Fri 05/21/2021 – 14:41 | By: Mike Lopinto
The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) School of Music has named Dr. Travis Higa as interim director of the Mississippi Pride Marching Band. He is stepping down as associate director to replace Dr Colin McKenzie, who was recently appointed director of the School of Music.
Higa is completing his second year at USM as Deputy Group Director and Associate Director of Mississippi Pride. Prior to USM, he studied wind direction at Michigan State University while also being a faculty member at Oakland University where he led the symphony group and taught music education classes.
Prior to studying in the State of Michigan, Higa taught instrumental and general music at Longmeadow Public Schools in western Massachusetts, and was also Music Director and Founder of the Springfield Youth Wind Ensemble at Community Music. School of Springfield, Mass.
âI have great respect for the pride of Mississippi and the long-standing tradition and excellence that this organization embodies within the School of Music, the University and the community,â said Higa. âI am extremely fortunate to have spent the past two seasons with The Pride and look forward to continuing to collaborate with our exceptional students and to establish a strong sense of community within our family of students, alumni. and directors.
A native of Kaneohe, Hawaii, Higa holds a Doctor of Music Arts in Wind Direction from Michigan State University, a Master of Music in Trumpet Music from the University of Montana, and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Since its founding in 1920 as an ensemble of 20 brass, the Pride of Mississippi Marching Band has evolved into a bragging organization of over 300. The group performs at every home football game, many home games. ‘outdoor and high school marching band competitions and festivals during the football season. The group has performed twice before the Presidents, Governors and even the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ireland (1993 and 1997), having toured the United States, England and Ireland.
Performing for events such as the inaugural FDR parade in the 1930s, the Senior Bowl, and professional and college bowling games, including a performance with the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in 2006. Pride enjoyed ‘greater exposure to television and to the national public than any other. group in the south. The Southern Miss program is regarded nationwide as one of the best group programs.