Update: Interim Assistant Director Hired, First Band Performance on Saturday

A close-up photo of the hands playing an instrument.
Band rebuilding program aims for a safe and welcoming organization moving forward “in a positive and student-focused direction that the entire UC Davis community can be proud of.” (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Updated 1:30 p.m. Sept. 25:

Emily Galindo, interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs, provided the following update on the band program, including the appointment of an interim assistant director and a performance on Saturday, Sept. 28:

We are excited to announce the appointment of Garrett Rigsby as interim assistant director for the UC Davis Marching Band and that the band’s first performance will be at the Aggies home football game this Saturday, Sept. 28.

Rigsby will serve in the interim role until the search for a permanent assistant director is completed. Before earning a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), he earned a Master of Arts in music from UC Davis in 2016. Rigsby brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience. He has served as assistant conductor for both the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance and the UC Davis Department of Music as well as assistant director at the Davis Chorale. He has also worked with and played in the Pacific Pep Band at the University of the Pacific. In addition to this position, the new band coordinator has also been hired and will join the staff team in January.

Rigsby will work with the Student Leadership Team to re-establish the band with a continued focus on excellence in musical performance. The band has been rehearsing since the reinstatement and will now have the opportunity to perform in the stands under Rigsby's direction starting with the home football game this weekend.

The band is dedicating this performance to Muriel B. Gill ’46 by wearing ribbons in her honor. Gill, who passed away Sept. 18, had benefited countless students through her generous gifts to support various UC Davis programs, including the marching band.

Updated 1:15 p.m. Sept. 18:

Emily Galindo, interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs, provided the following update on progress of restructuring the band program, including its new name and fall performances:

Since the reinstatement on Sept. 3, Campus Recreation and the Student Leadership Team have been utilizing the Action Plan for Reinstatement of the Marching Band to begin to implement the necessary changes to reconstruct the program. Some of this critical work has included writing the new mission, vision and values statement, developing procedures to fulfill the new bylaws and designing new uniforms. In addition, the new name of “UC Davis Marching Band” has been confirmed.  

The university is also amid the search process for a new assistant director of the band. This newly redesigned role will provide administrative oversight, support and musical direction expertise for band performances. While the search continues, the band will be permitted to have a coordinated presence in the stands during home football games under the supervision of Campus Recreation leadership. All official performances have been placed on hold until the search has concluded.

We share in the hopes of the students and community for the band to have the opportunity to share their spirit and pride for UC Davis. This is an important moment in the history of the band and we will continue to move forward with the collaborative process of building a new foundation for the program and relaunching the band in a positive direction. We will be thoughtful in our approach as we work toward the best possible outcome for our students.

Original post Sept. 3:

A statement from Emily Galindo, interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs:

Earlier this spring, the university received allegations of misconduct by members of the Cal Aggie Marching Band (CAMB) and the Cal Aggie Alumni Band. In response, all band operations for both organizations were provisionally suspended, and the university hired an external law firm to conduct a comprehensive independent review to evaluate the climate of the band. As part of the review, a climate survey was distributed to current and former members of the band and individual interviews were conducted. In addition to this review, leadership within the Division of Student Affairs met throughout the summer to assess and reconstruct all functional areas of the band including bylaws, organizational structure, policies, reporting procedures, traditions and training.

These critical efforts have recently concluded, and we would like to share the feedback, outcomes and decisions of this process. According to the Climate Survey Report, participants of the survey overwhelmingly felt positive about CAMB, with 85 percent of respondents stating they were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” about their overall experience. With that said, however, the survey and interviews revealed areas of concern regarding traditions, activities and behavior, with survey and interview respondents citing examples of misconduct. Regarding band administrators, there was no evidence that they failed to appropriately respond to the reports of misconduct. In consideration of the report findings as well as the long-standing history of CAMB and its positive contributions to the campus community, university leadership has made the following decisions:

Key decisions/outcomes

  • Band restructure — The university has discontinued the Cal Aggie Marching Band and has decided to establish a band with a new name, bylaws, governing structure, guidelines and practices. The group referred to as the “Band-Uh” will no longer exist. The band will shift from being a “student-run” organization to a “university-supervised” organization. In support of this oversight, the open assistant director and coordinator positions have been redesigned with revised duties and expectations. A student leadership team will be established and selected by Campus Recreation.
  • Alumni band (formally known as the Cal Aggie Marching Band Alumni Association) — Effective immediately, the university will discontinue its relationship with the alumni band. The alumni band will no longer be recognized by the campus and will be prohibited from participating in any campus events. While we recognize that the concerns regarding the alumni band are not reflective of the entire membership, we feel this step is necessary to provide the greatest opportunity for the student band to rebuild as a new and independent program. Further, under our new restructuring, social interactions with alumni band members will be strongly discouraged. 
  • Action plan — Campus Recreation and band staff leadership will utilize the “Overall Action Plan for Reinstatement of the Marching Band” to implement the necessary changes to reconstruct the program. Key highlights of the action plan include:
    • Collaboration with student members to develop a new name and uniform design for the band, in addition to new mission, vision and value statements.
    • Addition of extensive required trainings, including procedures for reporting concerns within the band.
  • Probationary Period — There will be a two-year probationary period. During that time, the band must follow the new structure, guidelines and practices, and will be permitted to participate only in events and activities approved by Campus Recreation.

Rebuilding the band program

The Division of Students Affairs is committed to offering programs, services and experiences that promote student success, well-being and engagement while building an inclusive campus community. Among those goals, the safety of our students is the highest priority. With the seriousness of the allegations, our goal throughout this process was to act swiftly, thoughtfully and appropriately in both our assessment and decision making. The plan put forth was developed with great reflection, intention and care and is rooted in the desire to rebuild the band program into a safe and welcoming organization for our students and to move forward in a positive and student-focused direction that the entire UC Davis community can be proud of.

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