Dr. Melissa Gustafson-Hinds
Director of Bands
Melissa Gustafson-Hinds is in her thirteenth 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 Music Department Chair at OTHS and most recently served as the District VI Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA) President.
In her time at OTHS, she has brought the band program to new heights in music excellence. 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, the band marched in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California (and an upcoming appearance now in 2022) and in 2018 the band marched in the Hollywood Christmas Parade in Hollywood, California. The concert ensembles performed at Carnegie Hall in May 2014, and the Wind Ensemble has performed at the Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival, the National Concert Band Festival, and the ILMEA State Convention. For a week in February 2015, the OTHS Band Program hosted David Maslanka at and received intensive clinics from him, ending the week with a concert held in his honor. Other distinguished clinicians the band has worked with include James Keene, Steve Steele, Dick Floyd, Mallory Thompson, Kevin Sedatole, Mike Fansler, and Steve Davis. O’Fallon Township has been honored with the NBA Program of Excellence Blue Ribbon Award and two Music For All Advocacy Awards.
Melissa Gustafson-Hinds is originally from Monmouth, Illinois. She attended Illinois State University, earning a bachelor's in music education, graduating with University Honors. Melissa 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.
Melissa is married to Evan Hinds, who is a music arranger, drill writer, and music adjudicator and additionally, serves as the Music Director for the Marching Panthers. Together they have a daughter named Evelyn who is 5 years old.
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.
Percussion Instructor, Front Ensemble Coordinator
Dylan began his front ensemble career as a member of the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps, playing vibraphone and marimba in 2011-12, respectively. He performed as a member of WGI World-Class Finalist Matrix Percussion from 2013-2016, serving as front ensemble section leader in 2015-16 and traveling with the group to Chaiyi City, Taiwan for a series of masterclasses and performances in 2016. In 2017, Dylan crossed over to the teaching side with Matrix Performing Arts, serving as front ensemble instructor and coordinator in 2017-18, respectively. Since 2017, Dylan has also served as a front ensemble instructor with the renowned Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps.
Dylan has also been an active performer and educator outside the marching arts. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the Ohio State University, where he focused primarily on jazz improvisation. Dylan was an active jazz vibraphonist in Columbus, Ohio for a number of years before relocating to the St. Louis area in 2019, performing in various venues and festivals, including Columbus’ renowned Jazz & Ribs Festival and the Creekside Jazz and Blues Festival. Dylan also recorded two albums as a member of the Columbus-based Liz Woolley Band.
In 2020, Dylan began serving as a founding member of the D’addario Percussion Collective. As part of the D’addario Education and Outreach Program, the quartet of accomplished percussionist-educators presented a series of masterclasses and performances at a number of celebrated institutions across the country, including The Woodlands High School, Carmel High School, Blinn College in Brenham, TX, Wright State University in Dayton, OH, and many others.
Dylan Bram is originally from Columbus, Ohio. He currently serves as Front Ensemble Coordinator and Percussion Instructor at O’Fallon Township High School. He also serves as Front Ensemble Coordinator at Collinsville High School, and maintains an active client base as a designer for marching and concert percussion programs across the Midwest.
Color Guard Staff
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.
Color Guard Staff
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 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.