UT Knoxville names Pride of the Southland Band director - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UT Knoxville names Pride of the Southland Band director

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Don Ryder, the new director of UT's Pride of the Southland Band. UTK photo Don Ryder, the new director of UT's Pride of the Southland Band. UTK photo

KNOXVILLE, TN (AP) - University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has named a new band director after the previous director was removed during a public dispute over the band's changing role.

Don Ryder has been serving as interim director for the Pride of the Southland Band since October 2013. He takes over officially on Feb. 1. Mike Stewart will take over as associate director. He has held the interim position over the same period.

Ryder is an associate professor of music and has worked for UT for more than 16 years.

He follows director Gary Sousa, who led the band from 1997 until he was relieved of his position in 2013. That was shortly after a letter from the band came out complaining of a reduced role at home football games and a "slashed" travel budget.

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