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Alain Barker
IU Jacobs School of Music

Linda Cajigas
IU Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Thursday, April 10, 2008

IU Jacobs School of Music appoints new associate director of Band Department

April 10, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music announced today (April 10) that Jeffrey Gershman has been named Associate Professor of Music and Associate Director of Bands/Wind Conducting. He will join the Jacobs School faculty at the beginning of the fall semester.

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Jeffrey Gershman

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"Jeff Gershman has distinguished himself in every way at this point in his early professional life," said Gwyn Richards, dean of the Jacobs School of Music. "He is a deep, thoughtful, powerful musician, a consummate teacher and a creative thinker regarding the arts and their intersection with modern life. We are fortunate that his talents will now be directed to the students of Indiana and the audiences of Bloomington and beyond."

Gershman is currently the director of instrumental activities at Texas A&M University-Commerce, where his responsibilities include conducting the Wind Ensemble and teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in wind literature and conducting. Prior to this appointment, he served as interim director of bands at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and as co-director of instrumental music at Monroe-Woodbury High School in Central Valley, N.Y.

Gershman holds two degrees from Indiana University, having received his Bachelor of Music Education with High Distinction, as well as his Master of Music in Wind Conducting -- the first such degree awarded by the Jacobs School of Music. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting degree at The University of Texas at Austin. His principal conducting teachers at IU include Director of the Department of Bands Stephen W. Pratt and Director Emeritus of the Department of Bands Ray E. Cramer.

Former teacher Pratt said, "I am very pleased that Dr. Jeffrey Gershman will be joining the department in the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Dr. Gershman is an outstanding musician, a superb conductor, a fine scholar and a gifted music arranger. He will bring a great deal to share with our wonderful students, and I look forward to working with him for many years at IU."

In addition to conducting and directing the IU Symphonic Band, Gershman will teach graduate wind conducting courses and undergraduate instrumental methods. Gershman will also play a vital role in running the popular IU Summer Music Clinic. Gershman eagerly anticipates the return to his alma mater.

"My time as a student in Bloomington established the standards that have defined me as a conductor and teacher throughout my career," he said. "To realize that I now have the opportunity to give back to future generations of Indiana students -- I'm honestly not sure that there could be anything more professionally fulfilling."

Gershman is an active professional conductor, having led performances of the Dallas Wind Symphony and the Lone Star Wind Orchestra, the Dallas/Fort Worth area's newest professional wind ensemble. He also is active as a guest conductor and clinician, having led honor bands in Texas, Alabama and New York. In addition to his teaching and conducting responsibilities, Gershman has been active in several different areas of research. He has presented lectures at the 2007 Midwest Clinic, the 2005 Texas Bandmasters Association Convention, the Texas Music Educators Association 2004 Clinic/Conference and both the 2003 and 2001 College Band Directors National Association National Conferences. In addition, he has published articles on repertoire and programming in MBM Times magazine, which have been hailed as "groundbreaking."

A committed advocate of new music, Gershman has led or participated in consortia for new works by composers such as Chen Yi, Jennifer Higdon, Donald Grantham and Jonathan Newman. As an arranger, his transcription of the "Tarantella" from Symphony No. 1 of Oscar- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Corigliano has been performed in Carnegie Hall and recorded by The University of Texas Wind Ensemble. His latest transcription of a Frank Zappa work was performed at both the 2008 College Band Directors National Association Southwest Regional Conference in Kansas City and the 2005 College Band Directors National Association National Conference in New York City.

"While I left Bloomington almost 15 years ago, it never really left me," said Gershman. "My eight years at Indiana forever changed me as a person and as a professional. This is the place where I met my wife, Heather. It's where I met my closest friends, and now it's the place that I'll get to raise my son, Benjamin. I feel like I've come home again."

The band department is an integral part of the IU Jacobs School of Music and holds a distinguished reputation for musical leadership in the wind band field. The top three wind bands are composed of music majors from all areas of the Jacobs School. The wind bands perform a wide variety of the finest wind literature, including classics of the repertoire, contemporary works and chamber music for winds.