Sean York has been hired to blaze a new path at his alma mater. York was hired in the Fall of 2017 to serve as the new Director of Marching Band at Benedictine. There's just one catch, there is not marching band at Benedictine.
A graduate of Benedictine College in 2011 with a degree in Music Education, York's goal is to build that band, from a recruitment, fundraising, composing and marching standpoint. In other words, he will have to create the entire thing from the ground up.
"The first ever Benedictine College Marching Band will be a blessing to the college and the community," he said. "It will combine the superior musicianship and marching of Drum Corps International while using show schedules, timelines and an exciting atmosphere of successful college marching bands."
York has some experience at performing such a monumental task. As a student, he was part of the very first drum corps at Benedictine College. The Drum Corps is now a standard at football games and plays at basketball games and college events as well.
As a graduate, he has created successful music programs at Mount Carmel High School in Belize, Christ the King High School in Huntersville, N.C., and J. K. Mullen High School in Denver, Co. At Benedictine College, he plans to use the success of the Drum Corps and other existing music ensembles to help build the complete marching band.
"The Drum Corps is our launching point," York said. "The student body loves and appreciates it. It brings life to the campus and brings in both students and funds through its success."
He said it would be very difficult to create a marching band completely from scratch, but that is not really the case at Benedictine.
"Benedictine College already has a successful wind ensemble, jazz band and drumline," he said. "Through a tiered approach, the anticipated marching band will use the energy, excitement and commitment from both the concert band and the drumline to succeed.
"The Marching Band will provide an outlet to reach into lives the college is not currently impacting and it will give a new face to the music department and athletic programs. Most importantly, though, it will give musically driven students a chance to experience the love of Christ by attending Benedictine College."