College marching band head announced

Anne Walkup, Staff writer

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As of this August, Linfield will be the first NCAA Division III school in the Northwest to have its own marching band. Even then, Linfield will belong to only a handful of Division III schools with marching bands nationwide. The director for the new program will be Seth Wollam, the current Director of Bands at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania.

“Seth rose to the top of the applicant pool because of his commitment to musical excellence, his ability to inspire an engaged group of students of this new project, and his enthusiastic personality,” said Susan Hopp, dean of students and vice president of student affairs and athletics.

Indeed, Wollam has a great deal of experience in his field. In addition to his current position as Director of Bands, his other work at Lock Haven has included conducting athletic bands, concert bands and a community orchestra, as well as teaching a variety of classes in the school’s music department.

Wollam said one of the primary reasons he’s looking forward to coming to Linfield is the chance to begin a new program. “There aren’t very many opportunities to start a program like this,” Wollam said. “The students who are in it from the very beginning will play an important role in developing the program’s identity, and that really excites me.”

The new marching band will evidently be an asset to the music department, but Wollam said he thinks it will add a lot to athletics as well. “When you look at places like Penn State, University of Oregon, or University of Washington, the band is a major part of the climate and atmosphere at athletic events,” he said.

Although Linfield had a marching band once before, the program ended before the start of World War II and has not been reinstated. Wollam will be starting a program from scratch.

Wollam said he is also eager to work with Linfield’s other faculty in the music department, who he described as “really top-notch.” He continued, “I’m excited to be working somewhere that already has a strong program.”

Wollam has been collaborating with Academic Affairs to recruit incoming freshman for the new marching band. “I’m hoping to individually contact with as many [prospective band members] as I can. When you make a personal connection with someone, it’s much more meaningful,” Wollam said.

He also hopes that current Linfield students who are interested in joining the program will participate as well.Those interested in joining can email either [email protected] or contact Wollam at [email protected] about the band program are still being finalized, so more information will be available at linfield.edu/marchingband.