Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - We all love our University of Montana Grizzly Marching Band during the football season and the UM Pep Band during the basketball season.

Well, I just spoke with UM Athletics Band Director Kevin Griggs about a symposium to be held on campus as they host over 100 marching band directors from both FBS and FCS schools for the first time ever in Missoula.

Griggs provided details of the event to be held from May 29 (Wednesday) to June 1.

Over 100 Marching Band Directors in Missoula for a Symposium

“This is the annual College Band Directors National Association Conference,” began Griggs. “It's University marching band and pep band directors from all over the country. We've got small schools like Stetson University clear up through Ohio State, Florida State, and other really big name schools. About 200 people will be in attendance and they're going to be here for instructional sessions and social events and networking and it's going to be great.”

Griggs said band directors will be able to share ideas and inspire each other for the upcoming seasons.

Griggs said 'It's like Professional Development for Band Directors'

“It's like a professional development for the band directors,” he said. “Some of them will bring grad students with them or other staff members, such as their percussion instructor and so forth. In addition, the National Association of Alumni Bands does their conference in conjunction with ours, so we have representatives from alumni bands all over the country, too.”

Griggs said the band directors are always looking for inspiration and great ideas.

“Some of them are panel discussions where we can bounce ideas off each other as questions, and talk about what's worked,” he said. “It's really very informative and it kind of gets you pumped up for the fall season. You start to get ideas that you hadn't thought of before. You see what other schools are doing and someone brings up a great idea and you think, ‘Wow, I can't wait to try that with my group’, or you share what you're doing well, and it just really gets you excited for the possibilities in the coming season.”

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Griggs said he Can't-Wait to show off Washington Grizzly Stadium

With the iconic Washington Grizzly Stadium and the UM campus as the backdrop, Griggs said he knows even the big schools will be impressed.

“I want to be able to show to directors around the country that it's not just the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) schools, you know that are capable of hosting that. Some of the dynasty FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) schools really have a lot to offer. And I want people to come away having seen the beauties of Western Montana, having just really enjoyed themselves and with a little bit of a wow factor saying, ‘Wow, Montana really has some cool stuff going on’.”

One of the interesting topics will be about how to reduce damage to instruments caused by in-game pyrotechnics – a natural hazard of the athletic band's trade.

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Gallery Credit: Nick Northern

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