New Directors March In

A photo of Jack Eaddy, Jr., Dr. Shayna Stahl, and Jacob Vogel.

The University of Kentucky (UK), Western Carolina University (WCU), and the University of Southern California (USC) are among major colleges with new band directors.

Dr. Shayna Stahl became the first female director of UK’s Wildcat Marching Band in May 2021. As director of athletic bands and assistant director of bands, she will also direct the UK Pep Bands and UK Concert Band.

According to Stahl, directing the UK athletic bands has been a longtime goal. “This position has always been a dream of mine since I started my journey working with college athletic bands,” she said in a press release. “I had always been impressed that you could see and hear the energy that the students brought to each marching and pep band performance. I said to myself, I would love the chance to work with this group [and] be a part of the traditions and history while creating new traditions together.”

Also in May, Jack Eaddy Jr. became director of athletic bands at WCU, where he will lead the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band. Eaddy says he knows that students are excited to perform again, and he’s ready to lead them.

“To be a part of this program is unreal,” Eaddy said in a press release. “The Pride has a rich tradition of excellence and a long-lasting legacy. … It’s almost like jumping on a train that’s already running. You just want to make sure you come in, and you don’t derail the train. I’m very excited.”

Jacob Vogel stepped in as the new director of the Trojan Marching Band at the University of Southern California on Jan. 1. He succeeded Dr. Arthur C. Bartner, who retired after 51 years. Vogel had previously been USC’s associate director and arranger.

While committed to honoring the band’s legacy and traditions, he is exploring ways for the band to grow and evolve, including expanding the program’s curriculum. “While I do think it’s time for a change, there are elements of the program that the students appreciate, so the focus is going to be working with Student Affairs, band staff, and students to identify the elements of the program that work really well and want to be maintained as well as those that are in need of innovation,” Vogel said in a press release.

Congratulations to these directors.

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Jamie Lee Cortese

Jamie Lee Cortese graduated from Northwestern University with a double major in Radio/TV/Film and political science. Jamie also writes scripts and is an actor, singer, and director who hosts a weekly radio show, Jammin’ with Jamie. Visit her website and read her blog at