Mike Fansler - 2001 to Present
Mike Fansler is director of bands and conductor of the wind ensemble and chamber winds at Western Illinois University, where he also leads the graduate wind conducting program and teaches undergraduate music education courses. He joined the faculty in 2001 and is currently Professor of Music.
Under his leadership, the Western Illinois Wind Ensemble has maintained an active performance schedule on campus while engaging audiences on tour at the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Conference (2009/2015), Rio de Janeiro/Salvador, Brazil (2010), the prestigious Armour Stage in Chicago's Orchestra Hall (2006/2009) and the College Band Directors National Association's North Central Conference (2008). Together, the wind ensemble and he have released five compact discs: "IV" Maslanka's fourth symphony (2012), "Words of Love" (2010), "The Promise of Living" (2008), "Till Eulenspiegel" (2007), and "Live in Chicago" (2006).
Dr. Fansler has conducted in Australia, South America, Europe, and throughout the United States, where has made guest adjudicating and conducting appearances with numerous high school and honor bands. He has lectured on the music of Percy Grainger at the Midwest Clinic and later received a grant to visit the Grainger Museum in Melbourne to further study his music and life. During a sabbatical in 2012, Dr. Fansler presented saxophone masterclasses at the Universidade Federale de Bahia, and lectured at the Colégio Militar de Salvador, and the Universidade Católica de Salvador in Brazil.
He has previously held similar teaching positions at Idaho State University, Mars Hill University (NC), and Sullivan East High School (TN). His main musical influences are James F. Keene, Daniel Schmidt, Larry Clark, Ronald Caravan, Gunnar Mossblad, Jon Dugle, Merry FitzRandolph, and William Meckley. His education is from Schenectady County Community College, James Madison University, Syracuse University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
His professional memberships include the prestigious American Bandmasters Association (2012), College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, Illinois Music Educators Association, Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He resides in Avon, Il with his wife Abby and three kids, Jordan, Jessie, and Juliet.