Dean Westman

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Dean Westman is the Performing Arts Department Chair and Director of Orchestras at Avon High School in Avon, Indiana. He founded the Avon Orchestra program in 2007 with 40 6th grade beginners. Over the past 14 years, the Avon Orchestra has grown to over 600 students grades 6 through 12 served by 5 Full Time Orchestra Directors. Dean’s concert ensembles have performed at Carnegie Hall, The Skirball Center at NYU, The Moores Opera House, The Meyerson, and the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago. Internationally, the Avon Orchestra has performed in Rome, Florence, and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. The Avon High School Symphony Orchestra placed 3rd at the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Indiana State School Music Association State Orchestra Finals, was State Runner Up in 2017 and earned ISSMA State Orchestra Championships in 2018 and 2019.

Mr. Westman also serves as a Program Designer for the 3-time Bands of America Grand National Champion and 14 Time Indiana State Champion Avon High School Marching Black and Gold. Prior to coming to Avon, Dean worked as the Educational Director for Music for All. He also served as Director of Bands at Stephen F. Austin High School in Sugar Land, Texas. Westman Co-Conducted the award winning SFA Symphony Orchestra. Under Dean’s leadership, the SFA Marching Band was named Bands of America Houston Regional Champion in 2002, 2003, and 2004. The SFA Band placed 5th at the 2002 Bands of America Grand National Championships and 4th at the 2004 Bands of America Grand National Championships, winning both Outstanding Music Performance and the Al Castronovo Memorial Esprit de Corps Award. Mr. Westman has also held positions at Elkins High School in Missouri City, Texas and the Indian Prairie School District in Naperville, Illinois.  Dean currently serves as a member of the Music for All Educational Steering Committee and a Board Member for the Avon Education Foundation.

In 2002, Dean was named the Texas Young Bandmaster of the Year by the Texas Bandmaster’s Association. He has taught the Tenrikyo Aimaichi Marching Band from Nagoya, Japan, and has served on the teaching staff for the Bands of America Rose Parade Honor Band of America. Dean continues to guest conduct and present clinics throughout the United States and Japan, including presentations at the Midwest Clinic, the Texas Bandmaster’s Association Convention, the Colorado Bandmaster’s Association Convention, the Texas Music Educator’s Association Convention, the DCI Judges and Instructor Clinic, the Texas Dance Educator’s Association Convention, and the Conn Selmer Institute. He is a proud member of the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, the American String Teacher’s Association, the Indiana State School Music Association, and serves as an Educational Specialist for Conn-Selmer, Inc. Westman was inducted into the Bands of America Hall of Fame in 2018.

Dean has been an active designer, instructor, and arranger in the drum corps activity for 28 years. Westman served as Brass Caption Head for the ten-time Drum Corps International World Champion Cadets, Brass Arranger and instructor for the seven-time Drum Corps International World Champion Santa Clara Vanguard, and taught on the brass staff for the seven-time Drum Corps International World Champion Cavaliers. He was a music consultant for Carolina Crown and Brass Arranger and Program Coordinator for the Troopers, leading America’s Corps to their first DCI Finals appearance in 23 years in 2009. In 2011, Dean instructed the Yokohama Scouts from Yokohama, Japan, as they became the first Japanese Drum and Bugle Corps to ever perform at a DCI World Championship. Westman currently serves as Program Coordinator for the 2016 Drum Corps International World Champion Bluecoats from Canton, Ohio.

Westman is a native of Park Ridge, Illinois and a proud alumnus of the University of Illinois. His conducting and musical mentors include James F. Keene, Gary Smith, Thomas J. Wisniewski, Gordon Henderson, Tim Salzman, and Larry Livingston. He lives in Plainfield, Indiana with his wife Adrianna and their 22-year-old daughter Abigail, who is a Senior Art Education Major at Indiana State University.

Starting from Scratch: Launching a High-Achieving Orchestra Program

In this interview, Dean Westman shares his experiences with Music for All, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the Avon School District.

The Pursuit of Excellence: Using Competition as a Tool to Achieve Excellence

Dean Westman writes on the “journey towards excellence” as a perspective on competition.