Tulane Bands, the largest performance group on the university’s campus, has recently experienced an exciting influx of “home-grown talent” as young alumni have returned to campus – this time as instructional staff.
Dylan Parilla-Koester (SLA ’18), assistant director of bands, Rosalind Kidwell (SLA ’19), color guard instructor, and Tyler Hawk (SLA ’19), percussion instructor, are all former band members who were hired this past summer by Barry Spanier, director of bands. They join fellow alum Annie Stansbury (SLA ’15) who is in her third year as Shockwave Dance Team instructor.
“As a proud Tulane alumnus, the idea of working at an institution that was so formative to my life experience was absolutely compelling,” said Parilla-Koester. “Tulane offers a distinct and distinguished undergraduate experience, and I believe the band program is the premier conduit for musical, educational, and social opportunity on campus.”
As integral parts of the student and athletic experience on campus, the Tulane University Marching Band (TUMB), Color Guard and Shockwave Dance Team will be front and center across the many events happening Uptown this week as part of Wave Weekend 2022 — most notably during Saturday’s Homecoming game, when the 6-1 Green Wave take on the 4-3 University of Memphis Tigers in Yulman Stadium.
“We are so excited to take the field against Memphis and to see the trifecta of our marching band, dance team and cheerleaders all cheering us on,” said Tulane Head Football Coach Willie Fritz. “They all do so much, not only for our athletic programs but for university morale overall. Our student-athletes love Barry and what his groups do for Tulane. Roll Wave!”
With their new and growing constituent of young alumni on staff, the band anticipates more opportunity to engage with the New Orleans community, while continuing to partner with the local artists and musicians that define our city’s inimitable culture. “When alumni choose to return to the Tulane band program, it speaks volumes about the experience they had here during their undergraduate years,” said Spanier. “Whether as part of the instructional staff or the alumni band, we’re so proud to have a program that draws them back.”
Tulane’s commitment to service is nationally recognized, and the band’s participation in community events and celebrations — from marching in Mardi Gras parades to working with band members at local high schools — is a unique experience that amplifies the university’s relationship with its city.
“It is wonderful to once again be immersed in the Tulane and greater New Orleans communities, and I look forward to working with our talented students, staff, and faculty while connecting with one of the greatest musical cultures the world has to offer,” Parilla-Koester continued.
To learn more about Tulane Bands, join Spanier at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 21, in room 201 of the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life to hear about program updates and the vision for the future.