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Andrew McMahan tapped as new director of bands

Dr. Andy McMahan

After a national search, Lamar University is proud to welcome Andrew McMahan as the new director of bands in the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music. McMahan assumes duties July 1, following the retirement of the outgoing director of bands, Scott Deppe.

“Dr. McMahan brings with him a wealth of experience and an outstanding personality to his new role,” said Derina Holtzhausen, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication. “We deeply appreciate Dr. Deppe’s dedicated service to Lamar University for the last nine years, and I am confident that Dr. McMahan will continue our band program’s long-standing tradition of excellence.”

In his new position, McMahan will oversee all ensembles under the purview of the LU band program, including the Wind Ensemble, Cardinal Jazz Orchestra, Concert Band, Pep Band and the Marching Band. He will also conduct and serve as artistic director of the Wind Ensemble and teach courses in conducting and music education.

“The faculty and students of the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music are thrilled about the new appointment of Dr. McMahan to our faculty as director of bands,” said Brian Shook, department chair. “His pedagogy and musicianship are top-notch, and his enthusiasm and passion for music are both inspiring and contagious.”

A native of North Carolina, McMahan earned his Bachelor of Science in music education from Western Carolina University, Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Minnesota.

 Prior to his appointment at Lamar University, McMahan served as the director of bands and associate professor at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., a position he held from 2010-2017. He taught courses in music theory and conducting, as well as instrumental literature and rehearsal techniques. He also served as administrator, artistic director and conductor for the Wind Ensemble, Wind Orchestra and Marching Band.

Previously McMahan worked as the coordinator of instrumental studies at California State University - Stanislaus. At CSU-Stanislaus, he directed the Wind Ensemble and taught courses in conducting, brass pedagogy and instrumental literature. Although in the position for only two years, McMahan organized multiple band/orchestra festivals, assisted with promoting the school through community outreach and high school student recruitment and took the Wind Ensemble on a 10-day performance tour of Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

Before moving to California, McMahan attended the University of Minnesota as a doctoral student and served as the director and principal conductor of the university’s Campus Orchestra. Additionally, he often appeared as a guest conductor with the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic and University Bands. He also served as the announcer for the 320-member strong “Pride of Minnesota” Marching Band.

Prior to his time in Minneapolis, McMahan spent four years as the director of instrumental studies and instructor of secondary music education at Simpson College, a liberal arts institution near Des Moines, Iowa. He also worked as the executive director and founder of the Simpson College Big Band Jazz Camp, a week-long festival of jazz studies held each June.

McMahan maintains professional memberships with the College Band Directors National Association, California Band Directors Association and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles. He is also an honorary member and chapter co-sponsor of the Iota Pi chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi.

For more information on the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music at Lamar University, visit lamar.edu/music or call (409) 880-8144.