mwsu band in front of clocktower

Sept. 1, 2022–When the Golden Griffon Marching Band takes the field before the football home opener at Missouri Western State University Thursday evening, they’ll do so under new leadership. Dr. Matthew Halligan takes over as Director of Athletic Bands after leading the U.S. Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps.

“Matt has the background as well as the energy and enthusiasm to take our marching band to the next level,” said Dr. Joel Hyer, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “The success of our campaign last year to purchase new uniforms shows how important the band is to Missouri Western and the community, and I’m excited to see where it goes in the future.”

christine and matthew halligan with son brody

Christine and Matthew Halligan with son Brody.

“In my first few weeks with the Golden Griffon Marching Band, I have been absolutely amazed by these remarkable students as well as my fellow GGMB staff members. Even during long rehearsals in the summer heat, they have great attitudes, endless enthusiasm, and are motivated to perform at a high level. I’m also grateful for the talents of Assistant Director Bob Long and Dr. Jen Oliverio, who do an incredible job bringing out the best in our woodwinds and brass,” Dr. Halligan said. “It’s a good time to be a Griffon. We can’t wait to bring the hype!”

Dr. Halligan comes to Missouri Western from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he most recently served as director of the Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, director of instrumental activities and pep band director for all Navy men’s and women’s basketball games. Prior to working at the U.S. Naval Academy, Dr. Halligan taught at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.

As a performer, Dr. Halligan has more than 20 years of professional experience, including six years serving in the Marine Corps as a member of “The Commandant’s Own” Marine Drum and Bugle Corps in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Halligan holds a Bachelor of Music Education from University of the Cumberlands, a Master of Music from Eastern Kentucky University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance from George Mason University.

In addition to the Golden Griffon Marching Band, Dr. Halligan will lead pep bands for Missouri Western basketball games this winter and organize the annual Tournament of Champions marching band competition and Homecoming Parade.

Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit