Dr. Melissa Gustafson-Hinds

Director of Bands

Dr. G Headshot Melissa Gustafson-Hinds is in her sixteenth year as Director of Bands O’Fallon Township High School in O’Fallon, Illinois. In addition to her teaching duties at O’Fallon Township High School, Dr. Gustafson-Hinds serves as Performing Arts Department Chair at OTHS and serves as  the Illinois Music Educators Association, Band Division President.  In her time at OTHS, she has brought the band program to new heights in music excellence and has recently earned the honor of the Sudler Flag (2023) for the OTHS Band Program.  Under her direction, the OTHS Marching Panthers have been consistent Bands of America (BOA) Regional and Super Regional finalists, Grand National Semi-Finalists, and a Grand National Finalist in 2018.  In 2015, and 2022, the band marched in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California and in 2018 the band marched in the Hollywood Christmas Parade in Hollywood, California.  The Marching Panthers recently performed in the 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The concert ensembles performed at Carnegie Hall in May 2014, and the Wind Ensemble has performed at the Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival, Music For All National Festival, ILMEA State  Convention, and the Midwest Clinic. The O’Fallon Township Band Program was honored with the NBA Program of Excellence Blue Ribbon Award (2019), along with multiple Music For All Advocacy Awards. 

Dr. Gustafson-Hinds is originally from Monmouth, Illinois. She attended Illinois State University, earning a Bachelor's in music education and graduated with University Honors. Dr. Gustafson-Hinds earned her Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2000, an educational leadership endorsement from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and her Doctorate Degree in Teaching and Learning, with an Emphasis in Music, from the University of Missouri St. Louis in 2010.  She has been teaching in Illinois public schools for 30 years, getting her start in the Unit 5 District in Normal, Illinois, with teachers who helped guide her career.
Dr. Gustafson-Hinds is married to Evan Hinds, who is a music arranger and drill writer and additionally serves as a Percussion Instructor/Arranger for the Marching Panthers of O’Fallon Township High School.  Together they have a daughter named Evelyn, who is 8.

Mr. Philip Carter

Assistant Director of Bands

Philip Carter is originally from Collinsville, IL.  He received his Bachelor’s in Music Education from Illinois State University with a minor in Jazz Performance and his Master’s in Music Education from the University of Georgia.   

Philip is currently the Assistant Director of Bands at O’Fallon Township High School in O’Fallon, IL where he has been since 2018.  There he works in all areas of the program including the nationally recognized Marching Panthers and leads two of the four concert bands and two jazz ensembles. The Marching Panthers were 2018 Bands of America Grand National Finalists and were also chosen to perform at the 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade. 

Prior to working at OTHS, Philip served as Director of Bands at Huntley High School in Huntley, IL from 2015-2018.  There he oversaw the entire program where the Wind Ensemble was selected to perform at the 2018 Illinois Music Education Conference and the 2018 Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival.  The Saxophone Quartet was also selected for the 2018 Music for All National Chamber Music Festival.  It was the first time in school history for all 3 festivals. 

Philip was selected as Winner of the 2018-2019 American Prize in for both Instrumental Conducting and Wind Ensemble Performance, both in the high school division.  He has extensively studied conducting through participation in symposia at the University of Minnesota, Ball State University, the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois.  

Mr. Matthew Murphy

Percussion Director // Assistant Director of Bands

Matthew was born in North Dakota and moved to Southern Illinois around the age of ten, the same year he started drumming. He graduated from Highland High School in 2010 and graduated as an instrumental music education major with a percussion emphasis from Eastern Illinois University in 2015. At EIU, Matthew was active in the Percussion Ensemble, Wind Symphony, the Eastern Symphony Orchestra, as well as many other ensembles. Matthew was the drumline section leader for the Panther Marching Band for three years. Outside of college classes, Matthew marched in the WGI ensemble Freedom Percussion in the 2013 season as a member of the snare section.

Previously, Matthew was the Associate Director of Music / Percussion Director at Cedar Valley High School in Eagle Mountain, Utah. Matthew was also Percussion Director / Arranger for Mater Dei Catholic High School (2018 WGI St. Louis Regional Champion) and Central Community High School, both in Breese, Illinois. In addition, Matthew served as the percussion instructor for the McKendree University Bearcat Band in Lebanon, Illinois. Matthew has instructed a number of scholastic groups in the St. Louis & Salt Lake areas. He is an active clinician, judge, performer, arranger, and private lesson instructor to students of all ages. Matthew is a Board Member of The Utah Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society and an educational endorser of Salyers Percussion.

John Langham

Color Guard Staff // Administrative Band Assistant

John is a native of Memphis, Tennessee and attended Memphis State University in the fall of 1980. He began is color guard career in college and has been involved in the activity every year since. Having been a musician for over 40 years, the resume of his musical accomplishments are quite numerous. He was a member of the All-West Tennessee High School Bands, All-State Tennessee High School Bands, Memphis State University Bands, the Memphis Wind Symphony, and the Germantown Symphony Orchestra. He began teaching color guard in the summer of 1980 and has not missed a single year of teaching since. John currently holds two National titles, the USSBA Group VI 2008 National Champion Munford High School from Munford, TN and the 2011 WGI Scholastic A World Champion O’Fallon Township Varsity Winter Guard. He has worked with many color guards in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois over the past several years. He is entering his 13th year as a staff member at OTHS.

Emily Navarro

Color Guard Director

Emily started her color guard career at Fort Zumwalt West High School. Since then, she has continued her performance career by marching DCI with The Colts in 2015 and 2016, and The Cadets in 2017 and 2018. She has winter guard experience with Avidity A in 2015 and Avidity Open 2016 through 2019.

Emily has worked with multiple color guards in the St. Louis area and well as Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps based out of Austin TX. She is currently director of the Fort Zumwalt North High School Color Guard, a staff member for La Voûte Performance Ensemble and choreographs for City of Fountains Independent.

Emily has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Lindenwood University and resides in St. Louis Missouri. She is excited to be a part of the OTHS color guard staff! 

Evan Hinds

Percussion Coordinator

Evan Hinds is a marching band designer, writing drill and music arrangements for several bands across the country.  He serves as a music program consultant and adjudicator through the United States, for marching band, concert band and chamber ensembles.  Currently, Mr. Hinds is the Ensemble Coordinator for the O’Fallon Township Marching Panthers.  Previously at O’Fallon, duties included caption head for the Marching Panthers Percussion and the director of four concert percussion ensembles. Mr. Hinds has instructed at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, serving as the Marching Bearcats Drumline instructor and arranger along with the Marching Bearcats drill writer.  Additionally at McKendree, he taught private percussion lessons, percussion ensemble, percussion methods, marching band methods, and supervised student teachers for the music education program.  Mr. Hinds is an educational endorser for Innovative Percussion and Remo Drumheads.  In addition, Mr. Hinds was the band director at Triad High School in Troy, IL for eight years and holds music degrees in education and conducting from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Brandon Fink

Visual Director // Color Guard Staff

Brandon Fink is a native Oklahoman and began his color guard training in Oklahoma City. He continued his education with Sarajevo Winter Guard of Siloam Springs, Arkansas (2004) and Insignia Winter Guard of Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas (2005-2007). Brandon choreographed and performed for Eclectix Winter Guard (2008) of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Central Independent (2009) of Edmond, Oklahoma. Brandon was a member of the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps of Canton, Ohio (2005-2008). He has been an active member of the Visual Staff for the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps (2019-2021) and serves as the Founder/Artistic Director at La Voûte (2019-2021).

Brandon received his B.F.A. in Dance Performance from the University of Central Oklahoma. He was a company member with MADCO (2011-2016), The Muny in Fiddler On The Roof (2016), Variety Theatre in Wizard Of Oz (2017)/The Little Mermaid (2018), Opera Theatre of St. Louis in Orfeo and Euridice (2018), Bach Society of St. Louis in Bach In Motion (2019), and Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis in Such Sweet Thunder (2019). Brandon is currently a company dancer at The Big Muddy Dance Company (2016-present) as well as the Director of Educational Programs.

Brandon’s choreography has been presented at the Big Muddy Dance Company, the University of Missouri St. Louis, The University of Central Oklahoma, Florida Atlantic University, the Oklahoma Contemporary Dance Festival, the St. Louis Arts Alliance, the American Dance Troupe, The Convergence Trainee Program, and MADCO. His design, choreography, and instruction within the marching arts reaches programs in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio. Brandon is very thankful for the continued support from his friends, family, and loving husband, Ryan Grigsby.

Brian O'Donnell

Percussion Instructor // Battery Coordinator

Brandon Huff

Visual & Brass Tech

Ashley Kues

Color Guard Staff