College of Music selects first woman to lead Spartan Marching Band

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Michigan State University's College of Music and Spartan Marching Band will welcome a new leader to their ensemble - who is also the first woman to hold such a rank.

Arris Golden will join MSU as assistant director of bands and associate director of the Spartan Marching Band, effective July 1.

Golden currently leads the 265-member Marching Tar Heels of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and brings a breadth of experience to MSU.

"Arris brings creativity as a conductor and over 20 years of experience as an award-winning music educator in North Carolina, where her artistry in the concert hall, the classroom and on the marching band field has been clearly seen," said James Forger, dean of the College of Music. "We are excited to engage an individual with her depth of talent and experience."

Golden's responsibilities at UNC go far beyond the Marching Tar Heels. She is a member of the conducting faculty, serves as the assistant director of university bands, directs the Women's Basketball Pep Band, conducts the Symphony Band and is guest conductor with the Wind Ensemble. Golden also teaches courses in music education, which she will continue at MSU.

"Arris' unique experience and significant qualifications as conductor and educator will greatly enhance our community," said Kevin Sedatole, director of bands and chair of the conducting area. "She also brings expertise on the secondary level of teaching that will offer invaluable learning experiences for our students."

Prior to UNC, Golden was director of athletic bands at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina. She previously served as the director of bands at Gravelly Hill Middle School in Efland, North Carolina, where she conducted an internationally recognized middle school concert band that participated in featured performances across the country.

"Our students are going to love Arris Golden's energy and enthusiasm for her job," said David Thornton, associate director of bands and director of the MSU Spartan Marching Band. "Her teaching experience and knowledge of our program will allow her to have an immediate impact."

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