Chybowski to serve as interim Pride of the Plains band director 

With 160 music and non-music majors set to arrive on campus this weekend to begin Pride of the Plains Marching Band Camp on Monday, Assistant Professor Andrew Chybowski is ready to hit the field to serve as the interim band director. 

He’s bringing with him a love for marching band — “It was my favorite part of high school,” he said — along with an exciting playlist and the desire to continue the legacy of his friend and colleague, Professor Doug Whitten. 

Whitten, who had served as director of athletic bands at PSU for 19 years, died suddenly while riding his bike this summer. Under his leadership, the band became an important part of Game Day activities at Gorilla Village and Carnie Smith Stadium and a very visible presence on campus and in the community. 

The band’s longtime slogan: “Best Band in the Land!” 

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About Chybowski 

Chybowski has served as a member of the Music Department faculty since 2017. He conducts the PSU Wind Ensemble and teaches music education courses and conducting at the undergraduate and graduate level.  

Prior to coming to Pittsburg, he was the director of a competitive high school marching band in Texas for five years and served as a graduate assistant with the marching bands at Indiana University and Missouri State University.  

“I’m looking forward to being part of the legendary game day atmosphere at Pitt State, getting a chance to reach a whole new audience beyond the concert hall, but mostly I am looking forward to working with the phenomenal students who make up the Pride of the Plains,” he said. 

About the season 

“It will be all about variety: we'll be doing a classic rock show, a show that fuses classical music with funk, music from musicals, a Bohemian Rhapsody show, a patriotic salute to armed forces, and a lot more,” he said.  

It also includes a tribute to Whitten during the second home game. 

“I’m extremely excited and humbled to serve as interim director of the Pride of the Plains this semester while we conduct a national search for a long-term director,” Chybowski said. “I am in no way a replacement for Doug but will do everything I can to honor his legacy and that of all the outstanding members of the Pride of the Plains, past and present.” 

“My goals are to provide the best experience possible for all members, and to create a world-class game day atmosphere for the team and fans,” he said. “My personal goal is to have as much fun as possible this season!” 

That will be evident when band camp starts Monday: In addition to full days of rehearsals, he’s planning spirit days, social activities, cheer contests, trips to Tropical Sno, and more. 

“We have dedicated leadership, experienced upperclassmen, and eager, talented incoming members to help make this season one to remember,” Chybowski wrote in a note to band members. “I am here for you all season, so please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or thoughts any time. I can't wait to work with the Best Band in the Land!” 

A search 

The department, meanwhile, will use the coming months to search for a permanent replacement for Whitten, who also oversaw pep band during basketball season and taught low brass students; his specialty was tuba and euphonium. 

“We’re very appreciative of Andrew stepping up to serve as a leader in this important role, which touches so many lives — including students, alumni, and community members,” said Music Department Chair Susan Marchant. “We’re looking forward to a great season.”