The director of the Kansas University Marching Jayhawks will leave KU after the semester ends to pursue a doctoral degree.
David Clemmer has been director of the Marching Jayhawks and director of athletic bands since coming to KU from Sam Houston State University in 2006.
Paul Popiel, KU’s director of bands, said that the number of marching band participants increased tremendously while Clemmer served as director. Clemmer said the band has increased from about 150 when he arrived to about 280 today.
“The quality of the band has improved significantly,” Popiel said.
Clemmer will attend school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, he said. The doctorate would prepare him to one day move into a job as director of bands.
That position would allow him to spend additional time with the musical side of his profession, including training graduate conductors and spending more time working with a school’s concert ensemble band.
“Once this degree’s completed, that will prepare me in terms of the necessary paperwork,” Clemmer said.
The decision to leave was a difficult one, Clemmer said, but he said he was thankful for the people he met at KU.
“I truly believe that our students are in a wonderful place and they believe in each other and they believe in the Marching Jayhawks as an idea,” Clemmer said.