University names new director for its marching band
The University of South Carolina School of Music has named Steve McKeithen as director of athletic bands and assistant director of bands.
McKeithen, who began July 1, will oversee the university’s marching band, The Mighty Sound of the Southeast and the University Concert Band. McKeithen recently completed his doctoral coursework at Arizona State University, where he conducted ASU’s Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band and Chamber Winds and served as primary teaching assistant for the Sun Devil Marching Band. He succeeds Dr. George Brozak.
“We are delighted to bring Steve McKeithen to Columbia to be the director of the Carolina Band and coordinator of all athletics bands in the School of Music,” said Dr. Tayloe Harding, dean of the School of Music. “Steve is an accomplished marching band director, having produced award-winning bands in Texas. We have every confidence that Steve will be a great leader for the Mighty Sound of the Southeast, and we look forward to many years of high-quality music-making and entertainment on game days at Williams-Brice under his direction.”
Harding said McKeithen has a “fine band pedigree,” having earned a master of music in music education from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Florida.
McKeithen is the former director of bands for Seguin High School in Seguin, Texas. Under his direction, Seguin’s band program experienced tremendous growth and success in top state and national band competition. He is a member of numerous professional associations, including the World Association of Symphonic Band and Ensembles and College Band Directors National Association.
The Southeastern Conference is well known for its collegiate marching bands. The university’s Mighty Sound of the Southeast shares in that tradition, fielding a band of more than 270 student musicians, twirlers, drum majors, dancers and members of the flag line who perform traditional pre-game and contemporary halftime programs. For more information on the history of the university’s marching band, visit the Web site: http://bands.music.sc.edu/history.html
Earlier this year, the university opened a state-of-the-art band and dance building for its band and dance programs.