Jason Gardner, Music Director
The Indiana Youth Wind Symphony is led by a veteran band director with a track record of developing young musicians for successful futures in music. Mr. Gardner spent 14 years as a High School Band Director in the state of Indiana. His former students have won awards such as the Interlochen Summer Arts Program Emerson Scholar award, the George and Icy Vaughn Performing Arts Scholarship competition (valued at over $7,000), tuition waivers for study at the Interlochen Arts Academy, and the Indiana Music Educator’s Association Future Music Educator of the Year. Many of his former students held leadership positions after high school band including Drum Major in Purdue University’s All-American Marching Band and in the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps; several are now music educators or professional performers. A high percentage of his students participated in university music ensembles including a three-year stretch where every graduating senior participated in a university band the following year. His Bands consistently earned Gold Ratings at ISSMA Group I State Qualifying Contest, and have earned “With Distinction” status. Multiple years his bands have earned the ISSMA “All-Music Award” citing excellence in concert band, jazz band, marching band, and solo/ensemble festivals. His program was one of three programs from all over the state selected by Purdue University Bands to be a “Partner in Music Education” in 2014, and in 2011 his band was invited to perform at the memorial services at the USS Arizona Memorial on Dec. 7, the 70th Anniversary of the Bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Mr. Gardner is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Wind Conducting from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, IL. He serves as conductor of the University Band and assists with instruction of the Marching Illini and undergraduate conducting classes. He earned his Master of Music Degree in Wind Conducting at Ball State University, where he was awarded a Graduate Assistantship and a Merit Fellowship Award. He co-directs the Ball State University Campus Band, assists instruction with the “Pride of Mid-America” Marching Band, Basketball Band, and conducting classes, and has been a guest conductor of the Ball State University Wind Ensemble as well as the Indiana Wind Symphony.