Matthew Basch has been named director of the UMBC Down and Dirty Dawg Band, replacing Jari Villanueva, who will resign after the spring semester, having completed 12 years in the position.
Basch is currently a graduate student at UMBC, who is expected to earn his master’s degree in information systems in December of 2010. He earned a bachelor’s degree in that field and minored in music at UMBC in May of 2008.
The percussionist assisted Villanueva in band operations, including recruitment, scheduling, technology and alumni relations from August of 2005 through May of 2008. The Columbia, Md. native created, developed, and maintained pep band websites, e-mail lists and data bases.
Basch also served as technology manager for The Retriever Weekly from August 2006 through May of 2008 and is currently employed as the general manager for the Columbia Association’s Sport & Fitness Division.
Villanueva began his association with UMBC as director of the Pep Band in 1998. He also created and led a 16-piece Jazz Ensemble, directed the UMBC Wind Ensemble and mentored students in the UMBC Music Department. During his tenure, the Pep Band evolved into a talented and spirited support group and earned wide-spread praise from media outlets such as The Washington Post for their excellence.
“From our performances at all home basketball games, to taking the band to the NCAA tournaments, it has been a remarkable journey,” Villanueva said. “We truly have become the musical face of UMBC at the national level! It has been a joy working with musician-students who have come through the band over the past 12 years, many of whom I am proud to call friends and colleagues.”
Villanueva wrote and arranged Our UMBC, the school’s alma mater in 2006 to celebrate the university’s 40th anniversary.
Villanueva will remain in the area continuing to work for the State as an Administrator in the Maryland Military Department and remain musically active as director of the Maryland Defense Force Band and the Federal City Brass Band.