Macomb, IL – This year's Al Sears Jazz Festival in Macomb was dedicated to the memory of Dale Hopper. The former director of Western Illinois University's jazz program died Friday night at the age of 64. Hopper worked at Western for more than two decades. Under his direction, the Jazz Studio Orchestra gained an international following. Hopper also directed the marching band and wrote several books about band techniques. In addition, Hopper co-hosted "Big Band Jazz" on Tri States Public Radio for the past couple years. You can listen to Macomb High School Choir Director Vicki Mayo and retired W.I.U. history professor Sterling Kernek talk about Hopper by clicking on the audio button.