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Dr. Timothy Anderson, New UMass Band Director

Update: Some people have criticized me for posting this. And while everyone’s entitled to their opinion, I should have included this disclaimer in the first place: I don’t claim to speak for all UMass/UMMB alumni, only those to whom I’ve spoken and whom I know feel the same way I do.

Doctor Timothy Aanderson, new UMass Band Director. UMass Amherst Music Department just announced the new Minuteman Marching Band director, Doctor Timothy Anderson, formerly of Cal State Fresno.

Personally, I’m not in love with this decision. Of course, I don’t have all the information (and have never met or even heard of Dr. Anderson), and I’m admittedly VERY biased. But I don’t see how the university could consider anyone better qualified to be the new UMass Band Director than Thom Hannum.

However, with that said…

Welcome, Dr. Anderson

Best of luck, Doctor Anderson. You’re inheriting arguably the best and most enthusiastic college marching band in America, with thousands of vocal, invested, loyal alumni and fans.

We are behind you. We are with you. But we have VERY high expectations. We all hope you can meet them. You can count on alumni like us for anything you or the program needs.

Detail, Sparkle Hut

I’m sure there are some unhappy campers out there. But unhappiness or lack of faith in a leader is not something the late, great George N. Parks ever preached. This UMMB family will embrace Dr. Anderson with open arms and will follow him where he leads. And we’ll train our hair not to blow in the wind while we’re at it.

I’m reminded of one of George’s Starred Thoughts, “make sure you show support for others before they show support for you.”

Responses to Dr. Anderson’s appointment

News coverage of the announcement

Here’s what the university said

Dear Marching Band Alumni:

I know that you have been anxiously awaiting the results of our national search for a Marching Band director and I am pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Timothy Todd Anderson, director of the marching band at California State University, Fresno for this important position.

Dr. Anderson is an accomplished director who received his training in some of the best programs in the country and has great depth and breadth of experience with Division I marching bands. Dr. Anderson holds a doctorate in music education from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, a master of music from the University of Florida, and a bachelor of music with teacher certification from the University of Iowa.

During the past five years at Fresno State, he has been responsible for all aspects of the athletic bands program. His directing experience involves not only the nearly 300-member marching band and pep band, but also symphonic band, concert band and other ensembles, and he has taught a wide range of courses for both majors and non-majors and been involved in community outreach. He is also very active as a clinician and adjudicator. Dr. Anderson is expected to visit Amherst in the next few weeks and will be on board this summer to prepare for the 2011-12 season and band camp.

I also want to take this opportunity, on behalf of the entire UMass Amherst community, to express our deep gratitude to Thom Hannum, who served as interim band director during the challenging months following George Parks’ untimely passing. His devotion to the Minuteman Marching Band is legendary, and I know that you will join me in thanking Thom for his many accomplishments and in welcoming Tim to our community.

Dr. Jeff Cox, Chair

Department of Music and Dance

UMass Amherst

The university’s response was provided by Linda Hannum.