Brooks Tapped as New Director of Buffalo Marching Band

Chip Chandler Jul 07, 2021
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Brooks Tapped as New Director of Buffalo Marching Band

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — West Texas A&M University’s Buffalo Marching Band has a new director at the helm.

Dr. B.J. Brooks recently was named the marching band’s new leader, following the 12-year tenure of Russ Teweleit.

“Russ is ready to take a step back from the rigors of preparing the marching band, which is a very time-intensive job,” said Dr. Robert Hansen, director of WT’s School of Music. “Fortunately, we had someone on our team who already has a passion for marching band.”

Brooks is only the fourth director of the band since 1963, when Dr. Gary Garner’s tenure began. Don Lefevre stepped into Garner’s shoes in 1994 and was director until 2007.

“I’m so happy to have all of them around because they are a wealth of information that I plan on tapping into,” Brooks said.

Lefevre, an associate professor of music, and Teweleit, a professor of music, will work with Brooks on preparing the band musically throughout the marching season. Dr. Susan Martin Tariq, professor of music, and Landry Kendrick, a School of Music staff member and part-time instructor, will prepare the drumline. Dr. Guglielmo Manfredi, professor of French horn, also will assist with drill and music instruction.

Brooks joined the WT faculty in 2008 and teaches music theory and composition. He has written marching shows for the Buffalo Marching Band since 2010, in addition to writing shows for Panhandle-area bands since 1998.

“I’ll be able to lead the band with a somewhat different approach because I’m so familiar with this material,” Brooks said. “If I’m the one who wrote the music, I’ve already thought of any solutions to problems that may arise.”

Brooks said he’s excited to maintain the band’s traditions, including Parents Day, much of the music played in the stands, and the band marching in a “WT” formation” during the pre-game show.

“This isn’t about changing things. It’s just the band through different set of eyes,” said Brooks, a Portales, N.M., native. “My focus is to look great, to sound great and to have fun while we do it.”

The band will debut its first show, “A Short and Not Very Accurate History of Video Game Music,” at the Buffalos’ home opener, set for Sept. 2 in Buffalo Stadium. Rehearsals for the approximately 175-member marching band will begin in August, before classes begin.

Fostering an appreciation of the arts is a key component of the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.