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Kansas State Bands

Graduate Study at K-State

The Kansas State University Department of Music is proud to offer the Masters of Music degree with an emphasis in Wind Conducting. Graduate students will receive private lessons with the conducting faculty and enroll in the Advanced Rehearsal Techniques course. They also have a wide range of conducting opportunities with all of the K-State Bands' concert ensembles. Graduate Teaching Assistants with the bands receive:

  • A FULL tuition waiver
  • Yearly stipend of approximately $12,000, plus ample opportunity for summer income
  • SUBSTANTIAL podium time with the K-State Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony, Concert Band, University Band, Brass Ensemble, and Woodwind Ensemble including a second-year conducting recital with the Wind Ensemble and Chamber Winds
  • Experience assisting with the K-State Marching Band, Volleyball Band, and basketball Cat Bands, which may include opportunities to chart and instruct half-time field shows
  • Many opportunities to work with public school instrumental music programs throughout the state of Kansas

Summer Study

In addition to the 2-year Master's degree, we are pleased to offer a summer Master's program designed for the working Educator. Click here to view general information regarding the Summer Graduate Program.

Summer 2022 Graduate Class Information:    
MUSIC 799BVocal Pedagogy Dr. Patricia Thompson June 5-7 
MUSIC 603Percussion Pedagogy Dr. Kurt Gartner June 7-8, 8:00am-5:00pm/June 9, 8:00am-1:00pm 
MUSIC 801Introduction to Graduate Studies Dr. Phil Payne June 9-11 
MUSIC 808Research in Music Education Dr. Phil Payne June 12-14 
MUSIC 811Music Education Symposium TBA June 17-19 
MUSIC 859Advanced Instrumental Conducting Dr. Frank Tracz June 19-21 
MUSIC 707History of Wind Band Dr. Frank Tracz June 23-25 
MUSIC 709History of Choral Music & Repertoire (Hale Library)  Dr. Julie Yu June 23-15 
MUSIC 807History and Philosophy of Music Education Dr. Phil Payne June 26-28 
MUSIC 700Literature Analysis  TBA June 30-July 2 
MUSIC 809Seminar in Music Education Dr. Ruth GurgelJuly 7-9 
MUSIC 637Brass Techniques Dr. Steve Maxwell July 10-12 
MUSIC 604Upper String Pedagogy Dr. Cora Cooper July 14-16 
Summer 2023 Graduate Class Information:    
MUSIC 639Jazz & Marching Percussion Techniques Dr. Kurt Gartner June 5-6, 8:00am-5:00pm/June 7, 8:00am-1:00pm 
MUSIC 808Research in Music Education  Dr. Phil Payne June 7-9 
MUSIC 805Theories in Music Education Dr. Phil Payne June 10-12 
MUSIC 859Advanced Instrumental Conducting Dr. Frank Tracz June 14-16 
MUSIC 811Music Education Symposium TBA June 15-17 
MUSIC 813Improvisation and Composition in Elementary Classroom Dr. Ruth Gurgel June 17-19 
MUSIC 680Advanced Instrumental Rehearsal Techniques  Dr. Frank Tracz June 21-23 
MUSIC 681Advanced Choral Rehearsal Techniques  Dr. Julie Yu June 21-23 
MUSIC 858Advanced Choral Conducting Dr. Julie Yu June 24-26 
MUSIC 810Curriculum Development and Learning Assessment Dr. Phil Payne June 28-30 
MUSIC 636Advanced Woodwind Techniques  Dr. Tod Kerstetter July 1-3 
MUSIC 675Arranging for Bands TBAJuly 5-7 
MUSIC 676Arranging Choral Music Dr. Craig Weston July 5-7 

Course of Study for the Master of Music Degree
(emphasis in Wind Conducting)

36 credit hours

Studies in Major Area (15 hours)

 Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
MUSIC 660Marching Band Techniques2
MUSIC 680Advanced Rehearsal Techniques2
MUSIC 805Theories of Music Teaching3
MUSIC 859Advanced Instrumental Conducting4 (2x2 cr.)
MUSIC 898Masters Report2
Choose one of the following:
MUSIC 675Arranging for Bands2
MUSIC 685Organization & Administration of the Successful School Music Program2
MUSIC 806Psychology of Music3

Research Skills (5 Hours)

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
MUSIC 801Introduction to Graduate Studies2
MUSIC 808Research in Music Education3

Music History (6 hours)

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
MUSIC 707History of Wind Band/Repertoire3
MUSIC 807History & Philosophy of Music Education3

Music Theory (6 hours)

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
MUSIC 700Literature Analysis3
MUSIC 802Seminar in Music Theory:
20th Century Composition

Electives (4 hours)

Course Number Course TitleCredits

Applied Lessons or appropriate substitute arranged in consultation with major advisor

Percussion Pedagogy, Woodwind Pedagogy, Brass Pedagogy, Jazz Methods, Concert & Ethnic Percussion Pedagogy

K-State Graduate Assistants (1995-present)

Name Graduation Where are they now?
Cally Bitterlin Present PhD Candidate in Curriculum and Instruction at Kansas State University
Olivia Bazanos Present Master of Music at Kansas State University 
Jack Johnson Present Master of Music in Percussion Performance
Preston Thomas Present Master of Music at Kansas State University 
Tyler Lee Present Post-Graduate Music Education Degree
Travis Turner Present Post-Graduate Music Education Degree & Master of Music at Kansas State University
Eric Thompson 2021 Master of Music at Kansas State University 
Allegra Fisher  2021 PhD Candidate in Curriculum and Instruction at Kansas State University 
Brett Butler  2021 Percussion Performance
Wes Lewis 2018 MM, Band Director at Turner High School
Dan Haddad 2017 PhD, MM, Associate Director of Bands/Director of Athletic Bands at Georgia Southern University
Rachel Villareale 2016 MM, Band Director at Rose Hill High School
Jack Donovan 2016 MM, Working on DMA at University of Minnesota
Alex Cook 2016 MM, Instrumental Music Teacher at Coronado Middle School
Chris Johnson 2015 MM, K-State, BME, Kansas State University
Emily Jones 2015 MM, K-State, BME, Doane College
Adam Ladd 2014 MM, K-State, BME, The Ohio State University
Alex Wimmer 2014 Ph.D, MM, Assistant Director of Bands at KSU, BME, University of Nebraska Omaha
Ben Yancey 2014 MM, Percussion Performance, Adjunct Professor of Percussion in the Iowa City area BME, University of Central Florida
Andrew Feyes 2013 Ph.D,MM, Interim Director of Bands, University of Nebraska Omaha
Patrick Sullivan 2013 MM, Assistant Director of Bands, Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, Missouri
Greg Coffey 2012 Recording Artist and recording engineer, Nashville, TN
Sarah Bernard-Stevens 2012 Instructor, Kansas Wesleyan University
Ryan Laney 2012 Director of Bands, Broomfield High School, Broomfield, CO
Lyle Sobba 2011 MM, Director of Bands, Garden City High School
Teresa Purcell 2011 MM, Director of Bands, Southeast of Saline High School
Dane Danielsen 2010 MM, Director of Bands; Goddard High School; BME from Friends University
Anna Eaverson 2010 MM, Assistant Director of Bands; Seaman High School; BME from K-State
Emory Dease 2010 MM, Percussion Instructor, Seaman High School; BA from Central College (IA)
Meghan Hardy 2009 MM, Assistant Director of Bands at Lawrence Free State
Ashley Maughlin 2009 MM, Director of Bands at Chapman High School
Sharyn Worcester 2008 Academic Advisor to the School of Music, Theater, and Dance, Kansas State University (KS); MM (K-State)
Darren Brooks 2008 Director of Bands, Salina South High School (KS); MM (K-State)
David Whitman 2008 MM (K-State), DMA (Southern Mississippi) Percussion Faculty, San Diego State University
Gavin Smith 2007 MM, Assistant Director of Bands, Vanderbilt University
Andrew Feyes 2007 MM, Assistant Band Director at Bryan City Schools, Bryan, Ohio
Phil Edelman 2006 MM, Assistant Band Director at Goddard High School
Brad Williamson 2006 MM, PhD The Ohio State University, Assistant Director of Bands , University of Wyoming
Aric Hageman 2006 MM, Band Director at East High School, Cheyenne, Wyoming
Jessica Snider 2005 MM, Band Director at Marais Des Cygnes Valley Schools
Scott Levendofsky 2005 MM, Director of Bands at Fort Riley Middle School
David Montgomery 2004 MM, Associate Director of Instrumental Music Education at Baylor University
Jessica Mullen 2004 MM, Director of Bands at Gallup High School in Gallup, New Mexico
Jeff Hogan 2004 MM, Director of Bands at Madison County High School in Alabama
Will Teufel 2003 MM, Band Director for Nickerson Schools
Eric Stambaugh 2003 MM, Director of Bands at Buhler High School
Erin Beave 2002 MM, Director of Band at Hastings High School in Hastings, Nebraska
Maranda Wilson 2002 MM, Director of Bands at Wichita East Schools
Dina Ross 2001 MM, Band Director at Wilbur Middle School in Wichita
Brad Hudson 2001 MM, Director of Bands for Leeton Schools in Leeton, Missouri
Dennis Brooks 2000 MM, Director of Bands at Council Grove Schools
Craig Treinen 2000 MM, Director of Jazz Studies at Washburn University, Topeka
Lori Howe 1999 MM, resides in Minnesota
Mike Miller 1999 MM, Director of Bands at Iola Schools
Jacque Leonard 1998 MM, Private flute instructor in Centerton, Arkansas
Kim Thomas 1998 MM, Director of Bands at Manhattan Catholic Schools
Dan Beich 1997 MM, Director of Bands at Moses Lake High School in Moses Lake, Washington
Marie Lajoie 1997 MM, Resides in Maine
Chris Richmond 1996 MM, Director of Bands at Wamego High School
Nelson Penserga 1995 MM, Director of Bands at Liberty Middle School in Clifton, Virgina
Maureen VanVechten 1995 MM, Director of Bands at Morrisville-Eaton  Schools in New York

Summer Graduate Testimonials

"This program is an excellent opportunity to earn your masters without leaving your job. The classes are "real-world," practical, and the faculty is first class."
Chris VanGilder, Arkansas City High School, Arkansas City, Kansas

"The classes are jam-packed with valuable and practical information. I personally found the classes exptremely beneficial. I would not hesitate to recommend the classes to others who are interested."
SGT Jeffrey Miller, 1st Infantry Division Band, Ft. Riley, Kansas

"The summer graduate program is fantastic for the educator who wishes to continue teaching while taking classes towards their masters degree. Each class has material that can immediately be taken back and put to use in your program. The summer program is truly designed for the working educator."
Shawn Knopp, Smoky Valley High School, Lindsborg, Kansas

"The summer masters program at K-State has been an extremely practical and useful format. Every class is geared towards helping public school music educators with information that is immediately applicable to our teaching situations."
Lule Johnson, Lansing High School, Lansing, Kansas

"The K-State staff's clear motivation is to help me become a better band teacher and to help my band progra improve."
Kyle Hopkins, McPherson High School, McPherson, Kansas

"I have found this program to be extremely practical for the working school teacher. The information has been well-prepared and well-presented and the networking is great. Highly recommended!"
Brian Cole, East Buchanan, Winthrop, Iowa

"This is a perfect program for the music teacher who wants to continue teaching during the school year. I have not found any other institution in kansas that offers a program where you are able to complete a Masters in Music Education through the summer sessions only! The program is easily completed in a timely manner without taking up the entire summer, but teaches all of the essentials."
Lindsay Ladman, Elementary & Middle School Orchestra Director in the Salina Public Schools

"The summer masters of music program at Kansas State University provides the right combination of theory and practical application classes. These have been of great assistance to help me improve as a teacher and maximize my effectiveness in the classroom."
Margaret Saarinen, Mesa Linda Middle School, Victorville, California

"This program increased my knowledge and effectiveness as an instructor by 100 fold. My kids like my classes better, and they work harder. Everything is practical and is hands on with excellent instructors."
Show Heersink, Monte Vista High School, Monte Vista, Colorado

"My experience in the summer graduate program has been very educational and inspirational. I am excited to start the fall semester and begin implementing the skills and tools I have acquired in my own band room."
Travis Johnson, Cheney Middle & High School.

"This program is very valuable because I can grow professionally without having to miss work or sacrifice time with my family. The professors in the program are very helpful and knowledgeable and are there to answer questions all year long. I look forward to coming to K-State all year, not only am I gaining knowledge, concepts, and techniques, this program also is great for networking with other band directors."
Emily Cox, Haysville Public Schools, Kansas

"Kudos to Dr. Tracz and K-State for designing a masters program that is affordable, accessible, and practical. What a great way to spend a few weeks in the summer, learning skills that I will be able to implement in my classroom immediately when I return in the fall."
Ryan Nichols, Valley Falls, Kansas

"The summer program at Kansas State University was a perfect fit for my situation. While I'm very serious about my career as a music educator, having a family made it difficult to find the time to commit to a full schedule of grad courses. This program was an answer to my prayers. In three short days for each course, I found that I learned and retained more in the intensified, hands on style of these courses than I did in the traditional classroom setting and, much to my surprise, we covered nearly just as much material in the three days as a traditional semester long course would have. I, also, found the faculty's combination of large school facilities, small school care, personal attention, and welcoming family atmosphere to be second to none. I foresee this program becoming standard in colleges across the nation at some point in the future. My hat's off to Dr. Tracz and K-State for their vision and forward thinking. I would highly recommend this program to anyone with a family wanting to pursue a advanced degree."
Daniel Baldwin, Composer

"My experience as a graduate assistant for KSU bands was a wonderful and challenging experience. The grad program at KSU gave me the wonderful opportunity to get a more "hands on approach" to my graduate experience. I was able to conduct all the ensembles, write drill, compose, teach, and more importantly learn from a top notch band faculty. I truly attribute all my teaching and high school successes from everything I learned at KSU. I would strongly encourage any undergrad to roll up their sleeves and take the KSU band experience." 
- Eric Stambaugh, Buhler High School, Buhler, Kansas

"After teaching high school band in the public schools for six years, I wanted to find a masters program that was designed to be practical in the classroom and also provided many opportunities through the graduate assistantship program. Kansas State met those needs for me, and gave me the training and experience necessary to gain acceptance into the PhD program at The Ohio State University. The Master of Music program is designed in such a way that your options are wide open for careers in the music profession upon graduation. The assistantships with the band provide experiences in all aspects of the collegiate band program. The involvement I had with the bands as a graduate assistant were as valuable, or more so, than anything that could be taught in a classroom." 
- Brad Williamson, PhD Student, The Ohio State University

"My expereinces as a graduate assistant in the K-State Bands were a big difference maker in my career. The opportunities I had to teach and be involved in running a big time band program gave me the experience I needed to be prepared to teach at the University level. Compared to other schools, K-State provides opportunities far above for real teaching and meaningful contribution. In addition, the course work was rigorous but pertinent to my professional goals. Dr. Tracz takes great care of his graduate students, both professionaly and personally. I can't imagine how things would have turned out had I decided not attend K-State." 
- David Montgomery, Assistant Director of Bands, Western Michigan University

"The best thing about the graduate assistantship at K-State is the hands-on experience. Not only do you get a number of opportunities to conduct and rehearse groups, you get a wide variety of ensembles to work with: different levels of concert bands, small ensembles, jazz bands and the marching band. What better 'real-life' band director experience could you get?" 
- Nelson Penserga, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia