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Letter From The Director

Welcome all veterans and new members to the 107th season of the WVU Marching Band! Since its inception in 1901, the award-winning WVU Band has dramatically evolved in size, reputation, membership make-up, and performance style/quality. The band's reputation around the University, the state, the region, and the nation shows that we are firmly established as one of the premier collegiate marching bands! Demand for acceptance into the WVU Band continues to increase, as we are again nearing record enrollment with the current size of the 2008 band! You should be extremely proud to be a member of such a respected organization, and we hope this 107th year can be the best one yet for the WVU Band!

This upcoming 2008 season is going to be filled with great music, challenging drill moves, and lasting friendships. As you may know, expectations are high for our football team again this season as the Mountaineers will likely begin the season with a top 15 national ranking and are considered by many to be a strong contender for a trip to another BCS Bowl and possibly even the National Championship! With "Heisman Trophy hopeful" Pat White back, as well as Noel Devine, a veteran offensive line and great team speed, newly appointed Head Coach Bill Stewart and the guys should have an outstanding season again this year.

Our home football schedule is both challenging and exciting, as we have seven home games this year, including several national TV home games already confirmed and big games including in-state rival Marshall and SEC power Auburn on a Thursday night! After an early off-week, we have a very busy mid-season stretch with several home games (and hopefully an away trip) in a row. Several concerts and a late home game await us as we head down the home stretch to what will hopefully be our 6th consecutive January bowl game! As usual, we will have to be prepared to perform at the highest level each and every week this season as we again have several national TV appearances scheduled, and we also expect to host at least two visiting bands this year (Marshall and Auburn), as well as our very own WVU Alumni Band at Homecoming.

We plan to have a fun and rewarding travel schedule finalized by band camp that will hopefully (pending funding) feature trips to the Connecticut and Pitt games, as well as exhibition performances in Fairmont, WV and the Northern Panhandle. We are also exploring the possibility of visiting Charleston and/or the Pittsburgh area for exhibition performances as well. With this exciting travel schedule in the works, as well as the annual KeyNotes concerts (and hopefully another major Bowl Trip ahead), things are shaping up for another outstanding performance season for "The Pride!"

As far as the 2008 Band Staff is concerned, we are happy that many familiar faces will be returning for the 2008 season. We are pleased to announce that Chris Nichter will be returning for his second year as Assistant Director and his 4th year overall on the band instructional staff. Graduate Assistant Matthew Smith will also be back with us for a second year as he completes work on his Master's Degree in Conducting. Welcome back Mr. Nichter and Matt!

Also returning for this season are several instructors with familiar faces and many years of experience. First of all, we would like to say "Thank You" to our outgoing Percussion Coordinator, Adam Osmianksi as he recently completed his Master's Degree and soon will be leaving Morgantown for new adventures. He has done a great job over the past several years and we appreciate his good work. He will still be working with the Drumline during the two summer camps, and we want to wish him well as he moves on to new challenges. Thanks and Good Luck, Adam! We are pleased to announce that Joel Hilbert will be returning for his second year with the percussion staff as our new Percussion Coordinator for the 2008 season! Working with him will be Brian Hanley, who also returns for his second year on staff as well. We look forward to the fresh ideas and leadership that Joel and Brian will provide to continue to lead the WVU Drumline into the future. We are also pleased to welcome back our long-time Colorguard Instructor Heath Mankey for another great season of work with our guard. He will be assisted this season by one of our new staff members for 2008, former colorguard section leader Lindsay Potter. Welcome Lindsay! We also are pleased to welcome back our longtime veteran Dr. Paula Jo Stout to the band staff as our Auxiliary and Twirler Coordinator.

Again, to all of you - welcome to the band! We hope you are starting to get "psyched" for the season - it won't be long until it is here! We hope your membership in the band will provide you with a positive experience that will enhance your overall collegiate life here at WVU. And, of course, we want this season to provide you the opportunities to meet new people, rekindle old friendships, and to have fun.

If you have any questions concerning any aspect of the band, please feel free to call us at (304) 293-4841 (ext. 3157) or e-mail us at WVUBand@mail.wvu.edu.

I hope the remainder of your summer goes well. I look forward to seeing you in August!

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