Update 2/20/17: Adam Bodony will join the faculty as Assistant Professor of Bands beginning fall 2017. Bodony will serve as the director of the Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestras and oversee the department’s Applied Music program.
Original story: There are two new conductors in the Greater Lafayette area for the 2017-18 season that starts this fall. Just announced, Jonathan Sweet will lead ensembles as Assistant Director of Bands at Purdue University starting in the fall.
The Bach Chorale Singers also just announced their choice as Artistic Director with Michael Bennett. Previously Bennett served as Assistant Director and Youth Chorus Director from 2004-09.
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Sweet served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Kentucky. He taught undergraduate conducting students, marching band techniques, private lessons in the Euphonium studio, conducted the Concert Band, guest conducted the Wind Symphony and Symphony Bands, assisted with the Wildcat Marching Band, and directed the Wildcat Pep Band for Women’s Volleyball, Women’s Gymnastics, and Men’s Basketball.
Prior to arriving at the University of Kentucky, Sweet spent 11 years as a public school band director in Texas, where his groups frequently achieved superior ratings, best in class awards, best in festival awards, outstanding visual awards, and outstanding general effect awards.
In addition to his teaching experience, Jon has operated a marching band design and consultation business, Sweet Marching, where he has designed over 150 shows since 2004. These designs have included performances at Bands of America Grand Nationals, Bands of America Regionals, and Super Regionals, Texas State, Area and Regional Marching Band Championships, and the University of Kentucky. These performances include schools from Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
As the chorale's primary conductor for the 2006-07 season, Bennett was privileged to direct both choruses while on tour in Washington, D.C., at the Washington National Cathedral and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
A native of Roanoke, Va., Bennett is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Music where he received his bachelor's degree in organ performance and the Master of Music degree in organ performance and choral conducting. His primary instructors there were William Jon Gray, Marilyn Keiser and Larry Smith.
Bennett is the Director of Music at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette, where he serves as organist for all services, oversees the parish’s musical offerings, directs the choir program and administers the concert series.
He is also a choral director at Lafayette Jefferson High School where he oversees the choral department and directs several choirs, including the award-winning Varsity Singers, who were state runners-up at the 2016 Indiana State School Music Association concert finals. In 2014 he was recognized for his excellent teaching by the Greater Lafayette Commerce as a Golden Apple Teacher, one of the newest teachers to the profession to have received the award.