Director of Bands
Damon Talley serves as Director of Bands and the Paula G. Manship Associate Professor of Conducting at Louisiana State University School of Music, where he oversees all aspects of the LSU Department of Bands, conducts the Wind Ensemble and teaches graduate conducting. The nationally recognized Band Department at LSU serves as an integral component of the thriving School of Music. Under his leadership, the Department has established an annual conducting symposium, high school and middle school camps that serve hundreds of students annually, and numerous outreach events for public school educators. The Golden Band From Tigerland has been selected to present at national conferences on multiple occasions, and most recently, the LSU Wind Ensemble has been selected to perform at the CBDNA College Band Directors National Association National Convention. Dr. Talley is a strong supporter and advocate of music in the public schools. He regularly serves as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the United States and abroad, including appearances engagements in Germany, Switzerland, England, and Spain, among others.
Prior to his appointment at LSU, Dr. Talley held the position of Director of Bands at Shenandoah Conservatory, where he was responsible for guiding the wind band program, conducting the EDGE New Music Ensemble, and teaching graduate conducting. He has also taught on the faculties at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan. He has recorded on Best Classical Records, and received favorable reviews from publications including Gramophone magazine and the American Record Guide. He has also served as producer or associate producer on commercial recordings by the Naxos, Klavier, and Equilibrium, record labels, and is published in the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series, distributed by GIA Publications.
As an avid supporter of new music for the wind medium, Dr. Talley has conducted numerous world premier performances and has commissioned composers to write for the wind band. He has won praise for his work by composers such as William Bolcom, Steven Mackey, Kevin Puts, Joseph Schwantner, David Maslanka, Donald Grantham, and Michael Daugherty, among others. He regularly hosts visiting composers of national and international status on the campus of LSU, and is a strong advocate for young composers, often premiering pieces by student composers.
Prior to teaching at the university level, Dr. Talley taught in the public schools in Texas at both the middle school and high school levels. He earned the Master of Music degree in Wind Conducting from the University of Michigan and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting from The University of Texas. His principal conducting teachers are Jerry Junkin, Michael Haithcock, and H. Robert Reynolds. Dr. Talley is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma, and holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, the Texas Music Educators Association, the Virginia Music Educators Association, and the Louisiana Music Educators Association. He is also and an Educational Consultant and Clinician for the Conn-Selmer Corporation.
Interim Associate Director of Bands
Dr. Kelvin Jones is the Interim Associate Director of Bands at Louisiana State University. His responsibilities conducting the LSU Symphonic Winds, teaching undergraduate conducting, graduate-level wind literature, and leading the Sudler-winning "Golden Band from Tigerland.”
He is an active drill designer and music arranger for high school and university music programs across the country with his arrangements being performed throughout the United States, including the Dallas Winds. Jones is a 2011 recipient of the Louisiana Music Educators Association’s Young Music Educator of the Year, the 2013 recipient of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra’s Teacher of Distinction, and the 2014 LSU A.P. Tureaud award recipient for significant contributions to the university. His halftime shows have been featured at the 2017 College Band Directors National Association Conference (CBDNA) in Kansas City, MO and the 2018 Southern CBDNA Conference in Tampa, FL. He is the former band director at West Feliciana High School in St. Francisville, Louisiana. At WFHS, he led an active, comprehensive music program that produced numerous award-winning performances at state and national events, including the 2013 United States National Presidential Inauguration Music Festival in Washington DC.
Dr. Jones has also presented at international, national, and state music conferences across the United States, including Ohio, Texas, and Louisiana Music Educators Associations. He is published in the Instrumentalist magazine (Jan. 2014 and Dec. 2015), an active clinician, and has travelled internationally working with music programs in South America (Chile) and with the LSU marching band in Dublin, Ireland. He also serves as a clinician/instructor at the Smith-Walbridge Drum Major Clinic held in Charleston, Illinois working with high school and college drum majors from across the country.
He holds degrees in Music from Jackson State University and Louisiana State University. He is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity Inc., National Association for Music Education, Louisiana Music Educators Association, Louisiana Association of Jazz Educators, HBCU Band Directors Consortium, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. He resides in Zachary, LA with his wife Felicia, a registered nurse, and their bundle of joy son, Samuel aka "BJ".
Interim Assistant Director of Bands
Prior to his time at LSU Mr. Croomes has served as the Director of Bands at Georgetown High School in Georgetown, Texas. Under his baton, the Georgetown Wind Symphony was named a 2014 Mark of Excellence Commended Winner. Earlier in his career Mr. Croomes was the Associate/Interim Director of Bands at Douglas MacArthur High School in San Antonio, Texas. He has also taught at Westview Middle School, Pflugerville High School and Bastrop High School. He has also had the pleasure of serving on the faculty of the University of Texas Longhorn Music Camp from 2001-2014.
Mr. Croomes earned his Bachelor of Music Studies degree from the University of Texas at Austin and is an alumnus of the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps from Rosemont, Illinois. He has performed with ensembles throughout the United States, London, Paris, Switzerland, Germany, and Italy. He has served as an adjudicator and clinician for marching and concert bands throughout the states of Texas and Louisiana.
Cliff Croomes holds an artist/educator endorsement with Innovative Percussion Inc. He also holds professional memberships in the Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, the Percussive Arts Society, Louisiana Music Educators Association and the Texas Music Educators Association.
Mr. Croomes’ professional and personal influences include Jerry Junkin, Dr. Kevin Sedatole, Dr. Rob Carnochan, Dr. Scott Hanna, Dr. Damon Talley, Jeff Fiedler, Erik Johnson, Ferd Vollmar, JD Janda, Kerry Taylor, Don Haynes, Leland Sharrock, George Frock, Tom Burritt, John Hinojosa, Bret Khun and his parents, William and Elaine.
Director of Bands Emeritus
Frank B. Wickes (Carruth Alumni Professor Emeritus) served as Director of Bands at Louisiana State University from 1980 to 2010. Wickes held the rank of full professor in the College of Music and Dramatic Arts. He received degrees from the University of Delaware and the University of Michigan.
In 1999 Wickes was honored at LSU with an endowed Alumni Professorship, and in 2000 received special recognition from the Chancellor for twenty years of distinguished dedication to LSU and his profession. In April of 1994 he was featured in the cover story of the Instrumentalist Magazine. Additional honors include the Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Medal in 1996, the Phi Beta Mu National Bandmaster of the Year in 1998, the Presidency of the National Band Association (1988-1990), the Southern Division Presidency of CBDNA (1988-1990), and the Presidency of the American Bandmasters Association (1997-1998). In 2008 Wickes received the National Band Association's highest honor, the AWAPA (Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts) Award for excellence and exceptional service to the band profession. In November of 2009 he was elected to the Louisiana Music Educators Hall of Fame, and in February 2010 he was inducted into the National Band Association Hall of Fame of Distinguished Band Conductors. In December of 2010 he received the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic Medal of Honor.
Prior to his college teaching career, Wickes taught for fourteen years in the public schools of Delaware and Virginia. His Fort Hunt High School Band of Fairfax County, Virginia (1967-1973) was honored by the John Philip Sousa Foundation with the Sudler Order of Merit as one of the nation's most outstanding high school programs for the decades 1960 -1980. From 1973 -1980 he served as Director of Bands at the University of Florida and in 1976 was named Teacher of the Year in The College of Fine Arts.
At LSU Wickes conducted the Wind Ensemble and taught courses in graduate wind conducting and wind literature. He also served as Director of the Tiger Marching Band. In 1997 the Tiger Band was unanimously named the outstanding marching band of the SEC in a poll taken of the SEC Directors by the Northwest Arkansas Times Newspaper of Fayetteville, Arkansas; and in 2002 the LSU Tiger Band received the Sudler Trophy for a distinguished history of marching and performance excellence. In 2008 the Tiger Band won the "Battle of the Bands," a college marching band contest sponsored by ESPN, Lucasfilm and Paramount Pictures. In the fall of 2009 the Tiger Band was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
Wickes is in constant demand as a clinician having served in that capacity throughout the United States, as well as in England, South America, Mexico, and Canada. He has conducted over 40 All-State bands and has appeared several times at the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan. The LSU Wind Ensemble has received many accolades from Directors nationwide for its artistic performances. Consequently, Wickes received the praise of many notable composers and conductors such as Morton Gould, Vincent Persichetti, Karel Husa, David Maslanka, Libby Larsen, Donald Grantham and Frederick Fennell.