2011 – Present
Director of the Marching Illini & Associate Director of Bands

Barry L. Houser

Professor Barry L. Houser is the Chair of the Conducting Area, Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Marching Illini, Director of the Fighting Illini Athletic Bands, and Clinical Associate Professor of Music where his responsibilities include conducting a number of concert ensembles in the Illinois Bands program, the Athletic…

2006 – 2011

Peter Griffin

Dr. Peter Griffin became Assistant Director of Bands at Illinois in 1994 after having served in that capacity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At Wisconsin, Dr. Griffin conducted one of its concert bands, was Assistant Director of the marching and Varsity bands, and taught in the School of Music. Prior…

1998 – 2006

Thomas Caneva

Thomas Caneva is director of bands, professor of music, and coordinator of ensembles and conducting at Ball State University. Dr. Caneva’s responsibilities include conducting the Ball State Wind Ensemble, coordinating the graduate wind conducting program, teaching undergraduate conducting, and administering the entire band program.

1976 – 1998 & 2004
Associate Director of Bands Emeritus

Gary E. Smith

From 1976 to 1998 and again in 2004, Gary was the Associate Director of Bands at the University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign, where he conducted the nationally famous Marching Illini, Basketball Band, Symphonic Band II, and taught marching band procedures and band arranging in the School of Music…

1948 – 1976

Everett Kissinger

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1934 – 1948

clarence sawhill

While Mark Hindsley went off to serve in the United States Army Air Corps, Clarence Sawhill led the Marching Illini in his absence. Sawhill later served and lead programs at UCLA and at USC. 

1934 – 1948

Mark Hindsley

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…

1905 – 1934

Albert Austin Harding

Albert Austin Harding was asked to direct the University of Illinois Band by the head of the School of Music in the spring of 1905 while he was still a senior in the College of Engineering. Harding accepted and was officially a member of the faculty in the fall of…