Dr. Justin R. Stolarik
Interim Athletic Bands Director
Dr. Stolarik was selected to serve as the Interim Athletic Bands Director for the
Spirit of Stony Brook in September 2018. Before coming to SBU, Dr.
Athletic Bands Coordinator
Vinny has been the Woodwind Instructor and a Field Technician for the Spirit of Stony Brook University Marching Band since 2012. He has also served as the Director and Coordinator of Stony Brook's Summer Band Camp program. When he's not at SBU, Vinny teaches in the Connetquot School District where he is one of the high school band directors at Connetquot High School.
Always taking a very active role, Vinny is also the Assistant Director of the marching band and stage crew advisor for the school musicals.
Vinny 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. Steven Peterson. Vinny earned his Masters in Liberal Arts Studies from Stony Brook University in 2011.
Vinny brings a wealth of knowledge about marching technique, instrument technique, instrument repair, and the Spirit of Stony Brook program.
Mike Ayala was previously a member of the Spirit of Stony Brook band while doing his undergraduate at Stony Brook. He also served as the percussion instructor before 2015 before coming back 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 Marching Band. 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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