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Marching Band Directors

During its 122-year history, fourteen different individuals have served as director of the WVU Marching Band:

Director Years as Marching Band Director
(fall marching seasons)
Total Years Years at WVU
Walter Mestrezat 1901-1937 37 years 1901-1938
Bernard McGregor 1938-1941 & 1943-1950 12 years 1936-1976
Clifford Brown 1942 1 year 1942-1974
Lawrence Intravaia 1951-1959 & 1961 10 years 1951-1962
Richard Strange 1960 1 year
Frank Borkowski 1962 1 year 1962-1968
Budd Udelli
7 years 1963-1970
Gerald Zimmerman 1970 1 year 1970-1971
Don Wilcox 1971-1997 27 years 1971-2005
John Hendricks 1998-2004 7 years 1993-2023
Jay Drury 2005-2016 12 years 2002-2017
Scott Tobias 2017 1 year 2016-present
Stephen Lytle 2018-2019 2 years 2018-2020
Cheldon Williams 2020-present 4 years 2020-present
Cheldon Williams Headshot
Dr. Cheldon Williams (2020 - present)

Prior to his position at West Virginia University, Cheldon Williams completed his doctorate at The University of Texas at Austin, served as an Interim Associate Director of Bands at New Mexico State University, and worked for 13 years in secondary education as the Director of Bands and Orchestras at J.P. Taravella High School and the Associate Director of Bands at Cypress Bay High School. As a two-fold graduate of Florida State University, Dr. Williams earned both his bachelor’s (B.M.E.) and master’s (M.M.E.) degrees in Music Education in 2004 and 2014. With instrumental conducting as a focus, Cheldon Williams has had the fortune of being trained by and has performed under the batons of musicians such as Jerry Junkin,  Dr. Andre Thomas, Allan McMurray, H. Robert Reynolds, Dr. James Croft, Richard Clary, Craig Kirchhoff, and many others.

Dr. Williams conducted American students in China and served as a guest clinician to Chinese students at the Sichuan Conservatory (Cheng Du, China) as the founding Program Director for the Jinsha Summer Music Festival (2009-2012). Dr. Williams is a nationally active educator and guest clinician in many areas pertaining to music education and conducting. He is a former member of the Texas Music Educators Association, New Mexico Music Educators Association, Florida Bandmasters Association, Florida Music Education Association, Florida Orchestra Association, and Broward Music Educators Association.
Stephen Lytle headshot

Dr. Stephen Lytle (2018 - 2019)

Stephen Lytle served as the Associate Director of Bands at West Virginia University from 2018-2020 during which time he lead the "Pride of West Virginia" Mountaineer Marching Band, oversaw all aspects of the Athletic Bands program, and served as Conductor of the Symphonic Band. From 2009-2018 he held a similar position at Miami University in Oxford, OH where he also served as the Associate Conductor of the Fillmore Wind Band, Cincinnati’s official professional wind band, and as Music Director of its affiliate ensemble, the Fillmore Philharmonic Brass.

Dr. Lytle is an active music arranger with nearly 300 titles in multiple media to date and his arrangements for marching band are played by high schools and universities across the country. His research interests include the repertoire and performance practices of brass bands from 19th century America and the collaborative work between composer Elmer Bernstein and the designers and filmmakers, Charles and Ray Eames. He has presented at the national conference for the College Band Directors National Association and he is a contributing research associate in the eleventh volume in the noted series, Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Under his direction, the Miami Band performed with jazz legend, Benny Golson, the 2011 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Parade, and the 2017 BOA Grand Nationals event in Indianapolis. Along with colleague Dr. Jim Daughters, Dr. Lytle's work with the Fillmore Wind Program included performances at both the Ohio and Kentucky Music Educators Association conventions, the International Women’s Brass Conference, the North American Brass Band Association Championships, in concert with the University of Illinois Bands, and at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic.

Dr. Lytle's professional associations include the College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, and NAfME: The National Association for Music Education. He is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha (Alpha Rho) and is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma. Dr. Lytle holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Northwestern University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Scott Tobias headshot

Scott C. Tobias (2017)

Scott C. Tobias currently holds the position of Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at West Virginia University where his responsibilities include conducting the WVU Wind Symphony, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting, and providing administrative leadership for the WVU Bands program. Prior to his appointment at West Virginia University, Dr. Tobias served as Director of Bands at the University of Central Florida and as Associate Director of Bands at Appalachian State University. He also previously served as a high school band director in the public schools of Georgia and South Carolina. Additionally, Dr. Tobias has worked with a number of community music organizations including the Youth Band of Orlando, the Macon Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the Appalachian Youth Wind Ensemble.

Bands under Dr. Tobias’ direction have performed nationally and internationally at events such as the New York Wind Band Festival in Carnegie Hall, the Western International Band Clinic, the Cabalgata de Reyes (Madrid, Spain), the London New Year’s Day Parade, and the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival. Dr. Tobias remains active as a guest conductor and clinician working with collegiate honor bands, all-state bands, and district honor bands throughout the United States.  Additionally, he has presented sessions at conferences including the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Florida Music Educators Association Conference, the Florida Bandmasters Association Summer Conference, and the West Virginia Music Educators Association Conference.

Dr. Tobias is a recipient of the National Band Association Citation of Excellence and has been named to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. While at Appalachian State University, he was also recognized with the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award as well as the Hayes School of Music Outstanding Teacher Award.

Dr. Tobias presently serves as the Immediate Past President of the Big 12 Band Directors Association and is a Past President of the National Band Association.  He currently serves as Executive Secretary of the National Band Association.  In 2022, Dr. Tobias was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association.  Additional professional affiliations include Phi Beta Mu, College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, West Virginia Music Educators Association, Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, Sigma Alpha Iota, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. 

A native of South Carolina, Dr. Tobias earned the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Furman University, the Master of Music Education degree from the University of Georgia, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Georgia.  

Jay Frury headshot

Jay Drury  (2005-2016)

Dearl "Jay" Drury served as the eleventh director of the "Pride of West Virginia." As the Director of Athletic bands and Assistant Director of Bands at WVU, Professor Drury's responsibilities included directing the Basketball Pep Band, conducting the Symphonic Band and the Concert Band, and serving as the assistant conductor of the Wind Symphony.

Professor Drury has completed the coursework towards a doctorate degree in applied conducting and he has served as the Jazz Ensemble Director at Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, WV. He earned both his bachelors and masters degrees from WVU, and served as a high school and elementary band director in Hancock and Brooke counties in West Virginia. Following his time at WVU, Professor Drury served as Director of Bands at South Middle School in Morgantown, WV.  He presently works for DeMoulin Uniforms.

He is active as an adjudicator and guest conductor throughout the region, has participated in research presentations at the West Virginia and Pennsylvania state music educators' conferences, and has presented several times at the CBDNA National Collegiate Marching and Athletic Band Symposium. Professor Drury is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, the National Association for Music Education, the WVU Mountain Honorary, Phi Beta Mu, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and he is a member of the John Philip Sousa Foundation's Sudler Trophy Committee. Professor Drury also has an extensive history with the WVU Marching Band, serving as a former member, trumpet section leader, graduate assistant and assistant director of the band.
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John Hendricks, III (1998-2004)

John Hendricks, III retired as Associate Dean of the College of Creative Arts in 2023.

His past duties at WVU include serving as Director of Bands, Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Mountaineer Marching Band and the Symphonic Band, Assistant Chair for the School of Music, and coordinator of all undergraduate music academic advising.

Prior to his appointments at WVU, he held the position of Assistant Director of Bands at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He received his Masters Degree in Conducting and his Bachelors Degree in Music Education from West Virginia University. He also served for five years as the band director at Spencer High School in Spencer, WV.

Professor Hendricks is active as a guest conductor for various honor groups on the county, district, regional, and all-state levels. He also serves frequently as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the eastern United States.

He is a member of several professional music affiliations including the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, National Band Association, Phi Beta Mu, and Kappa Kappa Psi. Professor Hendricks is the past-President of the Big East Band Directors Association and a past recipient of the West Virginia Band Director of the Year award presented by the Tau Chapter of Phi Beta Mu.

Professor Hendricks has been an arranger for university and high school bands, as well as a coordinator for various events and conferences. His current research pertains to the use of hymns in wind band music. Professor Hendricks is a past member, rank leader, section leader, field conductor, graduate assistant, assistant director, and director of the WVU Marching Band.

Don Wilcox headshot

Don Wilcox (1971-1997)

Don Wilcox served as the Director of the Marching Band for 27 years from 1971 to 1997. During his tenure, the band more than tripled in size from 88 to over 325 members and gained the reputation as one of the best university marching bands in the nation. This fact was confirmed in 1997 when the band received the Sudler Trophy naming the WVU Band as the nation's outstanding collegiate marching band for that year. After stepping down as the marching band's director in 1998, he continued to serve as WVU's Director of Bands until May of 2005. His retirement marked an end to a distinguished 34-year career with the WVU Bands program. In recognition of his years of outstanding service, Wilcox was honored by achieving the title of WVU Director of Bands Emeritus.

gerald zimmerman headshot

Gerald Zimmerman (1970)

Jerry Zimmerman served a one year appointment as acting Director of Bands when Budd Udell took a leave of absence to work on his doctorate. During the next two years, Zimmerman completed a doctorate in Music Education at WVU, and then joined the faculty of Shepherd College.

Budd Udell headshot

Budd Udell (1963-1969)

Budd Udell directed the marching band from 1963 to 1969. He was the Director of Bands from 1966 until he left in the spring of 1970 to complete his doctorate. One of the country's finest arrangers, Udell established a tradition of outstanding arranging for the marching band that survives and thrives to this day. His arrangements of "Hail, West Virginia" and "Fight Mountaineers" are still played by the band today. Dr. Udell served on the faculty of the University of Florida after leaving WVU.

Frank Borkowski headshot

Frank Borkowski (1962)

Mr. Borkowski came to WVU as a clarinet graduate student in 1961, and became the acting Director of Bands in 1962, when Intravaia resigned a week before school started, to accept the position as band director at Trenton State Teacher's College. In 1963, Borkowski turned the marching band over to Budd Udell, and Mr. Borkowski conducted only the concert groups. He completed his graduate work in 1967, and was granted WVU's first Ph.D. in Music Education. Dr. Borkowski went on to have a distinguished career in higher education, serving as the Chancellor of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

Richard Strange headshot

Richard E. Strange  (1960-61)

Dr. Strange filled the position of Director of Bands for one year during a leave by Mr. Intravaia. He followed that year by becoming the director of bands at Carnegie-Mellon University. After several years of excellent work at that institution, he moved to Arizona State University where he developed one of the most respected band programs in the country. He was a past president of the American Bandmasters Association, and also was the conductor of the Tempe Symphony Orchestra.

Lawrence Intravaia headshot

Lawrence Intravaia (1951-1959 &1961)

Larry Intravaia became the band director and double reed teacher at WVU in 1951. He organized the first Wind Symphony concert group, and served as WVU's Band Director for ten years with a one year leave of absence in 1960.

Clifford Brown headshot

Clifford Brown (1942)

As the acting band director during the war years of World War II, he replaced McGregor during "Mac's" military service. He retired in 1974 as Assistant Dean of the Creative Arts Center after a long and distinguished career of 30 years on the WVU faculty. His daughter, Susan, is a graduate of the Creative Arts Center, and is the wife of former University President, David Hardesty.
Bernard McGregor sitting in a chair

Bernard McGregor (1938-1941 & 1943-1950)

Started as Mestrezat's assistant in about 1936, and took over upon his retirement. He served as WVU band director until 1951, and remained an outstanding and much admired member of the WVU Music faculty until his retirement in 1976.

Walter Alexander headshot

Walter Alexander Mestrezat (1901-1937)

The first WVU Band director. He was a professional cabinet maker and woodcarver, who had been a band leader in the military while serving in the Spanish-American War. He led the band of the First West Virginia Regiment in Cuba. WVU's first band, in 1901, had eight members, and grew to 65-70 during Mestrezat's long tenure. In 1938, at age 81 he was named Director Emeritus and retired after 37 years as WVU band director.

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