St. Laurence Names Kirk Hickman Director of Bands

BURBANK, IL - St. Laurence High School is excited to welcome Kirk Hickman as the school’s new director of bands.

Mr. Hickman brings over 20 years of experience leading band programs across Illinois. After beginning his career with a six-year stint as director of bands at Johnsburg High School, Hickman was selected to launch the band program at Lincoln-Way North High School when it opened in 2009. He would go on to lead the program to several awards and recognitions throughout his eight years at Lincoln-Way North before the school closed. Hickman then served as director of bands at Naperville North High School from 2016-2019, where his emphasis on building band culture led to increased alumni engagement and outreach to local junior highs. Hickman most recently served as director of bands at Hinsdale South High School from 2019-2022, where he increased incoming freshmen band registrations by 64% over the course of his tenure.

“When we think about what we are looking for in a director of bands, Mr. Hickman checks every box,” said St. Laurence Principal Kristy Kane. “He has a strong track record of taking programs to new heights and, in the process, engaging both alumni and prospective students as an integral part of his programs while giving current members a memorable experience. I am confident that he will bring new life to music at St. Laurence.”

Ensembles under Mr. Hickman’s direction have performed at the University of Illinois SuperState Band Festival (2017, 2018, 2020), Music For All National Festival (2017), Bands of America Regional Finals, Bands of America Super Regionals, and numerous Midwest Class Championships and placements for concert bands, jazz ensemble/combo and marching band. The Naperville North Jazz Ensemble performed for the 2019 Illinois Music Educator’s Convention and won class 4A at Jazz in the Meadows 2019.

“I am ecstatic to be named director of bands at a school with a bright future like St. Laurence,” said Hickman. “This school has an incredible tradition of music, with several key moments in St. Laurence’s history centered around the band program. I look forward to connecting with all Viking band members — past, present and future — to channel that tradition and bring the program to the next level.”

Mr. Hickman joins a fine arts department that has seen a rebirth in recent years, with growing interest in both the drama and visual arts departments. On top of the increased student involvement in each program, St. Laurence gave each program new homes in the summer of 2023, with a brand new art classroom and a renovated theater practice space.