Pride of Oklahoma marching band director Justin Stolarik has resigned, to be effective immediately, amidst complaints regarding his teaching methods and the band's restrictive media policy.
Former Pride director Brian Britt has accepted an invitation to reclaim his former job at OU, and he will be at the band's rehearsal Thursday afternoon. Britt, who had served in the position for 12 years, left OU in the early spring of 2013 to take a job in Texas so he could spend more time with his young daughter and other family members.
Stolarik's hiring in Feb. 2013 was immediately met with complaints because Pride members were expecting the university to hire the in-house candidate, Debra Traficante. Band alumni and members began voicing complaints about Stolarik's changing some of the performance routines starting in the fall 2013 semester.
OU President David Boren said in a statement released Thursday that Stolarik was stepping down to “unify the Pride and maintain its tradition of being one of the greatest bands in America."
Stolarik's resignation comes after ads were placed in three Oklahoma newspapers over Homecoming weekend. The ads, which were an open letter to Boren, spoke against the Pride’s media policy, which prohibited members from speaking negatively about the Pride on any form of media.
The Pride at Homecoming:
Boren met with Pride members Monday before Pride rehearsal and formally abolished the policy.
“I care deeply about the Pride and applaud the tremendous effort of our students. I always wanted them to have a good experience and be exposed to new ideas,” Stolarik said in the press release.
Check OUDaily.com for updates, including a video from an informal press conference announcing the resignation.
The Pride at OU/Texas:
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