Wednesday July 26, 2006

Band Aid

Fresh off his June 30 retirement as Purdue's director of bands, 1972 UD graduate David Leppla is returning home to direct "The Pride of Dayton" marching band that plays at UD football games.

He's helped direct one of the world's largest all-brass and percussion bands at Ohio State, directed the band with the world's largest drum at Purdue and helped kick off the greatest spectacle in racing the last 17 years.

Now, fresh off his June 30 retirement as Purdue's director of bands, Dayton Chaminade High School and 1972 University of Dayton graduate David Leppla is returning home to direct "The Pride of Dayton" marching band that plays at UD football games.

Leppla takes over for Eric Wiltshire who vacated the post in March.

Leppla, a former band director at Dayton Chaminade, Kettering Alter and Vandalia Butler high schools, also will teach in UD's music department and conduct a concert band and jazz band.

"It was a tough decision to retire. Frankly, I never anticipated returning to academic work so quickly," he said. "But when your alma mater calls, you listen carefully. I have found the support at UD is very substantial, from the highest administrative levels and across the University. The department has a true family feel to it. I particularly look forward to the opportunity available to the marching band to serve the University by even greater outreach into the local community."

Leppla left high school teaching to pursue master's and doctorate degrees from Ohio State where he was a graduate assistant director with the marching band. In 1989, he went directly from Ohio State to become the fourth Purdue University marching band director in its 115-year history.

In 1995, Purdue's "All-American" Marching Band was honored with the Sudler Trophy as the best in the country.

He is active in the John Philip Sousa Foundation, the Indianapolis 500 Festival Associates Parade and pre-race band pageant activities, the National Band Association and is the chair of the Sudler Trophy committee.

For more information, contact David Leppla at daleppla@isp.com or 219-261-3719. Purdue University and Leppla's brother, Gary, contributed to the story.