1934 – 1948
Mark Hindsley (1905-1999): Arranger, conductor, composer, and longtime band director of the University of Illinois Bands and the Marching Illini; graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Indiana University before going on to earn a Master of Arts in Music degree there in 1927. Hindsley began his career at Indiana University at Bloomington, where he served as band director and music instructor until 1929. From 1929-1934 Hindsley worked as Director of Instrumental Music in the public schools of Cleveland Heights, Ohio. In 1934 he was appointed Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Illinois under A. Austin Harding, where he was assigned as director of the marching band and conductor of the First Regimental Band. Under Hindsley’s direction the marching band field routines have become an Illini tradition. His work was interrupted by military service in the Air Force between 1942 and 1946, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. During this time he supervised more than 150 Air Force bands and was assigned to the music faculty at American University of Biarritz, France. In 1948 Mark Hindsley succeeded Harding as Director of Bands at Illinois; he stayed active in that position and as Professor of Music until his retirement in 1970.
Mark Hindsley made a series of 59 recordings of the University of Illinois bands. During his lifetime Hindsley wrote more than 75 transcriptions of major orchestral works including Strauss’ Don Juan and Wagner’s Tannhauser, and he authored eight books and more than 40 journal articles on band education. Hindsley’s involvement with several professional band organizations included his role as president of both the College Band Directors National Association in1947 and the American Bandmaster’s Association in 1957. His research in wind instrument intonation influenced the design of several instruments in both the United States and Europe. He was granted a patent for mechanisms on valve brass instruments. After his formal retirement Mark Hindsley continued his work as a transcriber, and served as guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician for different band organizations.