by Max Brantley
Shoot. A reader tipped me to this last night, but I waited for the morning to doublecheck and the UA sent out a news release before responding to our inquiry.
When the basketball team's losing, what do you?
Get a new band director, that's what.
I think I'm joking.
The band director's job has had its political elements and controversies over the years.
Whatever the case might be this time, Timothy Gunter, director of athletic bands at UA, is leaving after nine years on the job.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Timothy Gunter, director of athletic bands at the University of Arkansas for the past nine years, has announced that he will be leaving the university effective June 30.
As band director and conductor, Gunter has been responsible for all administrative affairs of the band program, including budgeting. He also has served as the liaison to the Razorback Band Alumni Society created four years ago.
“The band program at the University of Arkansas is truly unique and special in many ways, and I will always consider it an honor to have been given the privilege to work with the thousands of wonderful, hard-working students,” said Gunter, who served as associate director of bands for five years prior to being named director. “We have achieved many successes together, achieving the pinnacle honor for collegiate marching bands by being named as the Sudler Trophy recipient in 2006, all due to the hard work and sacrifice of all of the students I had the opportunity to get to know over the years. I wish them all the success and happiness in the world.”
Under Gunter’s direction, the Razorback Band performed at several bowl games and two SEC championship football games in Atlanta. The Hogwild Band, a fixture at basketball games in Bud Walton Arena, has been seen and heard around the nation during postseason tournament appearances with the basketball team.
Being honored with the Sudler Trophy in 2006 was a crowning achievement for Gunter and the band program, as it is the highest honor bestowed upon collegiate marching bands.
In addition, Gunter led the transition of athletic bands into a newly renovated and expanded Lewis Epley Jr. Band Hall, designed to serve the needs of more than 350 student musicians and performers. The renovation, completed in 2007, provided a facility containing modern student practice rooms, office space, a lounge, lockers and storage for music, uniforms and instruments. It also contains a wall of honor recognizing outstanding performers and contributors to the band programs.
Over the next several months, a national search for Gunter’s successor will be initiated by the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, in which the position is administratively housed.