Q&A: Penn State Blue Band Director O. Richard Bundy on the march to retirement
(Photo: Penn State University)
I reached out to Penn State Blue Band director O. Richard Bundy today after the university posted this job listing for a new Director of Athletic Bands starting in July 2015. He confirmed his impending retirement for a brief AP story and gave some insight on how he’ll be spending his time away from the band. Here’s the full Q & A:
Does this mean you’re retiring as band director?
Earlier this summer, I informed the director of the School of Music regarding my intention to retire at the end of the 2014-15 academic year. I understand the vacancy description above was posted today by Penn State. A national search will be conducted throughout the coming academic year to identify a qualified candidate.
Is this your decision, or is the university looking to move in a new direction?
This is my decision. I am pleased that the notice of vacancy indicates a candidate is sought who will continue to build upon the program that I’ve invested my career to develop. Anytime there is a change of director within a band program like Penn State’s there are bound to be new ideas brought to the position but I don’t believe the university is looking necessarily to move in a new direction.
Do you have any ideas for a successor, if you had your pick?
I was asked for input on the job description and duties that were included in the vacancy notice. I will not be a member of the committee that will be formed to conduct the national search process but believe I may have an opportunity to provide feedback on candidates. I think it’s best that i not speculate on possible successors at this juncture.
Any plans for what you’ll do next – and how you’ll spend those early mornings and Saturday afternoons in the fall?
My plans include addressing the “honey-do” list my wife has been compiling for the last 35 years. I do have some interests such as photography, woodworking and learning to play guitar that I look forward to having time to pursue in retirement - and I hope to get back to playing music as a trombone performer again. Probably most importantly, my wife and I plan to travel; we hope to explore as many of the national parks as possible. And - we especially look forward to having more time to spend with our four children and their families which have blessed us with five grandchildren. I’m sure I’ll be nostalgic on Saturdays during the fall of 2015 and beyond. I am a Penn Stater through and through and will be cheering on the students and staff of the Blue Band as they continue to “raise the song” for the university we love.
I’ve always enjoyed your work and the band’s performances. The Blue Band truly is the best darn band in the land (no offense, Ohio State).
Thanks very much, I appreciate your kind comments. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with so many great students over the last 35 years. It’s always been gratifying to see the connection to their alma mater that students make as a result of their involvement with the band. Although I look forward with anticipation - and some degree of trepidation - to retirement, I know I will greatly miss the wonderful students, support staff, and professional colleagues who have been an important part of my 35-year career with the Penn State Blue Band.