Jay Drury, who has led the West Virginia University Mountaineer Marching Band to multiple national appearances over the last 11 years, has announced his resignation as director of athletic bands and associate director of bands, effective June 1.
Drury announced his decision to administration and students today (March 31).
“On behalf of the School of Music, I thank Jay for his many years of service as the leader of ‘The Pride of West Virginia,” said Director Keith Jackson. “His love of the institution is incredible and we are better for his time with us. We wish him and his family the best.”
Jackson said that the 2017-18 Mountaineer Marching Band will be led by Director of Bands Scott Tobias. During that time, the School will conduct a national search for Drury’s successor. Tobias will oversee the entire transition.
“I would like to thank Jay Drury for his tireless efforts on behalf of the Mountaineer Marching Band,” Tobias said. “As we move forward, we are committed to maintaining the rich tradition enjoyed by the band while continuing in our efforts to reach new heights with ‘The Pride of West Virginia.’”
On his tenure, Drury said, “Words cannot express the great honor it has been for me to serve this band program, my alma mater and the great state of West Virginia over the past 19 years. I am so thankful for all of the wonderful band staff members and thousands of band members who have shared in this journey with me to continue the tradition of excellence of one of the top college bands in the nation.”
“Although my love for and dedication to this program have not waivered, the time has come for me to focus more on my family as I look to continue to serve WVU and the state of West Virginia in a new way," Drury said.
"I will always be the band’s number one supporter.”
After attending WVU and serving as a member of “The Pride of West Virginia” and WVU Basketball Pep Band from 1989-1994, Drury held band director positions at both Oak Glen and Brooke High Schools in the northern panhandle. Drury returned to begin his career with WVU Bands as a graduate teaching assistant in the fall of 1998. After four years, he was promoted to assistant director of the WVU Marching Band and was ultimately named as the 11th director of “The Pride of West Virginia” in July 2005.
During Drury’s tenure as director, he has led the basketball pep band and marching band in numerous high-profile performances in 24 states, including the Big East and Big 12 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments, The Final Four, 11 bowl appearances — including the Sugar, Fiesta and Orange bowls – performances at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, and on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.
The highlight of his tenure was the recent appearance of the band in the 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City when the band was selected to lead the historic parade in front of millions of spectators and a national TV audience.
Bernadette Dombrowski; College of Creative Arts
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