Jay S. Gephart joined the faculty of Purdue University in the fall of 1995 after completing 12 years as a public school band director. In July of 2001, he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure and in 2009 was promoted to Full Professor. In November, 2006, Professor Gephart was appointed Director of University Bands and currently serves as the Al G. Wright Chair of Purdue Bands and Orchestras. He is the director of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band the Purdue University Wind Ensemble. He is also coordinator of the concert band program. From 1995-2006, Professor Gephart served as the music director for the Purdue Symphony Orchestra. He also serves as Artistic Director for the Kokomo, Indiana Park Band.
Professor Gephart received a Master of Music Degree in Tuba Performance with High Distinction from Indiana University in 1988 and a Bachelor of Music Education Degree with Distinction from Indiana University in 1983. Under his direction, the Purdue Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra have shared the stage with some of the nation’s outstanding soloists and have represented Purdue at the Indiana Music Educators Association state convention on two occasions. In February of 2012 the Purdue Wind Ensemble performed a concert at the national convention of the American Bandmaster’s Association, held in Indianapolis. Under his direction, the Wind Ensemble has also performed concerts in Chicago’s Symphony Center and in New York’s Carnegie Hall on two occasions.
Under his direction the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band has traveled literally around the world. With recent performances in Beijing China, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland and La Feria de las Flores in Medellin, Colombia, the “All-American” Marching Band continues to serve as an ambassador for Purdue, the state of Indiana and the nation.
Professor Gephart has served as a guest conductor, clinician, lecturer and adjudicator both nationally and internationally having conducted All-State Bands in Indiana, Virginia, Colorado, Arkansas and Kentucky. He has served as a clinician at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago and at numerous conferences and in-service workshops. In 1997, he was selected to conduct the music camp honor band for the Department of Education in the Northern Region of Queensland, Australia. In his career he has been the recipient of many awards and honors including the Indiana Outstanding Bandmaster Award and the Purdue University New Professional Award. He has commissioned numerous works for wind band, including “Anthem” by Steven Bryant which was premiered in 2011 celebrating the 125th Anniversary of Purdue Bands. Most recently he has served on the faculty of the American Band College in Ashland, Oregon and serves on the ABC Board of Directors.
Mr. Gephart has been very active in various professional organizations including National Association for Music Education, National Band Association, College Band Director’s National Association, Indiana Bandmaster’s Association, Indiana Music Educators Association and Phi Beta Mu. In 2018, he was named Collegiate Educator of the Year by the Indiana Music Educators Association. From 2010-12, he served as President of the Big Ten Band Director’s Association and currently holds the position of Vice President and Treasurer of the John Philip Sousa Foundation. He is also a member of the NBA Revelli Composition Contest selection committee. In 2012, he was elected to a position on the board of the National Band Association, serving as the Collegiate Representative. Professor Gephart was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmaster’s Association in 2008. He served on the ABA Board of Directors from 2012-present and was elected Vice President in March, 2018. He and his wife Jana have four children and two grandchildren. They reside in Lafayette, Indiana.
Purdue University - Director of Bands