Scott Rikkers, Director

Music Building - Band Office Room 210
(540) 568-6033

Scott Rikkers is the Associate Director of Bands and Director of the Marching Royal Dukes at James Madison University. A native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, he received his Bachelor of Music Education from Western Michigan University and Master of Music Education from James Madison University. At JMU Mr. Rikkers is the Director of the Marching Royal Dukes, coordinator of the basketball pep bands, directs the Concert Band, teaches Music Education courses, and supervises student teachers. Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Rikkers was the Assistant Director of Bands at The University of Montana where he coordinated the athletic band program, conducted the University Concert Band, and assisted with the Music Education curriculum. He held a graduate assistantship with the James Madison University band program prior to which he taught k-12 music in Michigan, holding positions in General Music and Middle/High School Band.

During his time at James Madison, the marching band has traveled abroad to Ireland, Paris, London, and Italy.  Most recently, they toured Florence, Siena, and Rome, and performed in the Rome New Year’s Celebration with the highlight being a performance at the Pope’s New Year’s blessing in St. Peter’s Square amongst a crowd of over 85,000. Under his direction, the band has made two appearances in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as well as traveled with the football team to capture two FCS Division National Championship titles (2004/2016). The band has been active in the USBands and Bands of America/Music For All circuits, and has an active performance schedule in the region and around the East Coast. 

Mr. Rikkers is a member of Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Delta Kappa, Pi Kappa Lambda and an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma. In addition, he holds affiliation with the Virginia Music Education Association, Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association, North American Brass Band Association, Collegiate Band Directors National Association, and the National Association for Music Education. He has been an active clinician for both marching and concert events in Maryland, Michigan, Montana, South Carolina, and Virginia. In 2010 he traveled to Venezuela with a group from JMU to study the Venezuelan Youth Symphony program, El Sistema. There he was a guest conductor with the Merida state Wind Ensemble.


Chris DeVona, Assistant Director

Music Building - Room 212

Chris DeVona is the Assistant Director of Bands at James Madison University, where he works with the Marching Royal Dukes, directs the basketball Pep Band, and conducts the Symphonic Band. In addition to his ensemble responsibilities, Chris also teaches undergraduate conducting and marching band procedures courses. Prior to joining the band team at JMU, Chris was on faculty at Eastern University in Pennsylvania, and he taught high school and middle school band/orchestra in his home state of Connecticut.

In addition to his teaching, Chris is also the director and conductor of the PA Brass Ensemble, and he gigs often as a horn player. His recent textbook, Expanding the Canon, an excerpt book for conducting courses, forefronts music by living composers, and his most recent research article will be published in the American Bandmasters Association’s Journal of Band Research.

During the summer and fall seasons, Chris stays actively involved with marching band and drum corps, most recently serving in leadership roles on the staffs at the Blue Knights and Jersey Surf Drum & Bugle Corps. When not on tour or working with the JMU bands, Chris also travels frequently as a clinician, consultant, and adjudicator for concert and marching ensembles.

Chris holds undergraduate degrees from the Hartt School and the University of Hartford in music theory and mathematics, and he completed his M.M. in conducting at West Chester University (PA).

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