WHS Directors of Bands
Picture from 2010 WHS Homecoming Football Game
Left: Dean DePoy (1st WHS Director of Bands)
Right: Brian Logan (8th WHS Director of Bands)

Brian Logan - 1991 to 2016

Brian J. Logan has been Director of Bands at Wheeling High School since 1990.  His responsibilities include directing the Wind Symphony, Jazz Band I, Jazz Combo, and Marching Band.  Mr. Logan is also the Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator at Wheeling High School.  Prior to his appointment at Wheeling, Mr. Logan directed bands at Holmes Middle School, Wheeling, Illinois, and at Gemini Junior High School, Niles, Illinois. 

Ensembles under Mr. Logan’s direction have performed at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic four times, including December 2015.  The Wheeling High School Wind Symphony has performed at the University of Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival eighteen times, including the past ten years.  In 2016, Wind Symphony won Class AAA at Superstate.     Wind Symphony made their fourth appearance at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival in March 2016.

Mr. Logan’s groups have been winners in Down Beat Magazine’s Annual Student Music Awards thirteen times and earned Grand Champion at the prestigious Northshore Jazz Festival and Jazz in the Meadows Festival multiple times, including the past three years at JITM.  The Wheeling Jazz Band performed at the Umbria Jazz Festival (Italy) and the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland) in 2009 and 2014.  In April 2010, the Jazz Band opened for Wynton Marsalis at the National School Board Association Conference, performing for over 7,000 attendees.  The Wheeling Jazz Band has been selected as the Mark of Excellence National Winner four times in recent years, including 2015.  The Wheeling “Wildcat” Marching Band has earned numerous Grand Champion, First Place, and Caption Awards over the past two decades including four titles in 2015.  Mr. Logan has presided over the Chicagoland Marching Band Festival, Illinois oldest Marching Band Field Show Competition, for 25 years.

Mr. Logan’s work has been recognized by the United States Congress, Illinois State Senate, Quinlan and Fabish Music, Township High School District 214, East Maine School District 63, and Wheeling High School.  The National Band Association has awarded Mr. Logan fourteen “Citation of Excellence” awards.  He also received a Paul Harris Fellow from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.  Mr. Logan was selected as the SBO Magazine State Representative in their “50 Directors That Make a Difference” issue, and received the Mr. Holland’s Opus Award from Bob Rogers Travel.  Mr. Logan is also the recipient of the VanderCook College of Music Distinguished Alumni Award.  Mr. Logan is a contributing author in the GIA Publication, Jazz for Beginning Ensembles, and will soon be published in the National Band Association Journal.  Recently Mr. Logan was awarded the District 214 Friend of the Arts Award, the Illinois Band Master of the Year Award from Phi Beta Mu, and the John Paynter Lifetime Achievement Award from Quinlan and Fabish Music.

Mr. Logan received a Bachelor of Music Education from VanderCook College of Music and a Master of Educational Administration from Northeastern Illinois University.  He is a member of ILMEA, NAfME, NBA, JEN, and is also an active adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor, and percussionist.  He enjoys travel with his wife Julie, and three children, Ryan, Mack, and Erin.

Jim Kull - 1989 to 1991

Jim Kull
has been Director of Bands at St. Charles East High School since 1994, where he conducts a concert band, symphonic band, Wind Ensemble and the Jazz Workshop. He also is on the faculty at Elgin Community College and Judson College. He holds degrees from VanderCook College and the University of Illinois. He also has done advanced coursework at Indiana University, where he studied with Ray Cramer and David Baker.  As a saxophonist Jim has performed with Charlie Haden, Marian McPartland, The Manhattan Transfer and he has been a member of The Arts Center Jazz Ensemble, a resident professional ensemble at the College of DuPage for many years.  He is an active clinician and guest conductor, and conducted the Illinois All-State Jazz Band in 2002. On weekends, Jim can be found at his daughter Katie's horse shows, his daughter Morgan's soccer games, his wife Jennie's St. Charles East volleyball games, or on his patio at the grill. 


Current Position: Director of Bands - St. Charles East High School - Illinois

Contact Mr. Kull: 1020 Dunham Rd., St. Charles, IL  60174 / (847) 377-4797 /James.kull@d303.org

Jay Gephart - 1988 to 1989

Jay Gephart 
joined the faculty of Purdue University in the fall of 1995 after having completed 12 years as a public school band director. In July of 2001, he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. In November 2006, Professor Gephart was appointed Director of University   Bands.  He currently serves as Director of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band the Purdue University Wind Ensemble.  He is also coordinator of the concert band program.  From 1995-2006, Professor Gephart served as the music director for the Purdue Symphony Orchestra.

Gephart received a Master of Music Degree in Performance with High Distinction from Indiana University in 1988 and a Bachelor of Music Education Degree with Distinction from Indiana University in 1983. Under his direction, the Purdue Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra have shared the stage with some of the nation’s outstanding soloists and have represented Purdue at the Indiana Music Educator’s Association state convention on two occasions. He has also served as a guest conductor, clinician, lecturer and adjudicator both nationally and internationally.    

Current Position: Director of Bands, Director AAMB, Wind Ensemble - Purdue University

Contact Mr. Gephart: jsgephart@purdue.edu 

Andrew Brandenburg - 1987 to 1988

Andy Brandenburg joined Wheeling High School in 1987 as Assistant Director of Bands and then became Director of Bands in 1988.  In 1988 there were three major competitions. They were, the Music Bowl at Soldiers Field, the Sycamore pumpkin Festival Parade, and finally the Illinois State Championship at University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. The band placed 2nd in the AAA category at the Pumpkin Parade Festival and 2nd place Best Drum major in Parade and Field show.

Kevin Kastens - 1979 to 1987

Kevin Kastens is Associate Director of Bands and Director of the Hawkeye Marching Band.  As an associate professor in the School of Music he teaches marching band techniques, band arranging and conducts the Concert Band.  He is the Director of the Iowa Summer Music Camps.

Prior to his appointment at Iowa in July 1998, Kastens served for five years as the Associate Director of Bands at the University of Missouri-Columbia and for six years as Assistant.  A native of Illinois, he received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education and Master of Science in Music Education degrees at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.  Before his appointment at Indiana, Kastens was Director of Bands at Wheeling High School from 1979-1987 in northwest suburban Chicago. His concert, marching and jazz bands at Wheeling received numerous honors and awards, including performances at the Mid-East Instrumental Music clinic in Pittsburgh, PA; the Music Educators National Conference in Anaheim, CA; and in Dublin, Limerick and Galway, Ireland.

Current Position: Associate Director of Bands and Director of The Hawkeye Marching Band, University of Iowa

Contact Mr. Kastens: Kevin-kastens@uiowa.edu / (319)335-1634    

John E. Williamson - 1972 to 1979

John E. Williamson
, Professor of Music, has been Director of Bands at Central Michigan University since 1979.  Born and raised in Joliet, Illinois he studied clarinet with his father and Jerome Stowell of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  In addition to guiding all aspects of the CMU Band program and Graduate Conducting program he is conductor of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, which has performed at the Midwestern Conference, regional and national conferences of MENC and the College Band Directors National Association and in historic Carnegie Hall, New York.

John Williamson was previously conductor at Wheeling (IL) High School, where his wind ensemble gained national recognition due to its unique programming and performances across the United States including a performance at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago.  The Sousa Foundation honored the Wheeling program, as one of the nation’s finest with Mr. Williamson receiving the coveted Sudler Award.  He is active as an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor nationally with additional appearances in Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia.    

Current Position: Director of Bands - Central Michigan University

Contact Mr. Williamson: Willi2je@mich.edu / (989) 774-1951    

John Higgins - Assistant - 1970 to 1971

John Higgins assisted in the directing of the WHS band for the 1970-71 school year.  John is currently the Managing Producer/Editor for Hal Leonard Corporation, the nation's largest publisher of printed music.  He began in the music field as the student arranger for the University of Michigan Band under Dr. William D. Revelli, and gained invaluable experience as a public school music teacher in suburban Chicago.  John served as Illinois president of the American String Teachers Association, and his school concerts featured renowned soloists and conductors such as Skitch Henderson, Charlie Byrd, and Arthur Fiedler of the Boston Pops.

A co-author in the Essential Elements series of methods, John is best known for his many compositions and arrangements for choirs, bands and orchestras.  As a composer of children's songs, he has collaborated with notables like John Jacobson, Roger Emerson and Emily Crocker on musicals such as How Does Your Garden Grow? , and A Storybook Christmas.  John has also arranged and produced a large catalog of children's music, including The Runaway Snowman, Peace Child, and Leslie Bricusse's Scrooge.  His recording production for McGraw-Hill's Share The Music textbook series included music from Sesame Street, Disney films and a special project with the late Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.

In two recent series of Broadway shows for young performers, John arranged and produced new versions of Annie, Guys & Dolls, Fiddler On The Roof, The King And I, and The Music Man.  His two Grammy award-winning projects include arranging on Sandi Patti's Another Time, Another Place (Best Pop Gospel Album) and co-producing on Rob McConnell's Live in Digital (Best Big Band Jazz Album).  He recently orchestrated and conducted the music for the stage premiere of Willy Wonka at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

John served as president of Jenson Publications before it became a part of the Hal Leonard Corporation.  In addition to his writing and producing activities, he maintains a role in music education as a guest-conductor, clinician and author.

Current Position: Managing Producer/Editor for Hal Leonard Corp

Contact Mr. Higgins: Leonard Corporation, 777 West Blue Mound Road, Milwaukee, WI 53213 / (414) 774-3630

Irwin Brick - 1970 to 1972

Irwin Brick
Joined Wheeling High School in 1970 as Band Director.  The band under the direction of Mr. Brick and new Assistant Director Mr. Williamson was selected out of 20 bands as the outstanding parade band at the Virginia Beach Music Festival.  The band also participated in other activities such as; halftime shows at Northwestern University, the Bears game at the rededication of Soldier Field, marching for the Apollo XV astronauts, and Mayor Daley’s Christmas parade.  In addition, they competed in the University of Illinois Marching Festival where they were named Grand Champions of Parade and earned third place in halftime show performance.

Dean DePoy - 1964 to 1970

Dean DePoy was Assistant Band Director at Prospect HS in 1963-64  knowing he would be opening Wheeling High School in fall of 1964.  The band was rehearsed and in uniform the day WHS opened.  They played the National Anthem at the initial flag raising ceremony. During his time at Wheeling High School (1964-70) the band grew from approximately 80 members to 350.

During that time the band won many awards locally and nationally.  Highlights were Chicago Bears halftime shows, Minneapolis, MN Aquatennial parades, a Virginia Beach, VA appearance, a University of Michigan post-game show in Ann Arbor, winning the Disney National Marching Band Contest and being named the best halftime Marching Band on the CBS television network in 1968.   The band also performed for President Johnson at O'Hare Field (Military Side) on numerous occasions. The band was called "The Presidential Band of Chicagoland," and was the only band in the United States allowed to wear the Presidential Seal on their uniforms.

Dean DePoy was the Illinois State Chairman of the National Band Association while at WHS.  In 1968 he was selected District 214 Teacher of the Year.  In 1969 he was selected Cook County Teacher of the Year followed by Illinois State Teacher of the Year and a finalist for National Teacher of the Year.

Dean DePoy left WHS in 1969 to become Director of University Bands at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. He left college teaching and finished his career at Brentwood, Long Island, NY in 1998.  After retirement Dean moved to Winter Haven, Fl. Where he worked for the Disney Cruise Line at Disney World until 2003.  Dean is currently a professional musician.    

Current Position: Professional Musician

Contact Mr. De Poy: 1216 Cyprus Point East, Winter Haven FL 33884-3006 / deanrdepoy@aol.com / (863) 326-1507