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.
Robert Hickey, Jr.
Robert Hickey serves as the Assistant Director of Athletic Bands. In addition to serving as an Assistant Director of the Blue Band, Mr. Hickey also conducts and directs the Fall Athletic Band and Pride of the Lions Band in the Spring. Mr. Hickey is an alum of Penn State and the Blue Band with a Bachelors degree in Music Education, and a Masters Degree in Conducting.
Erik joined the Penn State faculty in 2018 and serves as the Assistant Director of Athletic Bands. Additionally, Mr. Jester teaches undergraduate conducting courses and conducts the Concert Band. Prior to his appointment at Penn State, he was the Director of Bands and Instructor of Low Brass at California State University San Bernardino, preceded by positions at Madison College in Wisconsin and Triton College in Chicago. Mr. Jester holds masters degrees in trombone performance and conducting from Penn State and has completed doctoral coursework at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Serves as the Administrative Assistant for the Penn State Blue Band. Her Penn State experience includes careers with the Office of Human Resources Professional Development, formerly known as the Human Resources Development Center, and most recently with the Center for the Performing Arts. When not at the Blue Band office, you will find Wanda enjoying working in her yard, watching baseball and football, and enjoying time with her family.
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.
Kathy Bamat has been with the Blue Band since 1982 as the Silk Instructor. Kathy marched with the Westshoremen Sr. Drum and Bugle Corps for six summers and has worked with many local high school bands.
Majorette Instructor/Blue Band Part Time Staff Assistant
Heather Mensch Bean became the coach of the "Touch of Blue" (TOB), the Penn State Majorettes, in the Spring 1994. The "Touch of Blue" is a Proud part of the Blue Band and have also represented the University and the Blue Band competing at the National Baton Twirling Association (NBTA) Nationals. The team has brought home, to Penn State, 15 National titles to date. Being a part of the Blue Band staff and coaching the TOB have been an amazing opportunity.
Heather has been working in the Blue Band office as a Part Time Staff Assistant since the Fall of 2012.
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. 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 25th 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.
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.