As the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band settles into the offseason, the hunt for the next director is in full force.
The position is understandably daunting; Bob Buckner has held the position of Director of Athletic Bands for nearly two decades and a band with 400 members is hard for anyone to prepare for. Despite the intimidating circumstances, the search continues.
“We are very pleased with the way it’s going,” said assistant band director Matt Henley.
He assured that the process, which is understandably kept quiet, may see an end sooner rather than later.
“I can tell you that the application deadline is February 1, and [from there] the committee will meet and discuss finalists.”
The application procedures set out are not exactly what one might expect for a position.
Interested directors are asked to present DVDs and CDs of their bands as well as show that they have enjoyed success in their previous positions. The list of expectations are substantial, including things such as grant writing and research potential, willingness to engage in course development, and a taste for innovation.
Besides the job requirements, the director will also need to build a relationship with the band members.
“I would want a director who has the energy to match us and our drive,” said Josh Burr, a freshman baritone player.
Despite the secrecy, it is obvious that the selection system is designed to find the best candidate and give them enough time to comfortably make the transition to WCU.
Those involved in the search want to allow the new director to meet the band and work with the staff well before starting the new season.
“We feel a sense of urgency,” Henley mentioned, “not only to do a good job, but to expedite it as quickly as possible.”
Everyone involved with the Pride of the Mountains is anxious to know who will lead the group in the fall. The band is confident that the Rose Bowl performance is not only a high point in “Pride” history, but also a door to bigger and better opportunities.