602 F Street
LaPorte, IN 46350
Phone: 219-362-3102 Fax: 219-324-2142

Principal: Mr. Ben Tonagel
Associate Principal: Mr.Scott Upp

Music Department Staff

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Mickey Stisher | Charles Steck | Pete Collins | Thomas Coe | Jane DeVries

Mickey Stisher

Mickey Stisher has held the position of Director of Music at LaPorte High School in LaPorte, Indiana 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 with Frank Wickes.  Previous positions include Associate Director of Bands at Jefferson City High School in Missouri, and Director of Bands at Yorktown High School in Indiana.  Bands under his direction have performed in the Orange, Fiesta, and Citrus Bowl Parades and Field Competitions, the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade, Disney World’s EPCOT Center and Magic Kingdom, both the ISSMA State Concert Band and Marching Band Finals, both Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacer games, been named Honor Band at numerous jazz festivals, and performed at the Indiana Music Educators Association State Convention.  Mr. 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.  A former Drum Corps Midwest and Drum Corps International judge as well as Director of Training for the Drum Corps Midwest Judges Guild, he 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 also both founder and director of the National Band Association Indiana All-Star Marching Band featured annually in the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade since 1998.  Mr. Stisher is a member of the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Charles Steck

Charles Steck has been a long-time educator performer, and conductor, throughout the Michiana area.  He holds both undergraduate and undergraduate degrees from Valparaiso University, and has done advanced study at Purdue University, the VanderCook College of Music, and the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University.
As an educator, Mr. Steck holds positions at LaPorte High School, where he teaches band, choir, Music Theory, and Music History; he also directs the Pep Band, Jazz Lab and Studio bands, and works with the Marching Band. Mr. Steck also teaches at Valparaiso University, where he instructs trumpet. In 2013, he became the conductor of the La Porte City Band, after a long career in the trumpet section.
Awards he has received have included La Porte County Outstanding Educator in 2007, sponsored by the LaPorte Herald Argus, “Michiana Music Educator of the Year” for 2011, sponsored by the Quinlan and Fabish Music Company, and he was named a 2013 Indiana Influential Educator, in a student academic all-star program sponsored by the Indianapolis Star and the Indiana Association of School Principals.
As a performer Mr. Steck regularly performs with the La Porte City Band, St. Joseph (Michigan) Municipal Band, the Tom Milo Big Band, the La Porte County Symphony, and the Elkhart County Symphony Orchestra. His brass quintet, the North American Brass Company, has performed concerts, recitals, and master classes throughout the Midwest, and has played performances which have raised funds for such groups as CASA and the Heroin Awareness Project.

Pete Collins

Pete Collins has been Orchestra Director for the La Porte Community School Corporation (grades 6-12) since 1989. He teaches string classes at Boston and Kesling Middle Schools. He also conducts the Concert Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra at La Porte High School. His middle school and high school groups have consistently received Gold ratings at Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) Organization Festivals.  
Mr. Collins is the associate principal viola of the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra and has led the orchestra three times as guest conductor. He was Music Director & Conductor of the South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra for four years (August 2006-May 2010). From January 2004 to May 2006, he served as conductor of the South Bend Youth Concert Orchestra.
Mr. Collins adjudicates at ISSMA District and State Solo & Ensemble events, as well as middle school and high school ISSMA Organization Festivals.  He has also served on the ISSMA State Board. From 2002-2004, he was President of the Indiana Chapter of the American String Teachers Association with National School Orchestra Association (ASTA with NSOA). He has also served as a clinician for the Indiana Music Educators Association Non-Competitive Festivals. For eight summers, he was a viola instructor at Great Lake Music Camp, Valparaiso.
Mr. Collins grew up in Fort Wayne, IN and participated in the Fort Wayne Youth Symphony. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Ball State University in 1985. He began his teaching career as Orchestra Director at Oak Hill Jr./Sr. High School in Converse, IN and taught there for four years. He has taken graduate level courses at IU South Bend, Indiana Wesleyan University and Valparaiso University.
Mr. Collins and his wife, Dianne, have two adult sons.

Thomas Coe

Thomas Coe is the choral director at LaPorte High School.  He holds degrees from Indiana University and Ball State University. Since 1994, Mr. Coe has taught elementary, middle and high school in the Valparaiso, Duneland, and Penn schools before coming to LaPorte in 1999.  He has been a member of the South Bend Chamber Singers, South Shore Choral Artists and Camerata Singers.  Mr. Coe directs five of the six choral ensembles at LPHS including the Beginning and Intermediate Women's Choruses, Treble Chorale, Mixed Chorale, and Show Choir.  He lives in LaPorte with his wife, Robin, and their cats.

Jane DeVries

Jane DeVries holds a B.A. in Music from Indiana State University and is a Certified Music Practitioner.  She has been both a performer and private teacher for over 30 years.  She accompanied the choirs at the Middle School and High School levels in the Duneland School Corporation in Chesterton as well as various ISSMA competitions and the Porter County Children's Choir before coming to LaPorte in 2006.  Mrs. DeVries is the principal oboist of the South Chore Orchestra and the Michigan City Municipal Band, and is the organist for Augsburg Lutheran Church in Porter, Indiana.  She resides in Chesterton and has two daughters, two sons, and numerous pets.  When not working she enjoys reading, gardening, sewing, and spending time with her children.