The Wolf Pack Marching Band—The Pride of the Sierra—rehearses six hours each week in preparation for our half time and pre game presentations. In addition, two Pep Bands provide musical entertainment at indoor athletic events. Go Wolf Pack!
Dr. William Plenk joined the music faculty of the University of Nevada, Reno in July, 2011. He currently serves as Director of Marching/Athletic Bands, overseeing the University of Nevada Wolf Pack Marching Band, Pep Bands and Symphonic Band, as well as teaching courses in marching band techniques and conducting.
Dr. Plenk received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of California, Los Angeles where he was Conductor of the UCLA Symphonic Band, Associate Conductor of the UCLA Wind Ensemble, and Associate Conductor of the UCLA Brass Ensemble. He also received a Master of Music degree in tuba performance from UCLA, and a Bachelor of Music degree in tuba performance from Ithaca College.
Outside of the University of Nevada, Dr. Plenk is highly active as a clinician and adjudicator. He has worked with concert bands and marching bands from across the United States, Singapore and Japan, including a three-season tenure with the Tenrikyo Aimachi Marching Band from Nagoya, Japan, the eight-time All Japan National Champion.
Dr. Plenk has served on the staff of several drum and bugle corps including The Academy, Boston Crusaders, and presently Phantom Regiment. Dr. Plenk holds memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, College Music Society, International Tuba Euphonium Association, National Association for Music Education, Nevada Music Educators Association, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and is an honorary member of the national band fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi.
Dr. A.G. "Mack" McGrannahan III has served on the music faculty of the University of Nevada since 1975, and assumed the position of Director of Bands in 1979. In 1980 he was given the responsibility of reorganizing the Wolf Pack Marching Band, which had not been in existence since 1969.
A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Dr. McGrannahan received the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Murray State University, and the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in trombone performance and conducting from the University of North Texas. His teaching responsibilities at the University include conducting the Wind Ensemble, Campus Band and administering the entire band program. In addition, he instructs all trombone, euphonium and tuba students at the University, and teaches courses in conducting and secondary instrumental methods.
During his tenure as Director of Bands at the University of Nevada, the band program has matured to a level of musical excellence comparable to other colleges and universities. The University of Nevada Wind Ensemble, under Dr. McGrannahan's direction, has appeared at music conferences and conventions throughout the western states, and is a regular attraction at the Western/Northwestern Division Conference of the College Band Directors National Association.
Dr. McGrannahan was director of the Lake Tahoe Music Camp, one of the most popular summer music camps on the west coast, for thirty years. He has played professionally in several show bands in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area, performing with Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Ben Vereen, Neil Sedaka, Henry Mancini, Jack Jones, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Debbie Reynolds, and others. In addition, he serves as the Conductor and Artistic Advisor for the Reno Wind Symphony, an adult community band, which was organized and founded in January 2006.
In 2008, Dr. McGrannahan was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. Active as an adjudicator and guest conductor throughout the United States, he is a Past President of the Nevada Music Educators Association and the Western Division of the College Band Directors National Association.
He holds membership in the American Bandmasters Association, Association of Concert Bands, College Band Directors Association, International Trombone Association, International Tuba Euphonium Association, Music Educators National Conference, National Band Association, Nevada Music Educators Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. At the University, "Dr. Mack" is a Faculty Advisor for the Xi Delta Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and serves as a Province Governor for that fraternity.
Yolanda Cowell is in her second year as a Graduate Assistant with the University of Nevada Wolf Pack Marching Band, and is pursuing a Master of Music degree in Music Education. Although she graduated from Sparks High School in Northern Nevada, Yolanda's father served in the United States Air Force, and his duties required the family to frequently relocate to different countries.
Yolanda has lived in, and visited, a total of 14 countries in her lifetime, which has provided her valuable perspective on many different cultures throughout the world.
Following high school graduation, Yolanda enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno to pursue a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education. During her time as an undergraduate, she was a member of the UNR Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and Symphonic Band. She also assisted with local music programs, including Sparks Middle School, Yvonne Shaw Middle School, and Spanish Springs High School.
Yolanda has been serving as a Certified and Classified Substitute Teacher for the Washoe County School District for the past 10 years. She is an advocate for educational technology and holds certifications in Microsoft Office, ActivInspire, and Fowlett programs. Yolanda holds membership in the National Association for Music Education, Who's Who of Professionals, and Sigma Alpha Iota women's music fraternity.
Blair Williams started his musical training early, beginning with the Clarinet in 6th grade. He joined drumline in middle school, playing snare drum and tenor drums, and has been involved in the activity ever since.
Blair is currently a Graduate Assistant with the University of Nevada Wolf Pack Marching Band, and working toward a Master of Music Degree in Music Education. He graduated from California State University Stanislaus in 2007 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education.
As a performer, Blair was a member of the Sacramento Freelancers Winter Percussion Ensemble from 1998-2002, and 2004, as a bass drummer for two years, and a snare drummer for the remaining four. He was a member of the Sacramento Mandarins snare line during the 2000 and 2001 seasons, winning the DCI Division II title in 2001.
Blair then joined the Concord Blue Devils snare line for the 2002 and 2003 seasons, where he placed fourth in the snare drum individual competition, and helped the corps to win its 11th DCI World Championship. He was also part of the select 50-member Blue Devil cast that traveled to Okayama, Japan in 2003 for the Marching in Okayama festival.
Blair is also experienced as an educator, having held the position of Director of Bands at Lodi High School from 2009-2011, and the Band Director position at Beyer High School in Modesto for the 2008-2009 school year. Blair has been a member of the Mandarins percussion staff since 2004, holding the position of percussion caption head in 2009, and battery coordinator in 2011. He was the co-caption head of percussion for the Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps in 2010.
In addition, Blair has taught numerous percussion lines in Northern California and the Central Valley as a battery tech, pit tech, arranger, and caption head. Blair's studies include work with many great educators such as Arthur Coleman Jr, Lynn Kulikowski, Brian Kendrick, John Nordgren, Stuart Sims, Allen Brown, Miles DaPrato, Chris DaPrato, Les Wong, Brian Aguilar, Kevin Goings, Eric Melson, Don Silva, Roger Carter, Scott Johnson, Sean Vega, Micah Brusse, and Daniel Bryan. Blair is a member of the Vic Firth Education Team and proudly endorses Vic Firth drumsticks and Remo drumheads.
Kimberly Hines is currently the Color Guard Caption Head & Choreographer for the University of Nevada Wolf Pack Marching Band. A native of Reno, NV, Kim began her teaching career at Spanish Springs High School in 2003 as a rifle technician. Kim then helped write their Winter Guard show in 2004 and eventually became the Color Guard Caption Head, Choreographer, and Designer in 2005. Under Kim's leadership, the Fall 2007 Color Guard became Nevada State Champions, and the Winter 2008 Color Guard won the Governor's Cup and Color Guard Sweepstakes.
Kim has also worked as the Movement Technician & Choreographer for eNVision Performing Arts, and the Color Guard Caption Head & Choreographer for McQueen High School, 2009-2010 State Color Guard Champions. In addition, she has choreographed for groups in California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Ireland.
As a performer, Kim has been a member of the Sparks High School Color Guard, Spanish Springs High School Color Guard, and University of Nevada Wolf Pack Marching Band Color Guard, holding the position as Guard Captain with each of these programs. She has also performed with the University of Nevada Winter Guard, Summit Winter Guard, and has studied dance at the University of Nevada, and Truckee Meadows Community College.