Jay C. Rees is Professor of Music and Director of Athletic Bands at the Frost School of Music. He leads the Frost Band of the Hour marching and pep bands at UM sporting events such as nationally televised Miami Hurricanes football and basketball games, while expanding the band’s reach and reputation throughout the nation. In addition, he conducts the Frost Symphonic Winds, teaches undergraduate music education classes, and directs undergraduate jazz combos.
Professor Rees is an alumnus of the Frost School of Music (BM ’84, jazz performance and music education) and an accomplished bassist with international touring credits. He still actively performs with his jazz/fusion ensemble Sylvan Street, with whom he’s released three CDs on the Summit Jazz label. Rees’ large catalog of published original music for jazz, wind ensemble, concert bands, and athletic bands is commissioned and performed by major universities and high schools across the country. He travels as a clinician, guest speaker, adjudicator, and conductor for band programs nationwide.
Professor Rees served 19 years as Professor of Music and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Arizona (MM ’95). His bands recorded several CDs, appeared on Fox Sports and NBC-TV’s Today Show, and were named one of the top bands in the country by the prestigious CBDNA.
Professor Rees is nationally recognized for his contemporary band arrangements and inventive drill design, referenced extensively in the book Marching Bands and Drumlines: Secrets of Success from the Best of the Best. In 2001, Rees choreographed a live “human flag” for the Arizona community in response to the events of 9/11. His iconic field design incorporated 10,000 citizens and became a national symbol of resilience. The image appeared on CNN and was published in a special issue of Sports Illustrated.
Rees is listed in Who’s Who in America for the 21st Century, and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. He is a member of ASCAP, The Recording Academy, and CBDNA.
Jay Rees, Director of Athletic Bands