Dr. Stephen Grugin has served as the Conductor and Artistic Director of the Marquette City Band since 2012. He is in his twentieth year as the Director of Bands and Professor of Low Brass at Northern Michigan University. At NMU, in addition to conducting the University Symphonic Band and Wildcat Marching Band, he teaches trombone, euphonium and tuba, as well as courses in music education. He has previously held positions as the Associate Director of Bands at Western Michigan University, Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas and Western Kentucky University, and as the Director of Instrumental Music at Talawanda High School in Oxford, Ohio.
Dr. Grugin earned bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and Jazz Studies at The Ohio State University, and a Master of Music degree in Band Conducting at Northwestern University. His PhD in Music Education is from The Florida State University. As a student he performed with groups that have appeared at several national music conventions as well as the Nice, France and Montreux, Switzerland International Jazz Festivals. He also spent a summer performing with the All-American College Band at Walt Disney World.
Currently serving as the principal trombonist in the Marquette Symphony Orchestra,
Dr. Grugin previously played in community orchestras in Middletown, Ohio, and Kalamazoo, Michigan, and has performed with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra. Locally, he is a member of the MSO Brass Quintet and performs with the Westerly Winds Big Band.
During the summer months, Dr. Grugin has served on the faculty at various music camps including the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. In 2010, he conducted the Blue Lake International Southern Winds on its European tour with performances in France, Germany, Austria and Belgium. He conducts the Marquette City Band in a series of concerts in Marquette, many at the band shell in the city’s scenic Presque Isle Park.
Appearances as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator have taken Dr. Grugin to many U.S. states as well as Canada, Japan and several European countries. In 2011, as a delegate to Marquette’s sister city Higashiomi, Japan, he presented clinics for high school bands. Dr. Grugin is also active as an arranger for various musical ensembles. His American Classics Suite, an arrangement for trombone ensemble, has been performed in the U.S. and London and was also broadcast on Hungarian National Radio. The Marquette Symphony Orchestra and the Marquette City Band have also performed his arrangements, as well as more than 20 university marching bands across the country.
Dr. Grugin is a member of the National Band Association, the College Band Directors National Association, and an honorary member of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association. He currently serves as Chair of the Marquette Symphony Orchestra’s Artistic Advisory Committee and is President of the Board of Directors for the Superior Arts Youth Theatre.
He is married to Betsy Grugin, who is the Band Director at Aspen Ridge Middle School and Personnel Manager/Librarian of the Marquette Symphony Orchestra. Their three children, Elizabeth, Mallory and Kayla are active in music, theater and dance. In his leisure time Dr. Grugin enjoys skiing, hiking and camping.