A native of Clearwater, Fla., Jay Bocook is recognized internationally as a composer, arranger, conductor and educator. Bocook’s work has been performed at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2003, his music transcriptions of noted film composer John Williams were premiered by the U.S. Marine Band in a concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. An encore performance with Williams and the “President’s Own” took place in 2008. In addition, Bocook was a contributing arranger to a musical called “CyberJam” that opened to rave reviews in 2003 at London’s Queens Theater. His arrangements were also featured in “Mix,” which opened in 2008 in Japan.
In 1982, Bocook was appointed director of bands at Furman. He left the school in 1989 to pursue other opportunities, but returned in 2000 as director of athletic bands. He has served as assistant conductor of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and remains a principal composer and arranger for Hal Leonard Corporation, where he has published over 600 compositions and arrangements. He is the music arranger for the 10-time World Champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. In 2009, Bocook was inducted into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the American Bandmasters Association.
Leslie W. Hicken is one of the most respected band directors in the United States. A member of the South Carolina Band Directors Association Hall of Fame, Hicken is president of the South Carolina Band Directors Association, and member of the American Bandmasters Association.
He has served as one of Furman’s leading ensemble directors since joining the university in 1993. He directs the wind ensemble, symphonic band and chamber wind ensembles and serves as assistant director to the marching band. In 2012, he led the wind ensemble to the American Bandmasters Association National Convention in Charleston, S.C.
Prior to joining Furman’s faculty, Hicken was the director of bands at Youngstown State (Ohio) University and director of the Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra. He also performed as a clarinetist in the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra. Earlier in his career, Hicken taught in Durham, N.C. and performed as a clarinetist in the U.S. Military Academy.