Benjamin James Druffel
Panther Marching Band Director/Assistant Director of Bands
Benjamin James Druffel recently completed his DMA in Wind Band Conducting at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. As a Wind Conducting Associate, Druffel studied conducting with Dr. Kraig Alan Williams and regularly guest conducted the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Band and Concert Band. His duties also included serving as an instrumental instructor with the Rutgers University Marching Scarlet Knights and leading performances of the Pep Band. In January of 2014, Druffel was part of the instructional staff that prepared the marching band for a pre-game performance at Superbowl XLVIII.
After completing a BA in Music Education at Luther College, Decorah IA, Druffel began his career abroad in Dubai, United Arab Emirates teaching music at an American/International school. Over his six year tenure his duties were varied from elementary general music to high school band to the International Baccalaureate Diploma music curriculum. A special benefit of this experience was the opportunity to work with a truly international student body including a high school concert band with representatives from six continents.
Upon returning to the United States, Druffel began graduate work at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He studied conducting with Dr. Amy Roisum-Foley and was conductor of the Symphonic Band. Druffel also made regular conducting appearances with the Concert Wind Ensemble including a performance at Orchestra Hall, Chicago. He completed his MM in Wind Band Conducting in 2012.
Druffel enjoys conducting and performing with ensembles of all types from from semi-professional orchestras to church choirs. Most recently, Druffel served as Assistant Conductor of the Mankato Community Band of Mankato MN during the 2016 summer season. In Dubai, he played French Horn with the Dubai Chamber Orchestra and Dubai Wind Band before becoming conductor of both ensembles. Druffel has also conducted and performed with ensembles in Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the UAE.
Druffel is a student member of the College Band Directors National Conference (CBDNA), The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and a former member of the Association for Music in International Schools (AMIS). He regularly attends conducting workshops and symposiums whose teachers include Richard Floyd, Jerry Junkin, Steven Peterson, and Anthony Maiello.
Mrs. Allison Christian serves as the PMB Color Guard Captain. For Allison, color guard is more than a hobby: it is her life and passion. She started her career in color guard performing at Mattoon High School. After graduating, she became the assistant coach for the Mattoon High school color guard, and a few years later, became the Head coach for the Mattoon Middle School Color Guard. In 2009-2010, Christian performed with Vivace Independent, a winter guard out of St. Louis, MO. She remains very involved with teaching and writing for various guards in the area including EIU, Mattoon, and Monticello. Students under her leadership have gone on to perform in both DCI and WGI ensembles.
Don Fisher is a Graduate Assistant in the Band division here at EIU studying Wind Band Conducting. He completed his undergraduate studies at EIU in 2012. Don taught K-12 band and music for 3 years in the ROWVA School District, a small rural school outside of Galesburg, IL. Don is a native of the state of Illinois, coming from Saint Charles, and currently residing in Tuscola with his wife, River.
Upon completion of his graduate studies, Don hopes to continue his teaching career at the collegiate level.