Matthew P. Bufis - Director of Bands, Lead Teacher for Fine Arts
Phone: (847) 424-7853
Matthew P. Bufis joined the music faculty at Evanston Township High School in June of 2012 and was later named Director of Bands in June of 2016. Mr. Bufis leads the Wildkit Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Wind Symphony, teaches Guitar classes, and is the instrumental sponsor for the YAMO pit orchestra – the musical accompaniment to a student written and directed theatre production at ETHS. Under his direction, the ETHS Wind Symphony has risen to new levels of distinction, with multiple invite performances at the University of Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival and a 2018 Illinois Music Educators Conference performance, both of which are first-time honors for the program. The Wildkit Marching Band also continues an upward trajectory, with a seventy percent enrollment growth rate and steady progress in scores and placements at competitions over the last five seasons. Mr. Bufis is actively involved in activities that enhance learning at ETHS, serving on the Disciplinary Literacy, Teacher Evaluation, School Day (scheduling), and ETHS Foundation committees as well as maintaining his role as Lead Teacher for Fine Arts through which he organizes events, maintains the facility and equipment, plans professional development opportunities, and facilitates the music honors program.
Prior to his appointment at ETHS, Mr. Bufis completed two successful tenures at Westmont High School in Illinois and Great Mills High School in Maryland, where he is responsible for leading both programs to distinction. Ensembles under his direction performed at the Maryland State High School Band Festival and the Illinois Superstate Band Festival many times. Mr. Bufis is responsible for pioneering artist-in-residency programs at each of his former posts, collaborating with guest performers and conductors – most notably Ronald Romm (The Canadian Brass), Thomas Jöstlein (St. Louis Symphony), and composer Eric Ewazen (Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra – wind ensemble transcription premiere 2006). The Great Mills Wind Ensemble also performed annually at the Maryland Day ceremony in historic St. Mary’s City, including a performance attended by Governor Robert Ehrlich.
A native of New Jersey, he holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York and a Master in Music Education degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently completing coursework for a Master in Principal Preparation at Concordia University in Chicago. Mr. Bufis studied conducting with Stephen G. Peterson, James F. Keene, Joseph Manfredo, and Donald Schleicher and has pursued additional training through conducting symposiums lead by Mallory Thompson, John Whitwell, Jamie Nix, H. Robert Reynolds, and Allan McMurray. He studied euphonium, his primary instrument, with David Unland, Mark Moore, and Kenneth Steinsultz.
Mr. Bufis is an active guest lecturer on the topics of leadership and management, curriculum design, music teacher evaluation, music technology, and music education advocacy, presenting his work in these areas at state and national conferences and universities. He is also an active clinician and adjudicator, working with bands of all ages and ability levels. He has served as a leadership consultant for bands and sports teams on the East Coast and throughout the Midwest working with students, coaches, and teachers. Mr. Bufis has received many National Band Association Citations of Excellence in recognition of the Westmont and Evanston Township High School Band performances at the Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival and has been nominated for inclusion in various “Who’s Who” publications since 2004. He is an active member of ILMEA, NAfME, Phi Beta Mu, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Mr. Bufis is an Eagle Scout of Troop 76 in Ringwood, New Jersey and garnered a varsity letter in collegiate men’s swimming for his three years as an Ithaca College Bomber.
Haley Nichol - Associate Director of Bands, Assistant Director of Jazz and Marching Bands
Phone: (847) 424-7869
In May of 2017, Haley Nichol was appointed as the Associate Director of Bands, Assistant Director of the Jazz Program and Assistant Director of the Wildkit Marching Band at Evanston Township High School. In addition to these roles, she is also an advisor for the YAMOrchestra and a director of the Basketball Pep Band. During the school day, Ms. Nichol leads the Symphonic Band and also teaches multiple levels of the curricular music technology classes at ETHS. Since beginning her tenure at ETHS, Ms. Nichol has conducted the ETHS Wind Symphony at multiple prestigious venues and events including their performance at Symphony Center, the 2018 Illinois Music Educators Conference, and the 2019 Music For All National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis, IN.
Prior to coming to Evanston Township High School, Ms. Nichol was the Assistant Band and Orchestra Director at Vernon Hills High School for the 2016-2017 school year. There, she taught concert band and orchestra courses while also directing the extracurricular jazz and pep bands. In her year at Vernon Hills, Ms. Nichol created both the first ever Lab Jazz Band and Basketball Pep Band for the program. Under her direction, the Basketball Pep Band grew to have 30+ students in its debut year and the Lab Jazz Band performed at the Jazz in the Meadows Festival.
Ms. Nichol graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education degree with High Distinction from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2016. She studied classical saxophone with Dr. Otis Murphy as well as jazz pedagogy with Dr. Lissa May. During her time at IU, she was a member of the traditional wind ensembles as well as extra-curricular performing groups. She was a three-year member of the IU Marching Hundred where she received opportunities to perform for the Indianapolis Colts, at Yankee Stadium for the Pinstripe Bowl, and regularly at multiple Big Ten venues. Similarly, Ms. Nichol also performed in the Big Red Basketball Band for three years in NCAA games and tournaments.