the stage. His original symphonic compositions include performances with actors Brooke Shields, James Earl Jones, David Conrad and Richard Kiley. He has also written symphonic arrangements for three-time Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams. Mr. Hazo’s compositions have been performed and recorded world-wide, including performances by the United States Military Bands, the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, the Birmingham Symphonic Winds (UK) and the Klavier Wind Project’s recordings with Eugene Migliaro Corporon. His works have been played at every major music convention in the world and also aired in full-length programs on National Public Radio. Premiering performance ensembles include a variety of profes- sional, university, all-state and honors ensembles. His commissions include pieces ordered by the Wenger Corporation, National Honor Band of America, the Midwest Clinic Board of Directors and The University of Notre Dame for a 2010 World Premiere in Carnegie Hall. Mr. Hazo’s titles have consistently appeared in the GIA series “Teaching Music Through Performance in Band.” He is also a contributing author to the 3rd volume of Mark Camphouse’s and GIA’s “Composers on Composing for Band” and Meredith Publications’ “The Music Director’s Cookbook.” Mr. Hazo served as composer- in-residence at Craig Kirchhoff’s University of Minnesota’s 2003 conducting symposium, and in March of 2005, his picture appeared in the cover of The Instrumentalist magazine in conjunction with that issue’s feature story on Mr. Hazo’s career.  Samuel R. Hazo has been a music teacher at every educational grade level from kindergarten through college, including tenure as a high school and university director. Mr. Hazo was twice named “Teacher of Distinction” by the Teachers’ Excellence Foundation. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Duquesne University where he served on the Board of Governors and was awarded as Duquesne’s Outstanding Graduate in Music Education. Mr. Hazo serves as a guest conductor and is a clinician for Hal Leonard Corporation. He is also sponsored by Sibelius Music Software. His original compositions and arrangements are published by Hal Leonard, Boosey & Hawkes, FJH Music and Wingert-Jones Publications. Recordings of Mr. Hazo’s compositions appear on Klavier Records and Mark Records. 

 The Decorah High School Wind Ensemble commissioned Enchanted Spacesto both capture the magic of their “enchanted” city, and be very playable at the high school level. A sparkling, full- ensemble entrance gives way to musical paintings of vast spaces and natural beauty. The ebb and flow between grand sounds and lush charm provide contrast and compliment each other. Enchanted Spaces depicts the majesty and quaintness of the mountains, rivers, culture and cityscape of this unique town.  Jim Fritz, the commissioner of Enchanted Spaces wrote the following: 

“The community of Decorah, Iowa lies in the Oneota Valley with the Upper Iowa River running through it. American Indians lived there first but immigrant Norwegian farmers were attracted to the rich farmland while the towering bluffs reminded them of fjords back home. Today Decorah is home to farmers and artists. This eclectic blend of residents has fostered a fertile home for music and the arts. It is truly an ‘Enchanted Space’ in which to live! The Decorah High School Band Department has a long and proud tradition of excellence. This piece was commissioned to honor all of the great student musicians, both current and former, who have contributed to this success. The piece received its Decorah premiere with the Decorah High School Wind Ensemble, under its conductor James L. Fritz, on February 24, 2012.” 

 - Program Note by publisher


The Twelve Gallon Hat (2013)

Julie Ann Giroux was born 1961 in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and Monroe, Louisiana. She received her formal education from Louisiana State University and Boston University. She studied composition with John Williams, Bill Conti and Jerry Goldsmith, to name a few. She is an accomplished performer on piano and horn, but her first love is composition. She began playing the piano at the age of three and had published her first piece at the age of nine.

In 1985, she began composing, orchestrating, and conducting music for television and films. Within three hours after arriving in Los Angeles, she was at work on the music for the Emmy Award winning mini-series North and South, followed soon by work on the television series Dynasty and The Colbys, as well as the films Karate Kid II, White Men Can’t Jump, and Broadcast News. She received her first Emmy nomination in 1988 for North and South Part II - Love and War, and over the next three years was nominated each year for her arranging and original compositions for the Academy Awards show. To date, Ms. Giroux has well over 100 film and television credits and has been nominated for an Emmy several times. When she won her first Emmy Award, she was the first woman and the youngest person ever to win the award in that category. She has also been privileged to arrange for Celene Dion, Paula Abdul, Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, Madonna, Reba McIntyre, Little Richard, Billy Crystal, Michael Jackson and many others. Ms. Giroux is an extremely well rounded composer, writing works for symphony orchestra (including chorus), chamber ensembles, wind ensembles, soloists, brass and woodwind quintets and many other serious and commercial formats. She began writing music for concert band in 1983, publishing her first band work Mystery on Mena Mountain with Southern Music Company. Since that time, she has composed and published numerous works for professional wind ensembles, military bands, colleges and public schools and has conducted her music in clinics worldwide. She is also a very well received speaker and clinician. Ms. Giroux is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).  She writes of this music:


"When looking at the line up for the Klavier/Naxos recording in January 2014, I realized there was a need for music of a lighter nature and composed The Twelve Gallon Hat. The original title was "The Nine and a Half Gallon Hat," however following the first reading session, the musicians who sight read the piece all agreed that it was at least 12 gallons in size so that is the title. Fond of western television and film music like Bonanza, Silverado, City Slickers, The Magnificent Seven and many, many others, I decided to compose a work as a tribute to my favorites. It is a wild ride to be certain with double tonguing faster than any 6 shooter and woodwind runs flying across the page like tumbleweed.Tie yourself into the saddle and hang on for this fast and furious romp across the wild, wild, wild west!"

 -Program notes by Julie Giroux. 


Wind Symphony

Marce Militaire Française Camile Saint-Seans, transcribed by Mark Hindsley


Be Thou My Vision - David Gillingham

Symphony No. 6 - Vincent Persichetti