Meet Our Musical Director, Joey Shepherd
Joey Shepherd grew up in the area and graduated from Whitko High School. He is a 2008 graduate of Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana with a BA in Music Education.
Mr. Shepherd has taught elementary general music as well as middle school and high school band and choir throughout northern Indiana. In 2012, he returned to his roots and became the director of bands in Whitko Community Schools. Under Mr. Shepherd’s direction, the Whitko Bands have received high honors. The high school band received its first-ever All Music Award from the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) in 2014 for receiving a Gold rating in all ISSMA contests, and the band has continued to receive this honor each year since. The Whitko Marching Pride has placed very high in Scholastic Class State Finals as well as being a Class D Semi-State Finalist the past two years.
Mr. Shepherd performs regularly in the community on trumpet as well as percussion. In addition to playing with Lake Area Community Band, he has performed with the Manchester Civic Band, Manchester Symphony Orchestra, Grace College Community Wind Ensemble, and Truth in Jazz. Mr. Shepherd also currently serves on the ISSMA state board of directors.
Meet Our Assistant Director, Marty Becker
Martin R. Becker is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. He holds a B.M.E. from Morehead State University and a Master of Arts in Music Education and Performance from Ball State University. Mr. Becker has been teaching instrumental music for forty-nine years. He was a high school band director for 34 years. In 2002, he retired as the Director of Bands for Warsaw Community Schools, a position he held for seventeen years. He is now in his fifteenth year as the director of the Lake Area Community Band. In addition, he currently directs the Grace College Community Wind Ensemble and the Warsaw Optimist Singers.
He plays trumpet with the Truth in Jazz Big Band from Elkhart and with the Symphony of the Lakes, under the auspices of the Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts in Warsaw, Indiana. In addition to his playing and conducting, Mr. Becker serves as an adjudicator for Indiana State School Music Association. He is a Tour Director for Music Travel Consultants and has traveled extensively with music ensembles throughout the United States and Europe. He has served as Associate Conductor of the Indiana Ambassadors of Music Symphonic Band for the past twenty years.
Mr. Becker holds membership with the Indiana Bandmasters Association, National Band Association, Indiana Music Educators, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Beta Mu, International Trumpet Guild and the Warsaw Morning Optimists Club. Twice he has served as president of the Indiana State School Music Association and the Indiana Bandmaster’s Association. He has received the Indiana Music Educator’s Distinguished Music Educator award. In 1994, he was awarded the Phi Beta Mu Indiana Outstanding Bandmaster award at the All State Band weekend. In 2002, the Ball State University Music Department presented him an Outstanding Alumni award. In 2009, he was elected to the Indiana Band Director Hall of Fame. In 2015, he was recognized by Peer Music Educators from Illinois, Michigan and Indiana and was awarded Michiana Outstanding Music Educator, sponsored by Quinlan and Fabish Music Company.