Director of Bands put on leave, names interim

Director of Bands Gary Sousa has been placed on administrative leave for the rest of the fall semester, according to a press release from UT Monday.

The release quoted the reasons for his leave to be based on insubordination, misrepresentation of facts and a lack of confidence in Sousa’s ability to work constructively and collaboratively with others going forward. The leave, though, is still under review.

Don Ryder was named interim director. Ryder has worked for UT for 14 years and also conducts the UT Symphonic Band and teaches undergraduate instrumental conducting.

In the meeting with the band was Chancellor Jimmy Cheek, Provost Susan Martin, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Theresa Lee, School of Music Director Jeff Pappas, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart, and UT Football Coach Butch Jones.

“We fully support the Pride of the Southland Band,” Cheek said. “We want every student musician to have a great experience and enjoy being part of a wonderful and cherished tradition.”

Cheek issued a statement Monday afternoon saying that he met with the band earlier in the day and hopes for the best for the new people in band leadership roles.

Drum major Jessica Henderson said that students were not allowed to comment at this time.

More details as they develop.

Edited by Jennifer Brake

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