Joe Moore, who graduated from ETSU's music department in 1987, will take the reins as the school's new band director. (Lee Talbert/Johnson City Press)
In the fall of next year, the mighty Buccaneers will march to the beat of a new drummer — several of them, in fact.
When the rebooted East Tennessee State University football team kicks off against the Kennesaw State Owls next September, a reconstituted marching band will trumpet their every yardage gain from the stands.
The Johnson City university announced Monday that music department alumnus Joe Moore was tapped to build and lead the Marching Bucs and the pep band.
Moore graduated from ETSU in 1987 with a degree in music education, received a master’s degree from the University of Miami and a doctorate from the University of Kentucky. While attending ETSU, he served as the marching band’s drum major, leading on-field performances.
He returned to Johnson City in 2002 to serve as ETSU’s marching band director, shortly before the college’s football program was disbanded a year later.
“It was such a thrill when I stepped off the plane in the Tri-Cities and saw the mountains,” Moore told the reporters and ETSU administrators gathered at Monday’s announcement. “I knew I was home again.”
Like the football team it will support, Moore said the marching band will have to start at the beginning again, and he will spend this summer recruiting members at local high school band camps.
The program also needs new instruments and uniforms, and Moore has a little more than a year to devise a halftime field show and teach it to the band.
The new director will receive a $75,000 salary, school officials said, and will also assist ETSU Director of Bands Christian Zembower, teach music education courses and conduct a concert band each year.
“Since the football program was ended, I have often gotten the question of if the band program still existed,” Zembower said. “It’s true, the visibility to many has waned, but we hope that people will now be able to experience the talented musicians we have here again.”
ETSU President Brian Noland, a major supporter of the new football program, said the new marching band will help boost enrollment by making the university more appealing to students who may be interested in participating in the band.
“It’s more than a performance venue, it makes our hearts tick just a little bit faster, reminds us of our undergraduate years and draws the community together with a sense of pride,” Noland said.
Moore was most recently employed by Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss., an assistant professor of music and director of bands.
There he conducts the wind ensemble and directs the Pride of the Delta Marching Band.
He was chosen by an appointed search committee.
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