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University of Montana hosts over 100 colleges for Athletic Band Symposium

The Athletic Band Symposium is an annual event that brings together marching band directors from over 100 colleges
UM BAND SYMPOSIUM
Posted at 4:02 PM, May 30, 2024

MISSOULA — The University of Montana has opened its doors to marching bands from across the country.

The Athletic Band Symposium is an annual event that brings together marching band directors from over 100 colleges. For the first time, the symposium is being held at UM until Saturday, June 1.

Over four days, the various band directors and grad students discuss the latest of their marching band programs.

This year, the symposium's topics include gender inclusivity, mental health and how to promote instrument protection during shows.

The visiting universities will also get tours of UM facilities and of Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

They heard from Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who was a music education major during his college career, during Thursday morning's opening session. They also had a personal video from UM alumni and actor J.K. Simmons.

For a smaller university, hosting the symposium is an honor for not only band director Kevin Griggs, but for the marching band students as well.

Junior forestry student, Abigail Binder, said the large event shows the support within the marching band community.

"It shows we have a huge community, bigger than I thought," Binder said. "Having these big schools here, it provides opportunities for me as a student to see other places and how their programs are. It shows how we can be really united through music. And even when we have rival schools here, it shows we can all get along just through music alone."