LAFAYETTE — The University of Louisiana at Lafayette recently named Eric Melley director of the Pride of Acadiana Marching Band.
He is replacing Brian Taylor, who resigned from the position.
Melley holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree in music from LSU. While at LSU, Melley was assistant director of the LSU Tiger Marching Band for two years and directed the LSU Symphonic Winds Ensemble, the Bengal Brass Basketball Band and the “Chancellor’s Own” pep band.
“Louisiana has become a second home to me. So, I’m eager to return to the state,” Melley said.
He and his family will be moving to Louisiana from Arizona, where he earned a doctorate of musical arts with an emphasis in conducting in May from Arizona State University.
The 250-member band begins practice in mid-August; students start the fall semester Aug. 21. The Pride of Acadiana performs at all home football games.
The band made its second appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City in November, performing in front of an estimated 3.5 million spectators who attend the parade each year. More than 50 million more watched the parade at home. The band also has performed in Scotland, England, Spain and at special events in the state.
Melley is a “first-rate” marching band director, said Garth Alper, a professor of music and director of UL-Lafayette’s School of Music and Performing Arts.
“Dr. Melley will be coming in to take over a successful marching band and bring it to the next level,” Alper said.