Dr. Justin R. Stolarik
Director of Athletic Bands
Dr. Justin R. Stolarik is selected to serve as the Director of Athletic Bands for the Spirit of Stony Brook. He continues to be a freelance musician and conductor in New York City. Previously, he served as the Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Oklahoma and Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Assistant Director of Athletic Bands
Mr. Malafronte is the Assistant Director of Athletic Bands for the Spirit of Stony Brook. Prior to that, he was the woodwind insructor and a field technician since 2012, and has also served as the Director and Coordinator of Stony Brook's Summer Band Camp Program. In addition to Stony Brook, Mr. Malafronte is the Assistant Director of Bands at Connetquot High School.
Mr. Malafronte earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Ithaca College in 2006. He studied percussion with mallet percussion pioneer Gordon Stout and drum set with Conrad Alexander. He was a member of the percussion ensemble and frequently arranged its pieces. He also studied jazz with Steve Brown and conducting under Dr. Stephen Peterson. Vinnie earned his Masters in Liberal Arts Studies from Stony Brook University in 2011.
Vinnie brings a wealth of knowledge about marching technique, instrument technique, and instrument repair, to the Spirit of Stony Brook program.
Mr. Mike Ayala currently serves as Drumline Instructor for the Spirit of Stony Brook. He was previously a member of the Spirit of Stony Brook while attending Stony Brook University as an undergraduate. He served as the Drumline Instructor prior to 2015, before returning to the program again in 2018.
Athletic Bands, Director Emeritus and Arranger
John Leddy arrived at Stony Brook University in 2006 and is the Founding Director of The Spirit of Stony Brook. Prior to that, he taught music in the Connetquot school district for 33 years where he directed concert band, jazz ensemble, and marching band at all levels.
Mr. Leddy has a Bachelor of Music degree from the Crane School of Music at Potsdam College and a Master of Arts from Stony Brook University. He studied percussion with James Peterscak at the Crane School, timpani with Morris Lang of the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, and jazz drum set with Jim Chapin, Joe Morello, and Ed Shaughnessy. Mr. Leddy was the recipient of a Summer Fellowship for music educators from Northwestern University, where he studied conducting with Mallory Thompson and Don Owens. He also served as the Director of Jazz Studies at the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts.
Since his arrival to the Stony Brook campus, Mr. Leddy has been the recipient of the following awards: 2008 Seawolves Award from the Department of Athletics in recognition of contributions to the Athletic Department, the university and student athletes; 2009 “Man of the Year” Award from The Spirit of Stony Brook Marching Band leadership; 2010 Distinguished Service Award presented by Stony Brook University Student Affairs for outstanding service.
Mr. Leddy is an active member of MENC, NYSSMA, SCMEA, NMEA, Percussive Arts Society, the International Society for Jazz Education, and the College Band Directors National Association.
Jeffrey A. Barnett
Interim Associate Dean of Students
Jeff Barnett is a longtime member and proud alum of the Stony Brook community. After having completed his B.S. in psychology from Stony Brook University, Jeff went on to hold several positions at the university in Student Affairs, Enrollment & Retention Management and the Undergraduate Colleges. Jeff earned his graduate degree in Higher & Post-Secondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
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