School of Music names director of marching and athletic bands

July 13, 2016
Marching band

Minnesota native Elizabeth (Betsy) Kerns McCann has been named Assistant Director of Bands/Director of Marching and Athletic Bands at the University of Minnesota. McCann is the first female director of a marching band in the Big Ten Conference. McCann started with the U of M Marching Band in 2013 as Assistant Director. She previously directed bands at Watertown-Mayer High School (Watertown, MN), Waubonsie Valley High School (Aurora, Illinois) and Burnsville Senior High School (Burnsville, Minnesota). She holds a Bachelor of Music (flute performance and music education) from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Music (conducting) from Northwestern University.

Director of Bands Emily Threinen shares, "We are thrilled to have Betsy McCann as Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Marching and Athletic Bands at the University of Minnesota. She has led the U of M Marching Band to new heights and we're excited for the future of the Pride of Minnesota under her leadership."

School of Music Director Michael Kim says, "We're excited for Betsy to assume leadership of the U of M Marching and Athletic Bands. Her appointment is a truly a historic moment for the Pride of Minnesota as Betsy will be the first woman to lead the U of M Marching Band. She brings a wealth of experience, talent, enthusiasm, and Ski-U-Mah spirit to the Marching Band team. Our students will shine brightly under her direction."

Timothy Diem has stepped down as Marching Band Director and Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Minnesota and has accepted a position at Rockford Middle School in Rockford, Minnesota. U of M School of Music Director Michael Kim says, "We greatly appreciate all that Tim Diem has done in the past 16 years to move our program forward. He will always be a part of our musical community. On behalf of the students, faculty, and staff here at the University of Minnesota School of Music, we give Tim our heartfelt thanks for his service and dedication to our band program. We wish the best in his future ventures."

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