• Sara Rudin

32: Catching Up With My College Band Director

Updated: May 29

I received a notification today stating I graduated from college 13 years ago. WHAT?! The memories have literally lasted forever. I was so excited to catch up with my band director from college.


It feels like yesterday I was running onto the field the first time for a crowd of 10s of thousands. Hearing the crowd cheer so loudly, it became a blur, and the crash of a drum cadence came to my ear. All the routines, the hard work, the hours of practice - I would never get another first time to twirl on the field in college. I stood up straight and started twirling my little heart out.

I am so sad that most twirlers won't get to experience this life changing moment in their twirling career. In a past episode, we talked to a high school band director about twirling, but I really wanted to talk to a college professor because that's what we strive for.

Jay Rees was my college band director, and if you have been following me for any length of time, you know I twirled with up to 17 other twirlers at one point on the field. Rees inherited the twirling line from a legacy of band directors reaching back to the 1950s. Shirlee Bertolini was the first U of Arizona Twirler, and she stayed as the Coach of the University of Arizona Twirling Line up until a couple years ago. Rees and Shirlee had such a great relationship built on respect of each others' art.

Today we talk to Professor Jay Rees about that art. You may never hear another interview with someone so honest about how to twirl on the field, how to approach a band director, and things you SHOULDN'T do if you want to stay on the field. I broke this interview into two parts. Enjoy!!

If given the chance - what would you ask a band director? Don't forget to download our Free Guide with some top tips on twirling in school:


©2019 by The Baton Twirling Project. Proudly created with Wix.com