KU narrows search for marching band director

University focuses on Texas A&M coach in search for marching band director

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas, currently conducting a national search for a director of its Kansas Marching Jayhawks band to replace Timothy W. Oliver by next fall, has asked for permission to speak to Texas A&M football coach Dennis Franchione. Oliver announced Wednesday that he would resign as director of athletic bands and the assistant director of bands at the end of the spring 2003 semester.

"Dr. Oliver has been a wonderful colleague and strong advocate for the Marching Jayhawks and Department of Music and Dance," said Larry Mallett, department chair.

While many expected the search to concentrate on band directors at other universities, the search for a replacement has taken an unexpected turn, said Director of Bands John Lynch.

"Tim has worked diligently on behalf of the Marching Jayhawks, the KU band program and its students," Lynch said. "To replace him, we want someone who has been exposed to some great college marching bands, and Coach Fran's name kept coming up. "The Marching Jayhawks is one of KU's great traditions. It has attracted many talented performers over the years, and we will continue to build on this tradition."

For certain, Franchione is a high stepper. His travels have taken him from the coaching ranks in Kansas high schools to his recently vacated position at the University of Alabama. It is thought his ability to attract a good staff of assistants would serve him well as the director of athletic bands and assistant director of bands is responsible for planning, directing and guiding all aspects of the Marching Jayhawks, overseeing and assisting with basketball and volleyball bands, and conducting the University Band during the spring semester.

Coach Fran would probably also teach instrumental secondary techniques, with topics ranging from semi-conducting technique to survey of wind literature, and directing the Marching Band Camp at the KU Midwestern Music Camp.

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