Normandy France 2009

Performance at the American Cemetery, Normandy, France, for the 65th Anniversary of D-Day, June 2009

Jane A. Gouker became Director of the Bloomington High School Orchestra program, and chair person of the entire string program for the Monroe County Community Schools in 1980. At that time the orchestra program was in disarray. Jane worked diligently and tirelessly to build and develop the orchestras and now the MCCSC maintains a healthy, successful, award-winning, and complete program that offers students an opportunity to enjoy making music. The strength of the program and the accomplishments of its ensembles over these past 40 years have not only earned respect throughout the music community, but are considered a shining star of the Monroe County schools.

The Hoosier Youth Philharmonic was honored with the “Leading Light Award” by the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, the Franklin Initiative, and the Monroe County School Corporation for the impact the orchestra has had on the community and the exemplary way the HYP has represented the community and our schools. Under her direction the Bloomington HS North and Bloomington HS South Orchestras both placed in the prestigious ISSMA State Orchestra Finals various years; and the Hoosier Youth Philharmonic (the orchestras combined) travelled on 31 concert tours – performing in Carnegie Hall in New York City, in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, in the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, and in the Cumberland Caverns in Tennessee. Other tours ranged from Myrtle Beach to Atlanta, from Virginia Beach to Honolulu, Hawaii. Many of these tours involved an orchestra competition and the HYP earned consistent superior ratings, and the grand championship at the North American Music Festival in Toronto, Canada in 2000. In June, 2009 the “HYP” traveled to France by invitation from Musical Celebrations International. The orchestra performed at the American Cemetery in Normandy in tribute to the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, of which her father was involved, and several times in Paris.

Paris France 2009

Ms G and "her boys" at the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, 2009

Jane grew up in Red Lion, Pennsylvania as part of a very musical family. Her dad had been in the Army Band in WWII; her grandfather, a community band director; and her brother, a music educator and supervisor of music for the Red Lion public schools. As a youngster, she studied piano and theory at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland. Jane graduated from Indiana University in 1976 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree, as a double instrument concentration in piano and double bass. She studied with Mrs. Sidney (Bronja) Foster, and Murray Grodner and Greg Dugan respectively. In 1989, Jane earned her Master of Music Education degree also from Indiana University, with a minor in child psychology. She began her teaching career in Virginia, initially for the Fairfax County public schools, and later for the Manassas City public schools, in elementary and middle school strings.

Jane serves as President and Treasurer of the Bloomington Alumni Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon, and is principal bassist for the Southern Indiana Wind Ensemble. Jane has been chosen for the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers several times and is listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who Among American Women and Madison’s Who’s Who of Professionals. She has been recognized by the Indiana Department of Education as a “saluted teacher”, has been honored as the Monroe County Educator of the Year, and has been named Bloomington’s “feature teacher” of the month. In 2010 Jane was recognized by her hometown and her high school as an extremely accomplished alumnae, and therefore was inducted as a member of the Red Lion Area Hall of Fame by the Red Lion Education Foundation.
There has been an endowment created in Jane’s name and honor by the HYP Orchestra Booster Parents. This endowment is through the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County. The purpose of the Endowment is to ensure that the Hoosier Youth Philharmonic, and the MCCSC Orchestra Program, continue to survive and thrive despite any future financial challenges the school system may meet. More information, and an opportunity to donate to the endowment, may be found at:

Chicago 2011

Field Museum, Chicago, IL - 2011

At the end of school year 2015-16, Jane retired. The baton has been passed to the very capable hands of Mr. Jon Hansen (who ironically had been her student teacher in 1992-93). Jon comes to the program with wide, varied experience, astounding musicianship, and new energy. Since retiring, Jane has re-discovered her first love – the piano – and is performing in local venues and for special occasions. Jane misses her orchestra and her “kids”, but she now has more time to devote to her many other interests – gardening, cooking, holiday decorating, catching sunsets, and camping and traveling in her motor home with her gentle best friend, Julian, an English Springer Spaniel.