Jeffrey Scott Doebler serves as professor of music and director of music education and bands at Valparaiso University, where he also conducts the handbell choir. His previous experience includes public school teaching in Emmetsburg, Iowa, and Shakopee, Minnesota. He is equally effective when working with younger students, older students, and professional musicians. Dr. Doebler holds music education degrees from Luther College (B.A.), Valparaiso University (M.M.), and the University of Minnesota (Ph.D.). He is a native of Palatine, Illinois.
On November 3, 2018, Jeffrey Scott Doebler was named a Distinguished Hoosier by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. He was the recipient of the 2020-21 Valparaiso University Excellence in Teaching Award‐Mentoring/Advising.
Professor Doebler's career of more than 40 years in music education has achieved a unique balance of conducting, teacher preparation, leadership in the profession, and working with musicians from the beginning through professional levels, but all aspects of his vocation have had an ultimate focus on teaching. Dr. Doebler has been recognized for excellence in teaching by peers, colleagues, and students. He was a quarter-finalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award in 2014, and was the 2005 recipient of the Valparaiso University Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Doebler received the 2008 Carlo A. Sperati Award from Luther College, for outstanding achievement in the field of music. In 2006, he was named Outstanding University Music Educator of the Year by the Indiana Music Education Association, and also received the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award from Quinlan & Fabish Music. In 2005, he was inducted into Phi Beta Mu, international band conductors fraternity, and Sigma Alpha Iota presented him its national award, Friend of the Arts. In 1999, Dr. Doebler received a First Annual Students' Choice Teacher of the Year Award from Alpha Phi Omega and Mortar Board. In 2010, the Dunes Moraine District of the LaSalle Council, Boy Scouts of America, honored Dr. Doebler with the Silver Seagull Award, in honor of his many years as Assistant Scoutmaster, Acting Scoutmaster, Webelos Leader, and Den Leader. In 2001, he received the Orpheus Award “for significant and lasting contributions to the cause of music in America,” by the Valparaiso University Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. It is believed that this was the first Orpheus Award bestowed by the VU Chapter in its then 40-year history.
Professor Doebler is active throughout the year as a guest conductor, consultant, and clinician, and has appeared professionally in 30 states, Canada, Malta, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, and China. In a typical year, Dr. Doebler will work with over 3000 students. He has served as a community music conductor, church music director, and also as director of Royal Brass Ensembles for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. As a high school teacher, Dr. Doebler earned a reputation for leading the transformation of struggling bands into model programs. He was also active in site-based management and district-wide strategic planning. At the university level, his interpretations, repertoire selection, conducting, and leadership have been highly praised. Dr. Doebler has conducted and prepared ensembles for performances in the Sydney Opera House (Australia), Severance Hall (Cleveland), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), Pritzker Pavilion (Chicago), St. George's Basilica (Malta), Oriental Performance Hall (Shanghai), Shanghai Conservatory, Grand Opera Theatre (Hangzhou), Wrigley Field (Chicago), Orchestra Hall (Minneapolis), Ordway Music Theatre (St. Paul), EPCOT, Disneyland, and for events such as the International Special Olympics, and the NCAA National Gymnastics and Volleyball Championships. Since 2005, Dr. Doebler has traveled to China 13 times, serving many roles, including guest professor at Shanghai University, invited lecturer and guest conductor for American music education and concert band music, and ten times on tour with Windiana Concert Band. In 2010, he presented information about his China tours at the 29th World Conference of the International Society for Music Education. In July of 2006, Professor Doebler served as director of the jazz bands for the National Youth Gathering of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in San Antonio.
Dr. Doebler is a former president and state editor of the Indiana Music Education Association (IMEA). He designed the IMEA All-State Future Music Educators Colloquium, a program that has been replicated in many other states. In 2018, Dr. Doebler served as conductor of the IMEA All-State Handbell Choir, believed to be the first such ensemble in the nation. In past years, he has served IMEA as convention chair, All-State Future Music Educators Colloquium chair, contributing editor, convention future planning chair, professional development chair, and co-chair of the strategic planning steering committee. Dr. Doebler is a past president of the Indiana Bandmasters Association (IBA). For the IBA, he regularly conducts the All-Region and All-District Honor Bands, he conducted the All-State Band in 2011, and the Junior All-State Band in 2014. He is the first person to conduct at all four levels of IBA honor bands. A leader in Indiana's teacher education reform project, Dr. Doebler served as chair of both the Fine Arts Advisory Group and the Licensure Committee of the Indiana Professional Standards Board. He has served Lutheran Summer Music, the national Lutheran high school music camp, as concert band conductor and guest conductor, handbell choir conductor (founder), summer program director, and faculty affairs coordinator. Dr. Doebler is founder and conductor of a professional-level concert band, Windiana, which debuted in 2001 at the Indiana Convention Center. Windiana has toured China ten times, and has also toured Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii. Windiana performed for the national convention of the Association of Concert Bands in 2011 and the National Chinese Language Conference in 2009. Dr. Doebler is also conductor of the Michigan City Municipal Band, an organization that is more than 150 years old.
Dr. Doebler is music director and principal conductor for the Friendship Lasts Forever gala concerts, which combine American and Chinese music. In 2017, the concert took place at Millennium Park in Chicago for a capacity crowd of 10,000. In 2019, the performance was held for a full house at Chicago's Orchestra Hall. The 2021 event was held virtually, and was viewed within the first 24 hours by 1.6 million people worldwide.
Professionally, Dr. Doebler holds memberships in Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Sigma Alpha Iota, Phi Beta Mu, National Association for Music Education, Indiana Music Education Association, International Society for Music Education, National Band Association, Indiana Bandmasters Association, College Band Directors National Association, College Music Society, Iowa Bandmasters Association, Association of Concert Bands, and Handbell Musicians of America.
Office: VUCA 2517