Heidenreich named Tech’s new Director of Bands

Aug 11, 2021 | Alumni, General News, Liberal Arts, Students, Tech Family

Dr. Christopher P. Heidenreich is Louisiana Tech’s new Director of Bands, beginning this fall.

Dr. Chrisopher HeidenreichHeidenreich (pronounced “hidin’ rike”) comes to Ruston after serving at the University of Michigan-Flint since 2009. Prior work includes three years at Youngstown State University and 14 teaching public school in Ohio. He completed his Doctor of Music in Wind Conducting from Indiana University (2006), holds a Master of Arts in Music Education from The Ohio State University (1998) and a Bachelor of Music degree from Bowling Green State University (1989), where he graduated cum laude.

The hiring comes after the retirement this summer of Jim Robken, a Tech music education graduate and leader of the University’s bands for the past 30 years.

“The faculty and students are really excited about Dr. Heidenreich’s appointment; he represents a new era for the band program here at Louisiana Tech,” Dr. Michael Austin, Founding Director of Tech’s School of Music, said. “We weren’t looking for someone to ‘replace’ Jim Robken, but rather, we were interested in finding someone who would be able to build on his legacy and take the band program to new heights and push them in new directions.

“Dr. Heidenreich brings with him a lot of talent, experience, and expertise that will help us to attract new students and provide a well-rounded ensemble experience for our current students,” Austin said. “I also believe that he has what it takes to really challenge our band members and the students who take his courses to grow and mature as musicians.” 

From 2011-2021 he served as Conductor and Music Director of the Washtenaw Community Concert Band of Ann Arbor, Mich. In 2002, he was awarded the American School Band Directors Association’s “Distinguished Band Director” Award for Ohio and the North Central Region, and in 2013 UM-Flint awarded him the Faculty Distinguished Service Award. The Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association granted him with an Honorary Membership for service to the state in 2020.

“I was so impressed with the students and faculty during my interview process,” Heidenreich said. “Louisiana Tech has a rich history, but there is also an energy and ambition to do more. Bands are an important part of a university, and it is my hope to create memories and an experience for the students that enriches their time at Tech.”

Heidenreich has long been in demand as an adjudicator for concert and marching bands throughout Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois. He has presented at the Midwest Clinic, the Michigan Music Conference, and the Ohio Music Education Association Convention. In addition, he is a contributor to Teaching Music Through Performing in Band, and has published various articles in The National Band Association Journal, The Instrumentalist, The International Trumpet Guild, The Association of Concert Bands Journal and The WASBE World Magazine.

Heidenreich studied under the mentorship of Ray E. Cramer and Stephen W. Pratt while at IU and assisted there with the Marching Hundred. He held various guest conducting responsibilities with each of the wind bands and continued trumpet study with Professor Joey Tartell.  His doctoral project, completed in partial fulfillment of the degree, included creating a new edition of Gordon Jacob’s An Original Suite, composed in 1924. His new editions of the Jacob and Kalinnikov’s Symphony No. 1 in G Minor receive regular national and international performances.

Heidenreich is a member of the National Association for Music Educators, Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, the College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, and a lifetime member of the National Eagle Scout Association. He and his wife Beth have two children: Jillian, who is a doctorate candidate in Occupational Therapy, and Daniel, a Cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.