Meet Our Directors

Michael A. Richardson is the Director of Bands for the Benton Community School Corporation. He has served in this capacity since August 2010. He is responsible for direction of all curricular Concert Bands, Pep Band, the BC Jazz Bands, Pit Band for the Musical, and the Bison Marching Band. Prior to accepting the position at Benton Central, Mr. Richardson student taught at Fishers High School in Fishers, IN and Perry Meridian Middle School in Indianapolis, IN. He is a 2006 graduate of Columbus East High School in Columbus, IN. 

Mr. Richardson did his undergraduate work at the University of Indianapolis and received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education. During his time there, he was a member of several performing groups including serving as Director of the University Pep Band. He also served as an officer for three years in the UIndy Chapter of the National Association for Music Education. Mr. Richardson studied Horn under Mr. Darin Sorley and Instrumental Conducting with Dr. James Spinazzola.

At the 2017 Indiana Music Educators Convention, Mr. Richardson presented a session entitled, "Rural Music Education: Big Results in Small Communities". In 2009, he received the Professional Achievement Award from the National Association for Music Education and Outstanding Future Music Educator from IMEA. He also received the Stephen Michael Kawalek Outstanding Instrumentalist Award from the University of Indianapolis. Mr. Richardson is a member of the National Association for Music Education, Indiana Music Educators Association, Indiana Jazz Educators Association, and the Indiana Bandmasters Association.

Mr. Richardson has served as guest conductor for the Lafayette Citizens Band, the 2015 W.H. Harrison High School England Tour Band, the 2009 Lebanon (IN) Community Arts Festival, the Bartholomew Consolidated Schools Summer Band, Perry Meridian Middle School Concert Band, University of Indianapolis Wind Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble. In summer 2012 he was Co-Director of the Summer Band Program in the West Lafayette Schools. He is currently an active playing member of the Lafayette Citizens Band and consistently serves as an ISSMA adjudicator.

His wife Jaclyn is the Choral Director at W. H. Harrison High School in West Lafayette. They reside in the Lafayette area with their daughters Melody & Catherine, and their dog Bowser.

Sara DesBiens is ecstatic to join Benton Community Schools as a Band Director for the 2018-2019 school year. Ms. DesBiens grew up in Elmhurst, Illinois near Chicago. In 2013, she moved to Greencastle, Indiana to complete her Bachelor of Music Education at DePauw University. Ms. DesBiens studied Clarinet with Dr. Randy Salman and performed with the University Band under the direction of Dr. Craig Paré, and the University Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Professor Orcenith Smith. During her senior year at DePauw, she toured abroad in England with the DePauw Chamber Orchestra as principal clarinetist. She was also the recipient of the IMEA “Outstanding Future Music Educator” award.

Ms. DesBiens completed her student teaching at Plainfield Community Middle School in Plainfield, Indiana, working with the 6th-8th grade concert bands and Jazz Band. During the 2017-2018 school year, she taught 4th-8th grade band students as the Band Assistant at Sycamore School in Indianapolis. Ms. DesBiens has also enjoyed working with high school musicians at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan, and at North Central High School in Indianapolis.

Ms. DesBiens is looking forward to relocating to the West Lafayette area with her partner, Simon, and their cat, Leo. Ms. DesBiens and Simon are currently planning a wedding for September 2018, so soon she will be Mrs. Hu! In her free time, she loves cooking and baking, hiking, reading, and traveling in the U.S. and abroad. So far, she has been fortunate to travel to England, France, Germany, Poland, Spain, China (where Simon is from!), and Japan.