Bill Laughlin is a 1983 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University. While at the University, he participated in the “Dimensions in Brass” under the direction of the late Jerry Franks (also of Grace College). Mr. Laughlin has earned the Master of Arts in Education degree from Ball State University. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the Indiana Bandmasters Association, the International Trombone Association, American School Band Directors Association, Indiana Music Educators Association, the Music Educators National Conference, and, the Gamma Chapter of the International Band Fraternity – Phi Beta Mu. He has served as an adjudicator for various Indiana, Kentucky and Arizona events, has guest conducted the Indiana Honor Bands several times, and has served on the State Board of the ISSMA, IMEA and IBA organizations (past president of the Indiana Bandmasters).
Mr. Laughlin comes from Paoli, Indiana, where he is the director of the Pride of Paoli band program which has consistently earned top honors in marching band (12 state championships and 2 runner-up finishes in the last 20 years), concert band (consistent superior ratings in both junior and senior high Group I levels), and solo & ensemble participation.
The Phi Beta Mu band fraternity named Bill Laughlin “Indiana Bandmaster of the Year” in 2004. Mr. Laughlin has been the principal trombonist both in the Carmel Symphony and in the Indianapolis Symphonic Band, and is currently playing with the Southern Indiana Wind Ensemble (Bloomington, IN) and the Nostalgia Band of Bedford, IN. He is married to Gayle Laughlin who is the retired assistant director of bands at Paoli. They also have two Old English Sheep dogs named “Luci & Lily”.
Ben Werne is the Assistant Band Director at Paoli Jr/Sr High School. Mr. Werne is a native of Jasper, Indiana and a 2006 graduate of Jasper High School. In May of 2010, he graduated with honors from the University of Evansville, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. Following that in May of 2012, Mr. Werne completed a Masters Degree in Clarinet Performance at Western Michigan University, where he worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Prior to arriving at Paoli in 2014, Mr. Werne taught for two years at Edinburgh Jr/Sr High School and Thompkins Middle School in Evansville.
Mr. Werne is an active performer on clarinet. Since 2008, he has performed as a sub with professional orchestras in Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan. Additionally, Mr. Werne is dedicated to teaching private lessons after school. His students have been earned spots in the Indiana All-State Band, Indiana Junior All-State Band, and have qualified for State Solo and Ensemble. His professional memberships include the International Clarinet Association, Indiana Music Education Association, and the Indiana Bandmasters Association.