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UMass hosts 2017 CBDNA Athletic Band Symposium

2017 CBDNA

The Minuteman Band and directors Tim Anderson and Thom Hannum hosted the 15th CBDNA Athletic Band Symposiumone of the best attended with over 160 college athletic band directors and staff from across the US.

Eleven alumni of the UMMB program also attended, including Jason DeGroff and Alex Casimiro (New Haven); Dana Mandell (Arizona State); Allison Cockshaw-Betsold (Northeastern); Nick Angelis (Cincinnati);  Sharif Mamoun (BU); and Megan Cooney (St. Ambrose), who also delivered a presentation on “Building a Band from Scratch.” Current grad students Matt Sypek, David Morris, and Tom Wilson all helped out, as did former grad student Colby Vasquez.

UMMB alumni and students enjoy a night out at the High Horse in Amherst

The program featured clinics and sessions addressing pedagogical and administrative issues in the current collegiate band profession. Over 25 sessions were presented, from among the attendees representing UC Berkeley, Florida State, Washington, UCLA, UT Austin, Ohio State, UConn, BC, Central Florida, Texas Tech, Notre Dame, BYU, LSU, South Carolina, and more.  Topics ranged from athletic marketing to a new approach for teaching marching fundamentals. “Providing an LGBTQIA Inclusive Environment in College Band” was presented by staff from Pitt, UConn, and West Chester.

UMass alumnus Bob Morrison ’83, founder and CEO of Quadrant Research, the nation’s leading arts education research organization, delivered the symposium keynote during a dinner at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. CBDNA Lifetime Achievement Award winner Frank Battisti closed the event with a talk on his time teaching in Ithaca, NY.

Bob co-authored “Championship Concepts for Marching Percussion” with Minuteman Band associate director Thom Hannum while both were working with The Cadets.

The conference itself could not have been successful without the help from members of the UMMB, and particularly those from EN-KKΨ and ΔΔ-TBΣ. Event sponsors include DeMoulin, Fred J. Miller, Stanbury, Yamaha, Pearl, Evans, Remo, Vic Firth, Zildjian, Smith Walbridge Clinics, Tonal Innovations, Tyson Wooters, Bob Rogers Travel, Music Festival and Tours, Peter Pan Bus, and UMass Dining.

Symposium history was made with the first-ever mini-golf tournament
Symposium history was made with the first-ever mini-golf tournament

About The CBDNA Athletic Bands Symposium

The CBDNA Athletic Bands Symposium began at The Ohio State University in 2002, and is hosted by a different campus each year. This event brings college marching and athletic band directors from across the nation, from schools of all sizes, to come together and share ideas.

This marks the second time the Athletic Bands Symposium has been in New England. Our good friend Dr. David Mills at UConn hosted in 2009. 

2018 CBDNA Athletic Band Symposium

The 2018 CBDNA ABS will be hosted by the University of Texas at Austin’s Dr. Scott Hanna, May 30 – June 2.

If you have any questions regarding this event, please direct to:


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