Conductors and tour directors

The Western Illinois University Symphonic Wind Ensemble is directed by Dr. Mike Fansler.  Click here for Dr. Fansler’s professional biography.

Dr. Mike Fansler

Assisting Dr. Fansler during the Brazil tour will be WIU Associate Director of Bands Dr. Shawn Vondran, who will also play euphonium in the ensemble.  Click here for Dr. Vondran’s professional biography.

Dr. Shawn Vondran

Also lending his professional talents is WIU alumnus and Geneseo High School Director of Bands Steven Scherer, who has held his current post at GHS since 2002 and is in his 23rd year of teaching. He also serves as the chairman of the Geneseo High School Fine Arts Department, and is the K-12 Music Coordinator. His teaching duties include Honors Band, marching band, fall concert band (non-marching) A.P. Music Theory and jazz band.  Mr. Scherer received a B.A. in Music Education from Western Illinois University. He received his M.M.E. from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Mr. Scherer is a two-time recipient of the National Band Association Citation of Excellence and is a member of Phi Beta Mu. He is currently the General Chairman of the NCIC Conference Music Festival, and is the Band Division Chairman of IMEA District 2. He is a member of the Illinois Music Educators Association, MENC, National Band Association, and Phi Mu Alpha. Mr. Scherer is also appears occasionally as a guest conductor and adjudicator.  Scherer will join the Wind Ensemble’s percussion section in Brazil.

Mr. Steven Scherer

The Wind Ensemble will have the honor of working with esteemed musicians from both the Federal University of Bahia (Salvador) and the Federal University of Rio. These gentlemen are generously offering their time and expertise to ensure our Brazil tour is the musically, educationally, and culturally rewarding experience Dr. Fansler has envisioned it to be.  We hope our collaboration with these musicians and their students will be the catalyst for an enduring relationship between WIU and its Brazilian counterparts.

Maestro Marcelo Jardim

Marcelo Jardim is Director of Bands and conductor of the Rio de Janeiro Federal University Wind Orchestra, where he also teaches graduate wind conducting. Also he is Artist Director of the Brazilian National Band System, in Funarte (National Fine Arts Foundation). He is also Artistic Director of the Mogi das Cruzes Symphony Orchestra Association, with the coordenation of all the projects of the institution that’s include Youth Symphony Orchestra, Band Program and Children Choir. Mr. Jardim has conducted in South and Central America, Spain, United States, and throughout Brazil, where has made guest adjudicating and conducting appearances with numerous bands and orchestras. He maintains a concert schedule with more than 30 performances a year with groups all over the world. He is also committed to social projects that utilize music as a tool of social and cultural inclusion. He was founder and musical coordenator of the Garoto Cidadão Project, which drew an attendance of more than 1,000 children during the period of his coordination. More recently, he created the Mogi das Cruzes Youth Symphony Orchestra featuring the Youth Symphony Orchestra My Land Mogi, in which more than 300 children are involved.

As soon as Dr. Fansler decided he’d like to take the Wind Ensemble to Brazil, WIU alumnus and Salvador resident Doug Adair got to work putting together a tour packed with musical, cultural, and educational opportunities sure to offer travelers a life-changing experience.  An Alumni Achievement Award winner (1993), Doug has had an impressive career that spans media, business, and entertainment industries. Our appreciation for Doug’s tireless efforts cannot be overstated.  Click here for Doug Adair’s professional biography.

Doug Adair

Mr. Doug Adair

Tour director Conor O’Sullivan has been working diligently for months to facilitate each experience Fansler and Adair have envisioned.  With the help of colleagues at his tour agency Tatur Turismo, O’Sullivan has constructed a detailed itinerary for our entire journey, leaving no stone in the planning process left unturned.  We look forward to a safe and stress-free tour, thanks in large part to Conor.

Conor O’Sullivan

Conor says:  I come from Cork in Ireland, I have been living in Salvador since 1984. I came here as backpacker, taught English for a while, and later trained as a
free lance tour guide in 1986.  I opened the company in 1990. From the
outset we have sought to provide travel services and experiences in a
creative and responsible manner. Our services include customized itineraries
for independent travelers, corporate incentive travel programs,  pioneering
African Heritage tours and specially tailored educational travel programs.
We involve the local community where and whenever we can. identifying
reliable, professional suppliers, assembling a network of local experts and
contacts, and subsequently building solid working relationships based on
mutual respect and fair trade.  I look forward to receiving the WIU Wind Ensemble on Mar 13.

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