Patrick Van Arsdale

Director of Bands - 317-988-7222

Patrick Van Arsdale is the Director of Bands at Ben Davis High School since 2022 while serving as Associate Director of Bands from 2017-2022. Before moving to Indianapolis, Patrick was the Director of Bands at West Jessamine High School in Nicholasville, KY. Patrick completed his Bachelors in Music Education from the University of Kentucky. He perfomed the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and Trumpet ensemble. Patrick also served as drum major for two years in the Wildcat Marching Band. Mr. Van Arsdale has played with musicians such as Manhattan Transfer, Bob Mintzer, Roger Ingram, Brandford Marsalis, Vince DiMartino, Joe Lovano, Tom Hooten, Rex Richardson, Steve Hendrickson, Chris Vadala, New York Philharmonic Brass Quintet, and many more. He has also performed at venues such as the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, Festival en Beaujolais in France, JEN Conference, International Trumpet Guild, National Trumpet Competition - Soloist, National Trumpet Competition - Ensemble, KMEA Conference, and many musicals with the Kentucky Conservatory Theater.

Van Arsdale has taught for schools such as North Hardin and Lafayette High Schools in KY. As a staff member of Lafayette for 2 years, the marching band won 2 KMEA State Championships and 2 BOA Class Regionals. He also spent time volunteering for arts programs around Lexington such as The Lexington Philharmonic.

When not working, Mr. Van Arsdale enjoys spending time with his wife Mikayla, playing with his dog Maxwell, golfing, all things University of Kentucky and Pittsburgh sports, amusement parks, and auto racing.

Gary Rudolph

Associate Director of Bands - 317-988-7249

Gary Rudolph has served as Associate Band Director at Ben Davis High School, and the Percussion Specialist for Wayne Township since 2000. Gary enjoys instructing, arranging, and composing for the percussion section of the Marching Giants, the Percussion Ensemble, and the competitive Winter Percussion Ensemble.

He is currently serving on the Indiana Percussion Association Board of Directors as President-Elect. Mr. Rudolph studied percussion at the University of Kentucky while earning a Bachelors Degree in Music Education. He continued his studies as a graduate assistant at Miami University, where he received a Masters Degree in Music Performance. Throughout his college career, he was active in a variety of musical settings as both a teacher and performer. Mr. Rudolph marched with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps from 1994-1996, and was a member of the instructional staff from 1999-2004. During Mr. Rudolph’s involvement with the corps they were awarded five World Championships, three Best Percussion titles, and 2 Percussion Ensemble Championships.

Besides writing and arranging music, Gary spends his free time golfing, working with computers and traveling with his wife, Mary Beth and their three children, Matthew, Benjamin, and Evynn. The Rudolph family currently resides in Wayne Township.

Ken Karlin

Associate Director of Bands - 317-988-7197

Kenneth J. Karlin holds a degree in music from Ball State University, and also spent a year of study at the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. He has studied saxophone with Eugene Rousseau, Frank Bongiorno and George Wolfe. His jazz studies were with David Baker and Larry McWilliams.

Mr. Karlin was an associate director of bands at James Logan High School in Union City, California from 1999-2012. James Logan is a comprehensive Bay Area high school with over 4,000 students enrolled. Mr. Karlin’s responsibilities there included three jazz big bands, jazz combos, coordinating the 250+ member marching band and staging the indoor winter percussion ensemble. He was the primary conductor of the symphonic band, the second of four wind bands on campus. He was an associate conductor for the wind symphony and two concert bands. During Mr. Karlin’s tenure at James Logan, the marching band won the Western Band Association championship eleven times. The marching band performed in the 1999 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as well as the 2003 Tournament of Roses parade. The James Logan Jazz Ensemble A and combo appeared regularly at the Reno Jazz Festival and the Pacific Coast Collegiate Jazz Festival. The James Logan winter percussion ensemble was a Scholastic World Class finalist at the Winter Color Guard International World Championships in 2004 and 2007. The James Logan Wind Symphony performed at the 2001 Bands of America National Concert Band Festival, the 2003 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, and appeared in 2006 at Carnegie Hall on a program with H. Robert Reynolds and the National Wind Ensemble. In 2009 the wind symphony appeared at the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles Conference at the Cincinnati Conservatory.

Mr. Karlin has served as associate director at Ben Davis since 2012. His duties there include primary conductor of the wind symphony, the top symphonic wind band on campus, co-visual designer (along with Greg Hagen) for the Marching Giants and winter percussion ensemble, and director of jazz ensembles. During his tenure, the Marching Giants have been ISSMA state marching band finalists three times, and Bands of America Grand National Semi-Finalists five times and the winter percussion ensemble has been Scholastic World Class Finalists at the Winter Guard International World Championships twice. The jazz ensembles have produced an Indiana All-State bassist and have developed a small group improvisation curriculum as the centerpiece of the program. The wind symphony has consistently earned superior and excellent ratings in Group I at ISSMA organizational contest and appeared at the 2015 Music for All National Festival.

Mr. Karlin is active as a movement coach and visual designer in the pageantry arts. Since 1995, he has been a member of the visual staff of the 19-time Drum Corps International World Champion Concord Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, and since 1999 has been the visual designer for the five-time DCI Open Class Champion Blue Devils B Drum and Bugle Corps. He was the visual designer for the 2008 DCI finalist Madison Scouts and 2004 BOA Grand Nationals finalist Ayala High School marching band. He began his drum corps career as a marching member of Star of Indiana where he went on to teach the corps from 1989-1992. He is also a member of the staffs of the Blue Knights and Madison Scouts.

Lyujohn Williams

Associate Director of Bands - 317-988-7198

Lyujohn Williams has served as Associate Band Director at Ben Davis High School since 2022. He is a native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He earned his BME at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. At WCU he was able to perform with Symphonic Winds, Jazz Bands, Chorale Orchestra, Show Choir band, and the Knights of Jazz (WCUs advanced jazz combo). During his senior year he won the 2017 William Carey Concerto competition and was able to perform Fandango by Joseph Turrin with the Symphonic Winds. Before coming to Ben Davis, Lyujohn was the Director of Bands at Decatur Middle School. While at Decatur he was responsible for not only overseeing the middle school program but also teaching the high school brass section as well as being an Assistant Director for the Decatur Central Indoor Winds.

Along with teaching, Lyujohn has a passion for performing and plays trumpet for numerous bands around the Indianapolis area, including JoySwing! Jazz Orchestra, the Indiana Wind Symphony, and Pork & Beans Brass Band. When not playing or teaching he enjoys spending time with his wife, Becca, and playing with their dog, Daisy, and cat, Onyx!

Katie Hein

Office Manager - 317-988-7211

Sean Norwood

Director of Color Guard - 317-988-7263

Sean Norwood is the Director of Color Guard at Ben Davis High School having taken over starting in the Fall of 2022.

Sean Norwood began his color guard career in 2006 as a member of the Triton Central Tiger Guard. Through middle school and high school, Sean’s passion for color guard became stronger and stronger. After moving to Greenwood Community High School his senior year, where the Greenwood Irish Guard won the IHSCGA Open Class Gold Medal, Sean decided that he wanted to continue marching. In 2013, he decided to follow his dreams and audition for Onyx Independent World Guard in Dayton, Ohio. Onyx won the WGI Independent World Silver Medal at WGI World Finals in 2013. Sean returned to Onyx for the 2014 season where Onyx won the the Independent World Finals Gold Medal with the third highest score in the history of WGI- 99.1. At this time, Sean was recruited by the late Tod Hinton to work with Ben Davis High School. Ben Davis won the IHSCGA Open Class Gold Medal in 2014, 2015, and the bronze medal in 2016 and 2017. At the end of 2017, Sean was asked to return to his alma mater and become a staff member for the Greenwood Irish Guard. With the Irish Guard, Sean helped lead the color guard to 2 State Championships, as well as a finalist for WGI Open Class in 2022!

Greg Hagen

Program Coordinator

In his 40th year as an instructor and designer for marching bands and color guards throughout Indiana and the nation, Greg Hagen is excited to share his comprehensive experience with the students and staff of the Ben Davis Marching Giants. While he has been involved with numerous successful band and guard programs here in Indiana and around the country, it is Greg’s role as an “architect” that best demonstrates his comprehensive knowledge of the marching arts. Integral in the creation of some of Indiana’s most iconic band and guard programs (Jasper, 1979-1985; Greenwood, 1985-1992 and 2003-present; Lawrence Central, 1992-2010), Greg’s experience and commitment to quality programming and design have greatly impacted the state of marching band and guard in Indiana. As a designer and visual programmer, Greg’s designs have received countless awards and recognitions, including: 18 ISSMA marching band state championships, 9 BOA Regional championships, 2 BOA Grand National championships, 2 Fiesta Bowl championships, 4 IHSCGA state championships (30 total IHSCGA medals), 1 IPA state championship, IPA Winter Winds State Championship, and 1 WGI Percussion Scholastic World Movement championship. In 2005, in honor of his commitment to the circuit and the many guards he has mentored and instructed, the IHSCGA recognized Greg with its prestigious Envoy Award. Through all of his years of involvement with bands and guards, Greg’s true passion lies in guiding and motivating young performers as they strive to reach their potential—both individually, and as a group. Again this year, Greg is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the outstanding students and staff of the BD band program as he begins his new role as program designer and coordinator for the band. Greg is looking forward to the challenges of creating a unique and powerful visual design that will further the storied and iconic reputation of the Marching Giants.

Junior High Directors

Ashley Watson

Director of Bands - Lynhurst 7th/8th Grade Center - 317-988-8197

Ashley Watson is currently a band director at Lynhurst 7th & 8th grade center. She has been teaching in Wayne Township since 2015. During this time, she has taught music and special education in an inclusion setting, as well as being a director for the drama club. Ashley graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Instrumental Music Education and majored in Oboe. She student taught at Ben Davis High School and is an Indianapolis native. Mrs. Watsons passion is educating students who thrive in an environment that gives them opportunities to grow, not only as a musician, but as an adolescent.

When not teaching, Mrs. Watson loves spending time with her family, especially her husband and two children. She is a Disney fanatic as well as a huge fan of watching movies of all genres.

Shawn McNabb

Director of Bands - Chapel Hill 7th/8th Grade Center - 317-988-8815

Shawn McNabb is the Director of Bands at Chapel Hill. He grew up on the west side of Indianapolis and is an alumnus of Ben Davis High School (86’). After high school, Shawn attended Ball State University where he received his Bachelors Degree in Music Education. Currently Mr. McNabb is finishing his Masters Degree at IUPUI in the Masters of Music Technology program. As Associate Director his current responsibilities are: Conductor of the Symphonic Band, assisting with the Wind Symphony, the Concert Band, two jazz bands, winter guard, and serves as the Head of Brass Instruction at Ben Davis. Prior to returning to his alma mater, Shawn served as the Director of Bands at Southport High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. During his time at Southport High School his responsibilities included directing three concert bands, two jazz bands, marching band, winter guard, winter percussion and three orchestras. Before moving back to his home town, Shawn served as an Assistant Director of Bands at Lewis Cass Junior-Senior High School in northern Indiana. While at Lewis Cass, Shawn helped lead the Lewis Cass Marching Kings to the Indiana class C State Marching Band Championships as well as consistent gold ratings in concert band and solo ensemble. His professional memberships include the MENC, IMEA, IBA and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

When not working with the band, Shawn enjoys playing golf, and spending time with his wife Kristina and their two sons Connor and Austin.

Tommy Neidecker

Associate Director of Bands - Lynhurst 7th/8th Grade Center - 317-988-8198

Tommy Neidecker is currently a band director at Lynhurst 7th & 8th Grade Center, serving the school since 2020. Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, Mr. Neidecker studied music education and jazz studies at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music before teaching in Wayne Township. In addition to teaching, Tommy is an in-demand classical and jazz trombonist. While at IU, he performed with the Concert Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, trombone choir, and athletic bands. In 2019, Tommy was also selected as a member of the Disneyland All-American College Band, performing for guests at Disneyland every day. His other notable performance experience includes the Crossroads Brass Band, Southern Indiana Wind Ensemble, and as trombonist for Chicago-based rapper Big Bill. He frequently performs at venues in and around Indianapolis, notable inclusions being the Palladium and the Jazz Kitchen.

Outside of music, Tommy enjoys tormenting his co-teacher Mrs. Watson, watching High School Musical on repeat, and cooking.

Grace Ishikawa

Associate Director of Bands - Chapel Hill 7th/8th Grade Center - 317-988-8805

Ms. Ishikawa is currently a Band Director at Chapel Hill 7th and 8th Grade Center. She began teaching at CHC in 2021. She was raised on the west side of Indianapolis and is an alumna of Ben Davis High School (’14). Upon graduating high school, Grace attended Capital University and earned her Bachelors of Music in Music Education. While at Capital, she performed in the Saxophone Quartet, the Symphonic Winds, organized the first Saxophone Choir, and completed part of her student teaching overseas in Auckland, New Zealand. Miss Ishikawa is also a future soldier of the 38th Infantry Division Band with the Indiana Army National Guard and performs frequently with the Indiana Wind Symphony.

Prior returning to her alma mater, Grace served as the Director of Bands at John Adams High School in South Bend, IN. During her time at John Adams High School, her responsibilities included directing the concert band, jazz band, marching band, and pep band. As a staff member, the Jazz Band earned a Gold Rating in Group I at contest and the Concert Band formed an international partnership with Las Cigarreras, an ensemble in Spain. The directors transcribed “Costalero del Soberano” specifically for the John Adams High School Concert Band and news of the performance went viral via local newspapers, radio stations, and YouTube.

At Chapel Hill 7th and 8th Grade Center, her duties include co-directing the 7th and 8th Grade Bands and the Jazz Band. Her professional memberships include IMEA, IBA, ISSMA, JEN, and Sigma Alpha Iota.

When not working, Miss Ishikawa enjoys working out (running, cycling, weights), cooking delicious vegan food, making latte art, traveling, and spending time with her family and kitten.