Welcome to Perry Meridian Bands!

The Perry Meridian Band Department comprises over 200 students across multiple ensembles. Our aim as an organization is to offer students the opportunity to showcase a wide array of musical genres and to participate in unique, once-in-a-lifetime performance experiences.

Michael Richardson, Director of Bands

Michael A. Richardson serves as the Director of Bands at Perry Meridian High School, overseeing a diverse range of ensembles including the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, Pep Band, and Marching Falcons. He also manages all extracurricular band activities. Prior to joining Perry Meridian, Mr. Richardson spent nine years as the Director of Bands at Benton Community Schools in Fowler, IN, where he taught grades 6-12.

Mr. Richardson earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Indianapolis, where he actively participated in various performing groups and served as the Director of the University Pep Band. During his undergraduate years, he was also an officer in the UIndy chapter of the National Association for Music Education. His musical training includes studying Horn under Mr. Darin Sorley and Instrumental Conducting under Dr. James Spinazzola.

A dedicated member of the music education community, Mr. Richardson holds memberships in several professional organizations including the National Association for Music Education, Indiana Music Educators Association, Indiana Bandmasters Association, and the Indiana Jazz Educators Association. He frequently serves as an adjudicator for ISSMA Solo & Ensemble and Organizational Festivals.

Mr. Richardson and his wife Jaclyn, who is the Choral Director at Southport High School, reside in Indianapolis with their children Melody, Catherine, and Benjamin.

Cameron Papandria, Assistant Band Director

Cameron Papandria currently serves as the Assistant Band Director at Perry Meridian High School. Originally from the southside of Indianapolis and a graduate of Roncalli High School, Cameron earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Miami University in Oxford, OH, under the guidance of mentors Jeremy Long, Gary Speck, Stephen Lytle, and Brian Meyers.

Prior to his role at Perry Meridian, Cameron spent three years as the Band and Chorus Director at Jac-Cen-Del Community Schools in Osgood, Indiana. There, he taught band and choral classes spanning grades 5 through 12, as well as courses in Music Theory and Applied Music. During his tenure, he founded an after-school Jazz Ensemble and launched a summer marching band program that competed in Central Indiana Track Band Association events and Indiana State Fair Band Day.

Cameron is an active member of esteemed professional organizations including the National Association for Music Education, Indiana Music Educators Association, Indiana Bandmasters Association, and the Indiana Jazz Educators Association. Additionally, he contributes his saxophone talents to the Greater Greenwood Community Band.

Cameron’s musical achievements include participating in the Band Directors Marching Band at the 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, and the 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He also served on the staff for the Music For All Summer Symposium from 2018 to 2020 and conducted the Miami University Pep Band during the 2021-2022 academic year.

Hunter Wheatcraft, Percussion Director

Mr. Wheatcraft is a graduate of Greenwood Community High School, holding a Bachelor’s degree from Butler University and a Master’s degree from the University of New Mexico, both in Percussion Performance. He has extensive experience as a Drumline & Front Ensemble technician at various high schools and currently performs with the Greenwood Community Band.

Although he joined us in 2023, Mr. Wheatcraft is already familiar with Perry Meridian, having worked with the Bands at PMMS since 2022. Now, he is expanding his role to our side of the street. He is enthusiastic about advancing the percussion program at PMHS, building upon its existing strengths and aiming for new achievements.

Tim Patton, Color Guard Director

Tim brings a wealth of experience to Perry Meridian, entering his 18th year teaching color guard and his 12th year as a director. He joined the PMHS staff in 2020 and has previously taught at Southwestern Jr/Sr High School, Paoli Jr/Sr High School, Henryville Jr/Sr High School, Madison Consolidated High School, Monrovia Jr/Sr High School, and Scottsburg High School.

Tim has an impressive track record with his color guards, having led teams to IHSCGA State Finals 8 times and ISSMA State Finals 4 times. His work with guards from Madison and Scottsburg High Schools has earned him 7 medals from the Tri-State Marching Arts Circuit.

Beyond color guard, Tim enjoys photography, crocheting, cooking/baking, and spending time with his dachshund, Walter. He resides in Franklin, IN, with his partner Jonny, with whom he has been together for 8 years.

Tim recently completing a degree in Visual Communications with an emphasis in Photography from Ivy Tech Community College, alongside a professional certificate in Digital Marketing.

Philosophy Statement

We study music because it is a unique form of knowledge and communication. It gives the student a chance to explore an emotional means of communication and discover how to express his/her own feelings in a positive and appropriate manner.

Performance is the primary means of learning in the band program. Through performance, a student achieves musical independence through the development of technical ability, listening skills, ensemble skills, and theoretical knowledge.

Participation in the Concert Band is the primary vehicle for this musical development. Marching Band, Jazz Band, Pep Band, ensembles, and solos enrich the overall musical experience for the students. In such a program, students are exposed to a wide variety of the finest in musical literature, and therefore learn to appreciate the value of music.

Besides achieving true musicianship, students gain an understanding of their musical heritage and develop their creative abilities. Each activity in the band program contributes to a well-rounded musical education and helps students experience the joy and satisfaction of music making.

There are also many valuable by-products of music study through band participation. Students learn the skills of responsible group membership and participation. Participation in band encourages the development of a good work ethic. In addition, current research studies have found the study of music to have positive effects on mental performance and critical thinking skills.

The band program, which has the students as its central focus, promotes learning through the art of music making and the development of musical understanding, will most fully provide all the benefits such a program can offer. We seek to be this type of organization.

Perry Meridian Bands