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Honoring La Porte role models

May 20, 2019 GMT

La PORTE — On Wednesday, at the La Porte High School Bands’ Pops Concert, La Porte Mayor Mark Krentz proclaimed June 2 as Mickey and Teri Stisher Day in the City of La Porte.

The public is invited celebrate Mickey and Teri Stisher as they retire after 31 years of serving and educating thousands of LPHS students.

An open house, hosted by the La Porte Marching Band will be held June 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the La Porte High School Performing Arts Center, 602 F St., La Porte.

There are three ways to celebrate the Stishers:

• Meet and greet with Mickey and Teri from 1 to 4 p.m. Attend the open house and express your thanks, well wishes and love for them. As a keepsake of this event, a photographer will be on hand to take your photo with Mickey and Teri. Light refreshments will be served in “Main Street”. Visit with current and former band students and families. Stay for a brief concert by the Stisher Alumni Band at 4 p.m.


• Be part of the “Stisher Alumni Band”, who will perform a brief concert at the conclusion of the open house. See below.

• Give a tax-deductible gift to the Stishers that will go on forever, by donating to the “Stisher Family Scholarship”. See below.

As part of the celebration of Mickey and Teri Stisher, organizers are putting together a “Stisher Alumni Band” for a brief concert at the end of the open house on June 2. Former or current band members are invited to register for this special event. You must be registered to participate.

To participate, email the following information to Dale Knouse at dale@cutlerfuneralhome.com by May 29: Name, address, email, cell phone, instrument, part you will be playing, year you graduated/attended LPHS.

You must have or provide your own instrument. Once emailed registration is received, you will be emailed a link to download and print your parts. Please practice. Rehearsal will be in the LPHS Band Room, 3 to 3:45 p.m. on June 2. A brief concert will follow the rehearsal and begin at 4 p.m. in the LPHS PAC. Please share this information with as many former “Stisher Students” as possible.

Help establish a scholarship that will honor Mickey, Teri and their family by making a tax-deductible gift to the “Stisher Family Scholarship.” The goal is to raise at least $25,000 to establish yearly scholarship gifts totaling $1,000 to students of LPHS band and guard programs. This fund will continue to grow over the years as donations continue. For each $25,000 raised, $1,000 can be given yearly to students.


The scholarship will be established through the Unity Foundation. Selection criteria will be announced in the coming months.

To make a tax-deductible gift, please: Make checks out to the “La Porte Music Club” (a 501c3 nonprofit organization). Mail Checks to – La Porte Music Club, 2900 Monroe St., La Porte, IN 46350. Make a check or cash donation at the open house on June 2. Contribute online at https://www.gofundme.com/stisher-family-scholarship

For more information, contact Dale Knouse at dale@cutlerfuneralhome.com.

Stisher has held the position of Director of Music at La Porte High School since 1988.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Instrumental Music Education from Ball State University and a Master of Music Degree in Wind Conducting from Louisiana State University where he served as Conducting Intern and Graduate Assistant with Frank Wickes and the Department of Bands.

He was the Associate Director of Bands at Jefferson City High School in Missouri and Director of Bands at Yorktown High School in Indiana.

Stisher is the Past President of the Indiana Bandmasters Association, the Indiana State Chairman for the National Band Association, a two-time past President of the Indiana State School Music Association, a past Secretary of the International Association of Jazz Educators Indiana Unit, and the former Contest Director for the Midwest Color Guard Circuit.

In 2006, he was named the Outstanding Indiana Bandmaster by the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity and in 2007, he was a recipient of the Chicagoland Outstanding High School Music Educator Award. He was also inducted into the Midwest Color Guard Circuit Hall of Fame in 2009.

He is a former Drum Corps Midwest and Drum Corps International judge as well as Director of Training for the Drum Corps Midwest Judges Guild. He then left the judging community to become a member of the brass staff for the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps of Toledo, Ohio, in 2000.

After assisting the brass staff of the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps of Boston, Massachusetts, in 2008, he then returned to the Glassmen for the 2010 season and continued until the group went inactive in 2013. He is both founder and director of the National Band Association Indiana All-Star Marching Band featured annually in the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade since 1998. Stisher is a member of the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

The LPHS Jazz Fest, founded by Stisher, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019. Stisher founded the Jazz Fest with his longtime friend and bass player, Jim Widner. Each year performances feature all LPHS Jazz Bands with professional guest artists.

Under the direction of Stisher, the Wind Ensemble is a three-time ISSMA State Concert Band Finalist while the Jazz Band has won Jazz Festivals in Indiana and Missouri as well as being selected to perform at the Indiana Music Education Association State Convention.

The La Porte Marching Band established a tradition of being one of the more entertaining competitive bands in Indiana. LPMB was the ISSMA 2014 Scholastic A Class State Champion; ISSMA State Runner-Up in 2015, 2016, and 2018; and ISSMA State Finalist in 1991, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

In 2017, the LPMB represented Indiana in the International Lions Club Parade in Chicago and placed third out of all bands. They placed second twice at the Florida Citrus Bowl Music Festival, been featured in three Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parades, and performed multiple times at Disney World in both the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.

He is the founder of the La Porte Winter Guard starting the program in 1990. The Winter Guard has won many Midwest Color Guard Circuit Championships and been a Finalist at the Winter Guard International World Championships four times.

Under his administration and direction, the LPHS Band program which includes the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Marching Band, Winter Guard, Jazz Band, Jazz Lab Band and Pep Band has been awarded the ISSMA “All Music Award” for excellence every year since the award was established in 2002.

He and his wife, Teri, have for the past 31 years resided, worked and raised their two daughters, Shauna and Lyndee, in La Porte. Teri has faithfully accompanied her husband through this portion of their life’s journey. She has spent countless hours sewing, creating and mending color guard costumes and flags. Teri worked numerous music competitions, planned and executed various fundraisers, and chaperoned uncountable music program trips. She has prepared endless meals and attended an infinite number of events all while managing her own career, home and family.

The Stishers have given abundantly of their time, energy and funds in service to the students of La Porte County for 31 years. The City of La Porte is proud to have Mickey and Teri Stisher as exemplary role models to the students of their community.

— From staff reports