Glauser School of Music names Darin Olson Director of Kent State Athletic Bands

Kent, OH — Kent State University’s Glauser School of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of Darin Olson, D.M.A., as the director of athletic bands and associate director of bands. Since 2013, Olson has served as the assistant director of bands at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Mead Witter School of Music. At Kent State, his duties will include leading the Marching Golden Flashes, Flasher Brass and Symphony Band along with teaching courses.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead the athletic band program at Kent State University,” said Olson. “I am excited to work with the talented, dedicated students and esteemed faculty of this wonderful institution.”

As assistant director of bands at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Olson designed drill and wrote musical arrangements for the UW Marching Band, directed the athletic bands at events for basketball, hockey, and volleyball, conducted a concert band, and taught courses on conducting and marching band techniques. Before his time at UW, he taught at Rider High School in Wichita Fall, Texas, which included a performance in London’s New Year’s Day parade. Alongside his work at UW, he is active as a conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, holding memberships with the College Band Directors National Association and the National Association for Music Education. He holds degrees from South Dakota State University, University of Missouri and Ohio State University.

“Darin brings to Kent State significant experience from a Big 10 marching band program that regularly has over 300 members and has performed worldwide,” said Kent McWilliams, D.M.A., director of the Glauser School. “I look forward to working with him as we continue to grow the Marching Golden Flashes, particularly as we launch the new Marching Golden Flash Award this fall.”

The Marching Golden Flash Award, announced in March of this year, is a $1,000 scholarship for all new and returning members of the marching band. Kent State's growing band program is currently led by Interim Director Wendy K. Matthews, Ph.D., through 2021. The Glauser School of Music’s many ensembles are open to all students at Kent State, welcoming over 500 Kent State students, alumni and community members annually to participate in over 20 ensembles, including nine concert, athletic and jazz bands.

For more information on the Glauser School of Music, visit


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POSTED: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 09:29 AM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 11:52 AM