Episode 30: Matt Bufis, Evanston Township High School, Evanston, IL

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By Don Stinson and The Bandmasters Podcast. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Happy end of the school year/pre-Midwest Clinic! Matt Bufis and I discuss his journey to Illinois, adapting a program to the current needs of students, repertoire selection, and work-life balance. Musical selections featured in this episode include March for the Sultan Abdul Madjid by Rossini and After the Thunderer by Hearshen. Both selections are performed by the Evanston Township High School Wind Symphony.

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Matthew P. Bufis joined the music faculty at Evanston Township High School in June of 2012 and was later named Director of Bands in June of 2016. Mr. Bufis leads the Wildkit Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Wind Symphony, teaches Guitar classes, and is the instrumental sponsor for the YAMO pit orchestra – the musical accompaniment to a student written and directed theatre production at ETHS. Under his direction, the ETHS Wind Symphony has risen to new levels of distinction, with multiple invite performances at the University of Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival and a 2018 Illinois Music Educators Conference performance, both of which are first-time honors for the program. The Wildkit Marching Band also continues an upward trajectory, with a seventy percent enrollment growth rate and steady progress in scores and placements at competitions over the last five seasons. Mr. Bufis is actively involved in activities that enhance learning at ETHS, serving on the Disciplinary Literacy, Teacher Evaluation, School Day (scheduling), and ETHS Foundation committees as well as maintaining his role as Lead Teacher for Fine Arts through which he organizes events, maintains the facility and equipment, plans professional development opportunities, and facilitates the music honors program.

Prior to his appointment at ETHS, Mr. Bufis completed two successful tenures at Westmont High School in Illinois and Great Mills High School in Maryland, where he is responsible for leading both programs to distinction. Ensembles under his direction performed at the Maryland State High School Band Festival and the Illinois Superstate Band Festival many times. Mr. Bufis is responsible for pioneering artist-in-residency programs at each of his former posts, collaborating with guest performers and conductors – most notably Ronald Romm (The Canadian Brass), Thomas Jöstlein (St. Louis Symphony), and composer Eric Ewazen (Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra – wind ensemble transcription premiere 2006). The Great Mills Wind Ensemble also performed annually at the Maryland Day ceremony in historic St. Mary’s City, including a performance attended by Governor Robert Ehrlich.

A native of New Jersey, he holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York and a Master in Music Education degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently completing coursework for a Master in Principal Preparation at Concordia University in Chicago. Mr. Bufis studied conducting with Stephen G. Peterson, James F. Keene, Joseph Manfredo, and Donald Schleicher and has pursued additional training through conducting symposiums lead by Mallory Thompson, John Whitwell, Jamie Nix, H. Robert Reynolds, and Allan McMurray. He studied euphonium, his primary instrument, with David Unland, Mark Moore, and Kenneth Steinsultz.

Mr. Bufis is an active guest lecturer on the topics of leadership and management, curriculum design, music teacher evaluation, music technology, and music education advocacy, presenting his work in these areas at state and national conferences and universities. He is also an active clinician and adjudicator, working with bands of all ages and ability levels. He has served as a leadership consultant for bands and sports teams on the East Coast and throughout the Midwest working with students, coaches, and teachers. Mr. Bufis has received many National Band Association Citations of Excellence in recognition of the Westmont and Evanston Township High School Band performances at the Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival and has been nominated for inclusion in various “Who’s Who” publications since 2004. He is an active member of ILMEA, NAfME, Phi Beta Mu, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Mr. Bufis is an Eagle Scout of Troop 76 in Ringwood, New Jersey and garnered a varsity letter in collegiate men’s swimming for his three years as an Ithaca College Bomber.

44 episodes