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Faculty & Staff


Dr. Stephen G. Peterson
Director of Bands

Dr. Stephen G. Peterson was appointed Director of Bands at the University of Illinois in the fall of 2015.  As Director of Bands, he conducts the Wind Symphony, leads the graduate wind conducting program, teaches courses in wind literature, and guides all aspects of one of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most storied band programs. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Illinois he served as Director of Bands at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, for seventeen years. From 1988-1998 he served as Associate Director of Bands at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Dr. Peterson was also conductor of the renowned Northshore Concert Band.  He held positions as Associate and Interim Director of Bands at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas and has several years of successful teaching experience in the public schools in Arizona.

Peterson maintains a busy schedule as a conductor and clinician, and as such, has appeared on four continents and in forty-two states. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the College Band Directors National Association, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and has been honored with membership in the prestigious American Bandmaster’s Association.  He is also member of Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, and an honorary member of Sigma Alpha Iota, and Kappa Kappa Psi. He is immediate past president of the College Band Directors National Association.

Dr. Peterson was the first to receive the Doctor of Music degree in wind conducting from Northwestern University and earned Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Arizona State University. In 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Ithaca College Faculty Excellence Award, recognizing his contributions to Ithaca College. His ensembles have appeared before national conventions of the American Bandmaster’s Association, the College Band Director’s National Association, the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, the American School Band Director’s Association, at Orchestra Hall with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, and at Lincoln Center.

Dr. Linda Moorhouse
Associate Director for Undergraduate Affairs, School of Music | Senior Associate Director of Bands

Dr. Linda R. Moorhouse joined the Illinois faculty in the fall of 2010 and currently serves as Associate Director for Undergraduate Affairs in the School of Music.  She also holds an appointment in the Bands Division as Senior Associate Director, where she teaches courses in graduate and undergraduate conducting. Ensembles under her direction have been featured at both national and regional conferences of the College Band Directors National Association, and the 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance International Conference.  While Dr. Moorhouse is a proponent of new music for wind band and has been part of several commissioning consortiums, she believes firmly in the historical value of the wind band's treasured masterworks and their importance to future music educators. Prior to her Illinois appointment, she served on the faculty at Louisiana State University for over 20 years, where she was the recipient of select campus-wide awards for teaching excellence.

Dr. Moorhouse is active as a conductor, clinician and adjudicator both nationally and internationally and her service to the band profession is a matter of record. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, and is both a past president and the current Executive Secretary of the National Band Association, where she also serves as Editor of the NBA Journal. Recognized internationally as a Member Laureate of Sigma Alpha Iota (professional fraternity for women in music), she was also awarded the "Diploma of the Sudler Order of Merit" from the John Philip Sousa Foundation in recognition of extraordinary service to the music community. The National Band Association has recognized her contributions to bands and band music on numerous occasions with the NBA Citation of Excellence. She is also a past President of Women Band Directors International.

In addition to her conducting and teaching obligations, Dr. Moorhouse has several notable publication credits including contributions to multiple volumes of both the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band (GIA) and A Composer's Insight (Meredith Music) series, along with other Meredith Music publications.

Dr. Moorhouse received a Doctor of Musical Arts in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Washington, where she studied with Peter Erös and Timothy Salzman. She has a Master of Music Education degree from LSU, and a Bachelor of Music Education with Honors degree from the University of Florida.  In the fall of 2010, she was inducted into the University of Florida Bands Hall of Fame.

Dr. Elizabeth B. Peterson
Associate Director of Bands

Dr. Elizabeth B. Peterson, associate director of bands and clinical professor of music, joined the Illinois faculty in the fall of 2015. Dr. Peterson conducts the Illinois Wind Orchestra, and teaches courses in instrumental conducting. Prior to her appointment at the University of Illinois, Peterson was a tenured professor of music education at the Ithaca College School of Music. During the seventeen years she spent at Ithaca College, Peterson conducted numerous ensembles including the Symphonic Band, Brass Choir and All-Campus Band. She taught courses in conducting, undergraduate and graduate courses in music education, and supervised student teachers. Peterson was the co-conductor of the Ithaca Concert Band (community band) for fifteen years. Dr. Peterson’s current research focuses on the experiences of first-year teachers.

Dr. Peterson is active as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and school music consultant in the United States and Canada. She presents clinics at the local, state and national levels in the field of music education. Peterson’s book, The Music Teacher's First Year: Tales of Challenge, Joy, and Triumph,” is published by Meredith Music.

Dr. Peterson received a bachelor of music education and bachelor of literature, science and arts degree from the University of Michigan where she studied trumpet with Armando Ghitalla. She received a master of music in music education and trumpet performance from Northwestern University, where she studied trumpet with Vincent Cichowicz, and performed in the North Shore Community Band under the direction of John P. Paynter. She earned a doctor of musical arts in music education from Shenandoah Conservatory. 

Prior to her appointment at Ithaca College, Peterson was an arts administrator and director of bands in the public schools of Ohio and Illinois. Dr. Peterson holds a number of professional memberships including the College Band Directors National Association, The National Association for Music Education, Mu Phi Epsilon, Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda. Peterson is a member of the American Bandmasters Association and the Midwest Clinic Board of Directors.



Professor Barry L. Houser
Director of the Marching Illini & Athletic Bands | Associate Director of Bands

Professor Barry L. Houser is the Director of the Marching Illini & Athletic Bands, Associate Director of Bands and Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  His duties include directing the 350-member Marching Illini-The Nation’s Premier College Marching Band, the Illini Basketball Bands, the Illini Volleyball Bands, and teaching courses in marching band procedures. 

Prof. Houser’s teaching experience encompasses both extensive public school and university experiences.  Prior to his current position at Illinois, his bands have performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the NBC Today Show, the ISSMA State Marching Finals, and the IMEA State Convention.  Other performances include the Indianapolis 500 Parade, the Target Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Outback Bowl Parade and Half-Time Show, the Hollywood Christmas Parade, the Washington DC National Memorial Parade, Chicago Bears Game, and performances with Maynard Ferguson and the Dallas Brass.

Prof. Houser serves as President and Director of the Smith-Walbridge Clinics, and as one of the Directors of the Macy's Great American Marching Band. He is also on the Board of Directors of the National Band Association.

Prof. Houser received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Florida, and a Master of Music in Wind Conducting degree from the University of Illinois, where he was a student of James Keene.



Professional Staff

Lana Custer
Bands Business Services

Lana Custer serves the band program as accountant, product inventory, and business services. Joining the Illinois Bands staff in 2011, Ms. Custer serves the program in all business related matters.  Her position requires organization and coordination with all band faculty, staff, and students.

Graduate Assistants

Joseph Busuito
Graduate Conducting Intern | Graduate Teaching Assistant

Joe Busuito is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. As a Bands graduate teaching assistant, he works with students in the university concert bands, athletic bands, and conducting classes. He received a Master of Music in Wind Conducting at Western Michigan University in 2015, where he served as a graduate assistant and studied with Dr. Scott Boerma. In 2009, Joe received a Bachelor of Music Education degreen from Western Michigan, where he studied trombone with Dr. Steve Wolfinbarger.

Between 2009 and 2013, Joe served as the Assistant Director of Bands at Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan. He directed over two hundred students in a variety of ensembles, including the wind ensemble, symphonic, concert, jazz and marching bands. He was also responsible for the implementation of AP Music Theory and International Baccalaureate Music courses, and helped bring to life the Oxford Arts Conservatory, which provides a specialized curriculum to those students who wish to pursue an artistic field beyond high school.

For the past four years, Joe has been a member of the Santa Clara Vanguard brass staff. He was also a member of the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps in 2006 and 2007.

Joe is originally from Lake Orion, Michigan. He lives with his wife to whom he has been happily married for two years.

Sean Smith
Graduate Conducting Intern | Graduate Teaching Assistant

A native of Illinois, Sean Smith is currently a candidate for the Master of Music in Wind Band Conducting and serves as a graduate teaching assistant with the University of Illinois Bands.

Sean completed a year of coursework at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York prior to coming to the University of Illinois. He has six years of public school teaching experience as Director of Bands in the Conneaut Area City Schools in Conneaut, Ohio. While in Conneaut, Sean taught bands from fifth grade through high school, directed the Conneaut High School Marching Band, and developed the music technology, guitar, and piano courses offered by the high school.

Before teaching, Sean studied at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music in Berea, Ohio, where he received a Bachelor of Music Education. Sean received much conducting experience at Baldwin Wallace as Conducting Apprentice for the Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Ensemble and student conductor for the Brass Choir and the Contemporary Ensemble. Sean’s professional experiences include serving as Music Director of the Euclid Civic Orchestra and working as a National Director for Bugles Across America.

In August of 2015, The Instrumentalist Magazine published an article Sean authored titled “The Ideal Marching Schedule.” He had previously presented on the topic at the Ohio Music Education State Conference and at the Whalen Symposium at Ithaca College.

William Sugg
Graduate Conducting Intern | Graduate Teaching Assistant

Will Sugg is currently a candidate for the Master of Music in Wind Band Conducting and serves as a graduate teaching assistant with the University of Illinois Bands. Prior to coming to Illinois, Will taught for six years in Tennessee and for the last three years served as band director at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School in Nashville, Tennessee. The MLK band program includes over 250 members in grades 7-12 across 5 bands, and is generally recognized as one of the flagship music programs in Tennessee, having performed at the TMEA State Conference in 2015.

In addition to his professional teaching positions, Will has served as instructional staff with several programs throughout the state. He is a 2009 Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville Honors Program with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education. While at UTK, he also served the UT “Pride of the Southland” marching band as instructional staff. During his time at UT he engaged in independent studies in many facets of music education culminating in a nationwide field study regarding components of successful middle school and high school instrumental music education programs. These additional educational endeavors allowed him to be chosen the UT Outstanding Graduate in Music Education.  Having grown up in Nashville, Will graduated from Father Ryan High School in 2005.

Emeritus Faculty

Albert Austin Harding
Director of Bands | 1907 - 1948

Albert Austin Harding served as the first Director of Bands from 1907 until 1948. Dr. Harding is historically regarded as one of the primary architects of the American Band movement.


Dr. Mark Hindsley
Director of Bands | 1948 - 1970

Dr. Mark Hindsley served as Assistant Director of Bands from 1934 until 1942 and became the second Director of Bands upon the retirement of Albert Austin Harding in 1948, serving in that capacity until 1970. Mark Hindsley oversaw the planning, construction, and dedication of the historic A.A. Harding Band Building and began the farsighted University Bands Recording Project, which continues today.

Dr. Harry Begian
Director of Bands | 1970 - 1984

Dr. Harry Begian served as the University's third Director of Bands. In addition to continuing the UI Bands Recordings Project, Dr. Begian established the University Bands Conducting Internship Program which became the launching point for many of our nations top band directors.

Gary Smith
Director of Athletic Bands & Associate Director of Bands | 1976 - 1988

In addition to his ensemble responsibilities, Gary Smith also taught marching band procedures and band arranging. He was the owner for many years of Smith-Walbridge Clinics, one of the most prestigious marching band camps in the country. He presently serves as director and conductor of the Bonita Springs Concert Band in Florida.

James F. Keene
Director of Bands | 1985 - 2008

Professor of Music James F. Keene served as the fourth Director of Bands. Particularly known for commissioning new works, his legacy is in both performance and repertoire development domains. He continues an active international conducting and adjudication schedule.