UofL marching band director ends on a high note


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville will soon seek a new marching band director.

    Greg Byrne, music faculty member since 1998 and director of the marching band since 2000, has announced that he will leave the band effective at the end of the academic year and assume teaching responsibilities for the percussion performance program in the School of Music with the 2011 academic year.

    “I have had a terrific run as director of the marching band,” said Byrne. “I will miss the enthusiasm of the student musicians and the excitement of performing on Saturday afternoons. On the other hand, it’s time to move on to the next stage of my career. It takes a lot of energy and dedication to lead a marching band. I look forward to focusing that same energy on the percussion performance program.”

    School of Music Dean Christopher Doane credited Byrne with growing the band both in number of performers and in national reputation.

    “Greg has provided strong leadership to the marching band during his tenure of ten years as director of the program,” Doane said. “The growth in quality and size of the band has been a source of pride to our school and band alumni in many of the same ways that the community has embraced the emergence of intercollegiate football at the university.

    “On the other hand, I am excited about Greg turning his full attention to the challenges of fully developing our percussion studies area,” Doane said. “He is a very strong performer and teacher with a doctorate in percussion performance, so I know our percussionists will benefit from this changed focus. The marching band members, including students from our School of Music and many other programs on campus, will have the challenge of adjusting to new directions for the band that will inevitably come with new leadership.”

    The School of Music announced the decision in the 2010 season to get a timely start on finding a replacement, Doane said. He will begin the search for a new director, a faculty appointment in the School of Music, by Dec. 1.

    John Drees is a 35-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As vice president, communications and marketing, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing and brand, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.