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Big catch for BSU bands: Scott Guidry, former director of U.S. Air Force Band, joins university faculty

Maj. Scott Guidry recently retired as director of operations for the United States Air Force Band and has joined the faculty of Bemidji State University. — SUBMITTED PHOTO

BEMIDJI — The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as the old saying goes.

Apply that adage to the instrumental music department at Bemidji State University: “The proof of the program is in the top-notch faculty who teach in it.”

When Maj. Scott Guidry, the newly retired director of operations for the United States Air Force Band, was looking for a faculty position a reputable university, he looked through the want ads posted for band directors, but he also called longtime friend Del Lyren.

Lyren is a music professor at BSU who has been assiduously promoting the instrumental music offerings of the school nationally and internationally for many years.

“I have known Del for over 20 years,” Guidry said, “and when I called him about the band director position at BSU, he invited me to visit and then offered me the job. I accepted without hesitation.

“The town is strikingly beautiful with the lake, the university and the city, which reminds me if my 14,000-person hometown of Carencro, just a few miles outside of  Lafayette, La.”

Guidry says he loves teaching and is anxious to return to his roots in instructing instrumental band music. Guidry earned his bachelor’s degree in music education at Loyola University in New Orleans and his master’s degree in band conducting from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Guidry spent the first six years of his professional life teaching high school before joined the Air Force. With the heralded Air Force Band, he rose from player to conductor and then onto to an administrative position in his 20-year enlistment.

Guidry began his playing at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. He moved with the band to Boston and back to D.C. before a Germany. Guidry eventually was named director of operations for the band, which prompted a move back to Bolling until his retirement effective in September.

“I have been working with professional musicians from many colleges and universities but, during my years with the USAF, I hosted many workshops, clinics and conferences for high school and college students,” said Guidry. “I am anxious to get back to teaching again as my retirement offers a new start and a  different life. I feel that I have much to offer BSU in terms of actively recruiting music students whether they want to study conducting or teaching instrumental music.”

Guidry is looking forward to establishing relationships with area high school band directors, as well as strengthening BSU’s music department by utilizing his many national and international contacts.

“Scott Guidry is the type of band director who will make an immediate impact upon our music department,” Lyren said. “His numerous years of experience conducting one of the top bands in the country will bring instant credibility to our recruiting efforts and will surely attract new students to our program. We are very lucky to have him here, and personally, I am excited and rejuvenated by the prospect of working with him.”

Guidry said much of his enthusiasm stems from the welcoming atmosphere he received from BSU faculty. This fall, he will be conducting the Wind Ensemble (an auditioned group) and the Symphonic Band, which draws musicians from BSU faculty, students, the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, the Bemidji Area Band — present and retired members and interested community members. Guidry will teach Instrumental Studies, for students choosing to run a band program, and Instrumental Arranging. He’ll also observe instrumental students teaching in local schools.

Guidry and his wife, Heather, are new empty-nesters as the last of their three children, Annie, will be entering the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. A music major,  Annie will be living with her older sister, Sarah and her husband, Jake. The middle son, Tim, is a junior studying arranging. Scott said he and Heather are looking to buy a home in Bemidji, but haven’t yet decided if they want to live on a lake or in town. Heather Guidry is an proficient oboe player who will turn her attention to the move up north and settling in the new home before auditioning for any community ensemble, he said.