Marching Band Directors

There have been 11 directors of the marching band during its 106 years of existence. Of this group, Borkowski, Zimmerman, Wilcox, Hendricks, and Drury are still living.

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 1960-1961
Frank Borkowski 1962 1 year 1962-1968
Budd Udell 1963-1969 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-present
Jay Drury 2005-present 8 years 2002-present

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Jay Drury (2005-present)

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

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John Hendricks, III (1998-2004)

John Hendricks, III is presently serving as Assistant Dean of Recruiting and Retention for the College of Creative Arts at West Virginia University, in addition to serving as Director of Bands for the School of Music. His teaching duties include serving as conductor of the Wind Symphony and instructing conducting courses on the graduate level.

His past duties at WVU include serving as Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Mountaineer Marching Band, Conductor of 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.

Besides his current administrative and teaching duties, 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 has had several chapters published in the popular Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series by GIA Publications. His current research is focused upon the use of hymns in wind band music. He is a member of several professional music affiliations including the College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, National Association for Music Education, Phi Beta Mu, and Kappa Kappa Psi. He holds and has held positions in several organizations including the National Band Association and the Big East Band Directors Association.

Professor Hendricks is 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.

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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 in May of 2005. His retirement marked an end to a distinguished 34-year career with the WVU Band program. In recognition of his years of outstanding service, Wilcox was honored by achieving the title of WVU Director of Bands Emeritus.

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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.

udell

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.

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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. He now serves on the music faculty at Appalachian State University.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

maztrazat

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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