Western Illinois University was the school I attended for undergraduate studies. All I can say is that I had the opportunity to study with some of the best teachers in the world.
For my french horn teacher, Roger Collins was one of the best teachers I could have hoped for. Not only was he a great teacher, but he cared about his students. I always felt that I could go and visit him about personal issues, as well as music. The brass faculty was superb. Dr. William DeJong and Dr. Hugo Magliocco were tough, but really knew there craft. I was very blessed to study with all three of these great teachers.
At the time I was at WIU, we had some outstanding conductors. The band department had Christopher Izzo, Dale Hopper, and eventually Dennis Johnson. Mr. Hopper was internationally known for his arranging/composing/drill writing. Before coming to Western, he was Director of the Herscher High School Band program. Mr. Izzo had some amazing wind ensembles at Western. Mr. Johnson was one of the most musical conductors I've ever had the priviledge to be taught by. He was really into Grainger and Persichetti, to name a few composers.
The Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Dr. Roland Vamos. Dr. Vamos was full of great musical knowledge. His wife was a fantastic violinist performer and teacher. And who cannot forget the Careys. Dr. Gerald Carey, a great flutist and his wife Dr. Tanya Carey, a great cellist and knowledgeable on double bass.
The woodwind faculty was also fantastic! Dr. Robert Koper, Dr. Robert Sibbing, and Dr. George Townsend. What a great group of musicians!!
Being a part of the Marching Leathernecks was a great treat! Dale Hopper was the best thing to happen for Western. He did so much for both the marching band and jazz program. I was very fortunate to learn from him.
My years at WIU introduced me to a lot of fellow musicians. Thank you WIU for some great memories!!