Blue Band Office
101 Blue Band Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 865-3982
Gregory Drane became the sixth Director of the Penn State Blue Band on July 1, 2015. Drane served as Assistant Director from 2005-2015, directing Athletic Pep Bands as well as beginning the Penn State Volleyball Band, and has been part of the Blue Band staff since 2002, when he was a graduate assistant. A talented saxophone player himself, Drane has designed and arranged some of the band's most memorable halftime performances, including "Moving Picture Show" and "Game of THONS." Drane holds a bachelor's degree in music education and music performance from Bethune-Cookman, a master's degree in music education from Penn State and is nearing completion on his Ph.D. from Penn State.
Eric Bush joined the Penn State faculty in 2015 as Assistant Director of Athletic Bands and Jazz Studies. Dr. Bush works with concert bands, teaches undergraduate conducting, coaches jazz combos, and directs the Inner Dimensions jazz ensemble. He earned the D.M.A. in band conducting degree from the University of Iowa, where he served as graduate teaching assistant. Dr. Bush's doctoral thesis, The History of the Big Ten Band Directors Association (1971-2015) was published in the spring of 2015. Previously, he served as Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island, NY.
Corey Pompey joined The Pennsylvania State University faculty as Assistant Director of Athletic Bands in 2016. In addition to his athletic band responsibilities, Pompey teaches undergraduate conducting, supervises student teachers, and conducts a concert band. He previously served as an assistant instructor with University Bands at the University of Texas at Austin. Pompey taught in the public schools of Alabama for seven years. He holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in music education from the University of Alabama and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in wind conducting from the University of Texas.
Darrin Thornton is an assistant professor of music education in the School of Music. Beginning his Penn State career in 2002, he has also worked with the Blue Band since 2007. His current research focuses on pre-service teacher training, urban education, ensemble education settings, and adult music engagement.
Jonathan Mountain was a member of the Blue Band mellophone section from 2010-2014, and now serves as the band's graduate assistant. He received a B.S. in Music Education from Penn State, and is now working toward a Master of Music in French Horn Performance. In addition to his teaching work, Jonathan also performs throughout central Pennsylvania as a French horn and guitar player
Vickie Clauer moved to State College with her family in 2001. Her husband, Phil is a faculty member in the Department of Animal Science. They have two children - Ashley, who is majoring in World Language Education at Penn State, and Phillip Ryan, who is a high school student at State High. In her spare time, Vickie enjoys volunteering with the 4thFest, traveling, and baking.
Dr. Buzminsky has been the Blue Band's percussion arranger/instructor since 1983. He has a number of marching percussion arrangements published, and he is an educational artist for Yamaha Percussion and Vic Firth. As a practicing school psychologist, Dr. Buzminsky has taught graduate-level courses in child assessment at Penn State and as been the field supervisor for many doctoral interns.
Band Front Coordinator
Kathy Bamat has been with the Blue Band since 1982, starting as the Silk Instructor and in 2004 moving to the Band Front Coordinator. Kathy marched with the Westshoremen Sr. Drum and Bugle Corps for six summers and has worked with many local high school bands. She has completed her 43rd year at Penn State as the Manager of the Work Control Center in the Office of Physical Plant.
Heather Mensch Bean began twirling at the age of 6. She was a twirler for Bellefonte High School from 9th-12th grade, and was Captain of her team her senior year. She coached Bellefonte High School Majorettes from 1988-1995. She became the coach of the "Touch of Blue", the Penn State Majorettes in 1994. Twirling has been a very important part of her life.
Charlie is a Penn State Alum and a former Blue Band Silk. Having earned a Bachelor's in Recreation & Parks and a Master's in Special Education, he currently works as a Special Education Teacher for the Chester County Intermediate Unit. Charlie has been instructing and choreographing for the Blue Band Silks for over 20 years! Besides Blue Band, he has taught numerous high school bands, indoor color guards, and drum and bugle corps.
Mr. Cree is a graduate of West Chester University and Penn State. He is a retired Band Director from the Bellefonte Area School District. Now beginning his 24th year with the Blue Band, he can be found in his "Spacious Repair Suite" where he coordinates repair and maintenance of the instruments, works closely with the managers, and handles attendance and medical concerns.
Caleb Rebarchak is a native to State College, PA. He has a B.S. in Music Education and a Master of Music in Band/Wind Ensemble Conducting from Penn State. While in grad school, Caleb served as the Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Athletic Bands. Along with serving as a volunteer assistant with Blue Band, he is in the Ministry Apprenticeship Program at Calvary Church.
Dean DeVore has been an announcer for the Blue Band since 1994. Dean was a trumpet player in the Blue Band as an undegraduate from 1984-1988. He is a veteran radio announcer, with his career focusing on sports and weather. Dean became the voice of Beaver Stadium in 2000, and is also the Public Address Announcer for Women's and Men's Volleyball and Men's Gymnastics.
Annemarie Mountz is in her first year as staff photographer for the Blue Band, although she has been photographing the band since 2007. She has a B.A. in journalism from Penn State, and is pursuing a doctorate in higher education administration. Annemarie has worked at Penn State for more than 20 years, and currently is director of communications for the College of Education.
Chris Wahlmark joined the School of Music staff in 2013. He provides livestreaming and technological support for University performances, and updates the school's Youtube channel. Chris holds a bachelor's degree in music from Allegheny College, and master's degrees in saxophone performance and music theory, both from Penn State. He has also served as a faculty instructor in music theory. www.cwstudios.tv