On Sept. 18, Shayna Stahl accepted the position of Director of Athletic Bands at Stony Brook University, completing a nationwide search to replace longtime music director and founder of the Spirit of Stony Brook Marching Band, John J. Leddy, who retired last year.
“At the end of the day, and having searched all across the country, we found our future right here at home at Stony Brook with Shayna Stahl,” Jeffrey A. Barnett, assistant dean of students, said in a press release. “[She] has the perfect combination of experience to suit our program, [and] I am confident that the band will continue to experience great success under her leadership.”
From marching with the Diamond Marching Band while working to achieve her bachelor’s degree in music education, Stahl said she is fully aware of the important position she holds within the campus.
“While studying at Temple University I knew I wanted to be a music director, and coming to work here I could see myself doing so much more,” Stahl said.
Stahl was involved with the athletic bands at SBU since they were founded by Leddy in 2006. She originally became involved as a graduate assistant, during which time she said she “collaboratively created a vision for the band” alongside Leddy.
In 2008, Stahl accepted the position of part-time assistant director while maintaining a full-time position with Middle Country School District as music educator, band director, musical choreographer and later, administrative dean.
Although Stahl received considerable credit for her work within the Middle Country School District, becoming the director of athletic bands at SBU has always been her dream.
“Being the Director of Athletic Bands became my goal, and something I wanted to strive for here at Stony Brook University,” Stahl said.
With her new role leading the marching band, she aims to “have musical and marching precision, a community feeling within the band, and an overall performance that entertains and that the students enjoy.”
Stahl said that looking toward other athletic bands within the league drives her and the band to provide “a stronger and fuller sounding band that looks sharp on the field with a clean, crisp and tight performance.”
Within the upcoming weeks, students can expect to see the marching band appear at the Campus Lifetime homecoming kickoff, the Seawolves showcase, all home SBU football games, the Columbus Day Parade in New York City, the SBU basketball tournament and many community outreach projects and events.