Bands Alumni

Dr. Mike Fansler

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 teaches graduate wind conducting and literature and various undergraduate music education courses. He joined the faculty in 2001 and is currently Professor of Music.

Dr. Fansler has conducted in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Holland, 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 received a grant to visit the Grainger Museum in Melbourne to further study Grainger’s music and life. During a sabbatical in 2012, Dr. Fansler taught and lectured at the Universidade Federale de Bahia, the Colégio Militar de Salvador, and the Universidade Católica de Salvador during a month long residency in Brazil.

Under his direction, the Western Illinois Wind Ensemble has performed internationally (Brazil) and been featured at the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Conference, the College Band Directors National Association’s North Central Conference, and twice at the prestigious Armour Stage in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. Together, the wind ensemble and he have released five compact discs: “Live in Chicago” (2006), “Till Eulenspiegel” (2007), “The Promise of Living” (2008) “Words of Love” (2010), and “IV” Maslanka’s fourth symphony (2012).

Dr. Fansler received his education from James Madison University, Syracuse University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has held similar teaching positions at Idaho State University, Mars Hill College (NC), and Sullivan East High School (TN). His main musical influences are James F. Keene, Daniel Schmidt, Larry Clark, Ronald Caravan, Gunnar Mossblad, Merry FitzRandolph, and William Meckley.

His professional memberships include the American Bandmasters Association (2012), College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, National Association for Music Education, Illinois Music Educators Association, Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Dr. Fansler serves as the Director of the Western Illinois University Summer Music Camps program and has also directed the Idaho State University and Mars Hill College Summer Music Camps.