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Kenneth Will, Director

Kenneth Will came to the University of Dayton in 2016 when he was named the 24th director of the Pride of Dayton Marching Band. In addition to his work with the marching band, Ken also conducts the Concert Band, assists with the Flyer Pep Band, teaches courses in music education, and supervises student teachers.

Ken’s arrangements for marching band have achieved notoriety through their popularity around the world, performed by high school and collegiate ensembles. He is well-known throughout the region as a charismatic clinician, keeping a busy performance schedule as a conductor and as an adjudicator with Music in the Parks and the Kentucky Derby Pegasus Parade. His publications can be read in the Teaching Music Through Performanceseries through GIA Publications.

Prior to his appointment at the University of Dayton, Ken served as the Director of Bands at Ashland University and Walsh University. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Ohio University and his Master’s of Music from Ohio University where he studied conducting with Andrew Trachsel and Richard Suk. While at Ohio University, he served as a Graduate Teaching Associate for the Marching 110 and concert bands.

Ken holds memberships in the National Association for Music Education, the College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia as well as honorary memberships in Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.

Contact Kenneth Will
James Leslie, Assistant Director

Jim Leslie holds the title of Artist in Residence at the University of Dayton, where he has taught since 1999. He is responsible for teaching all percussion lessons, percussion pedagogy classes, percussion ensemble, and winter drumline. He is also the Assistant Marching Band Director and directs the University Jazz Band. In addition to his responsibilities at UD, he presents clinics and guest performances at other schools, including Indiana State University, Cedarville University, Wright State University, Clermont College, Xavier University, and The Ohio State University, Lima.

A passion for performing keeps him busy several nights a week. He is a member of Dave Greer's Classic Jazz Stompers, featuring jazz of the '20s and '30s, and the Ed Moss Society Jazz Orchestra, a group dedicated to playing original music with a nod to Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Thelonious Monk. The Jim Leslie Quartet has performed more than 100 concerts in Dayton area schools as part of the Muse Machine. Students who are involved in this program are able to hear and interact with the top jazz musicians in the area. The group has performed concerts featuring the music of Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Horace Silver, and Thelonious Monk.

Originally from Warren, Michigan, Professor Leslie is a graduate of Central Michigan University, where he was a student of the late Robert Hohner. As a member of The Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble, Jim can be heard on several performance recordings.

Contact James Leslie

There are plenty of leadership opportunities for students as members of the Pride of Dayton. Split into the executive board as well as the section leaders, these student leaders work tirelessly to continue to improve the band.


  • CEO: Abigail Southworth
  • Assistant CEO: Abigail Grant
  • Treasurer: Dominic Salvino
  • Equipment: Jacob Slomko (Chair), Konnor Von Bargen
  • Uniforms: Abigail Matney (Chair), Judy Calo
  • Recruitment: Jackie Kasner, Justin Meiring
  • Service Chair: Elizabeth Maxwell
  • Photographer: Ben Knab, Ren Sikes
  • Librarian: Rachel Dalrymple, Kayla Pennie
  • Social Chair: Margot Houser, Dustin Holmes
  • New Media Coordinator: Becca Kurtz
  • EMT’s: Hannah Bertke, Megann Bertke
  • Field Assistants: Abigail Matney, Ben Knab


  • Drum Majors: Nicole Ortenzi, Ben Mueller, Aidan Garland
  • Piccolo: Jada Barlage, Leah Borsich
  • Clarinet: Molly Obergefell, Aidan Kilgore
  • Alto Saxophone: Joe Martens, Michaela Copeland
  • Tenor Saxophone: Nick Kuziak
  • Trumpet: Abigail Souhworth, Jacob Slomko, Patrick Linegang
  • Mellophone: Joe Wise, Margot Houser
  • Trombone: Rachel Dalrymple, Ryan Hunt
  • Baritone: Kyle Smith
  • Tuba: Dustin Holmes
  • Percussion: Amanda Bursch (Captain), Duncan Costello, Kris Brown, Mark Brune
  • Color Guard: Imani Prophet


Pride of Dayton

Fitz Hall, Room 475
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2946

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