Get to know us.
The Pride of Dayton Marching Band performs at all home football games and one away game each year. Participation in the marching band is a registered class - students can receive a free semester hour for their participation in the Pride. A variety of music is performed throughout the season with the philosophy to educate, entertain, and provide service throughout the community. Music and drill is learned during band camp, one week prior to the start of classes. Learn more about us from the For More Information links on this page.
Our staff is a group of educated music professionals dedicated to making the Pride a memorable experience that is both educational and fun.
Kenneth Will, Director
Kenneth Will is the director of the Pride of Dayton Marching Band, Concert Band and assists with the Flyer Pep Band.
Prior to his appointment at the University of Dayton, he served as the Director of Bands at Ashland University and Walsh University where he was responsible for the marching and concert programs. He earned his Master’s of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting from Ohio University where he served as Graduate Associate for the Marching 110, Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, and University Concert Band in addition to assisting with undergraduate conducting classes.
Jim Leslie, Assistant Director & Percussion Instructor
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.
Missy Townsend, Twirler Instructor
Missy Townsend joined the marching band staff in 2010. A 1988 graduate of Boston College, she was the "Golden Girl," attending the university on a full athletic scholarship. She performed at the Orange and Cotton Bowls, Cincinnati Reds, New England Patriots, and Boston Celtics games. She is a former Collegiate National Champion and Miss College Majorette of America.
As a coach, Missy was the twirling coordinator at Boston College from 1988-1995. She has coached many of the top twirlers in the country and has numerous students twirling with college marching band throughout the United States.
Missy owns a twirling studio in Franklin, Ohio and is the Colorguard, Winterguard, and Twirling Instructor at Franklin High School. She is also the director of New Alliance Dance Twirl Team, a team of elite twirlers from across the country. She is a registered NBTA, AAU, and TU instructor and adjudicator.