Richard Mark Heidel

Director of Bands
Director of Iowa Summer Music Camps

Richard Mark Heidel is director of bands and professor of music in the School of Music at the University of Iowa where he conducts the Iowa Symphony Band, teaches graduate courses in conducting and band literature, guides the graduate band conducting program, and oversees all aspects of the University of Iowa band program. Ensembles under Heidel’s direction have performed at national, regional, and state conferences including those of the College Band Directors National Association, Music Educators National Conference, Iowa Bandmasters Association, Wisconsin Music Educators Association, Illinois Music Educators Association, and National Band Association-Wisconsin Chapter. He has also led concert tours to the Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom as well as throughout the Midwest.

A native of Texas, Heidel holds the Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music in Conducting from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas as well as the Doctor of Education in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His principal teachers include James F. Keene, James Sudduth, Gary Smith, Keith Bearden, Donald Schleicher, John Grashel, Eunice Boardman, Richard Tolley, and Michael Ewald. Prior to his appointment to the University of Iowa faculty in 2008, Heidel served as Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, and as a teaching assistant in the School of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to his university teaching experiences, Heidel taught in Texas for nine years serving as Director of Bands at Muleshoe High School, Levelland High School, and Monterey High School in Lubbock. 

Heidel has been distinguished with memberships in numerous national and international honor societies and fraternities including Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi, Kappa Delta Pi, Pi Nu Epsilon, and Golden Key. He was the recipient of the Outstanding Musician award at Texas Tech University in both 1985 and 1986, and in 1997, he received the A. A. Harding award at the University of Illinois for the "highest possible achievement, service, and devotion to the University Bands." In 2002, Heidel was named to the "Who's Who Among America's Teachers," and in 2003 and 2010 he received the Citation of Excellence from the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Band Association. In 2005, he was initiated into Sigma Alpha Iota as a National Arts Associate, and in 2008, he was elected to membership into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. Heidel received the Collegiate Teaching Award from the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2012, and a Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association in 2016.

Heidel has presented clinics and workshops at state music conferences and universities in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, and he has appeared as a guest conductor and clinician in more than 30 states, Washington, D.C., and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. In 2003, Heidel served as an adjudicator for the Limerick International Marching Band Competition and the 100th St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin, Ireland. Heidel was the conductor of the Asia Pacific Activities Conference APAC Band in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2016, and conductor of the Association of Music in International Schools High School Honor Band in Salzburg, Austria in 2019. Heidel has two commercial compact disc recordings to his credit including TRADITION featuring live performances of the Iowa Symphony Band released by Equilibrium in 2017, and Martyrs for the Faith featuring Kenneth Tse, saxophone with the Iowa Symphony Band released by MSR Classics in 2012. 

Heidel currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Band Association and American Bandmasters Association, and is the State of Iowa Representative for the College Band Directors National Association as well as Past President of the Big Ten Band Directors Association. His list of more than 30 publications includes articles in the National Band Association Journal, Teaching Music, Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, and Iowa Music Educator. Heidel is Director of the Iowa Summer Music Camps, and he has taught for summer programs at the Shell Lake Arts Center (WI), Texas Tech University Band and Orchestra Camp, Illinois Summer Youth Music Program, and the International Music Camp. Heidel, an active trumpet player, frequently performs with orchestras and big bands in Iowa. 


Research areas
  • Conducting and ensembles
  • Band
Portrait of Richard Mark Heidel
Contact Information

University of Iowa
4002 Voxman Music Building (VOX)
93 East Burlington Street
Iowa City, IA 52240
United States