IWS names new music director


The Indiana Wind Symphony has chosen Jay Gephart as its new music director to lead the group in the 2024-25 season.


Gephart is the second music director in the symphony’s 26-year history. He is a professor at Purdue University and serves as Al G. Wright Chair of Purdue Bands and Orchestras. He also is the director of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band and the Purdue University Wind Ensemble, as well as the past president of the American Bandmasters Association and current chairman of the board of the John Philip Sousa Foundation. Gephart will replace music director and founder Charles Conrad, who will retire following the 2023-24 season.

“I am thrilled and honored to assume the role as next music director of the Indiana Wind Symphony,” Gephart stated. “I look forward to the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Conrad, who had such an incredible vision for this magnificent ensemble. I will do my very best to continue the many wonderful traditions of the IWS, but I also hope to make a few of my own. I have lived in Indiana most of my life and count it a huge blessing to have an opportunity to work with some of our state’s most accomplished musicians.”

Gephart has received many awards and honors, including the Indiana Outstanding Bandmaster Award, the Purdue University New Professional Award, and the 2018 James B. Calvert Outstanding Music Educator Award. Also in 2018, he was named Collegiate Educator of the Year by the Indiana Music Educators Association. In 2016, he was named an Honorary Old Master by Purdue University.

Conrad founded the IWS in 1997, when a group of musicians decided to create a concert band that could play music at the same level as the community orchestras. Under his tenure, the IWS has presented more than 40 premieres of new compositions, participated in a dozen consortiums of ensembles to commission new works, and performed numerous American premieres of works.

“I have been blessed to be the music director of the Indiana Wind Symphony since its beginning in 1997, and it has been one of the greatest joys of my life,” Conrad stated. “There have been so many memorable moments, but none more than the opening of the Palladium – the synergy between an ensemble and a wonderful concert space is very important, and I say a sincere thanks to everyone at the Center for the Performing Arts and the City of Carmel for the support and collaborative spirit in making music.”

For more, visit indianawindsymphony.org/events.


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