UT's Pride of the Southland bands getting new director

The band filled the north end of the First Tennessee Pavilion. The University of Tennessee Pride of the Southland Marching Band played for the Big Orange faithful at the First Tennessee Pavilion on October 20, 2017. The band was on their way for the Alabama game in Tuscaloosa.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Michael Stewart has been selected as the next director of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville's Pride of the Southland Marching and Athletic Bands. Beginning July 1, Stewart will lead the 340-member team of musicians and majorettes, the School of Music announced recently.

Stewart is currently an associate professor of music education and an associate director of bands, conducting both the UT Symphonic Band and Basketball Pep Bands. He has worked at the UT School of Music since 2007. In addtion to directing the marching band, Stewart will be the associate director of wind studies and will hold the WJ Julian Endowed Professorship.

Stewart said in a news release that he is "humbled, but excited to stand in front of this amazing group of students with 152 years of tradition behind them. I'm grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait for the fall to hear 'Rocky Top' ringing throughout Neyland Stadium."