Polly  Middleton

Polly Middleton

Associate Professor - Marching Virginians, Hokies Pep Band, Campus Band

Polly Middleton is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of Athletic Bands at Virginia Tech.

She is the assistant director of the Marching Virginians, the director of the Hokies Pep Band, and conducts the Symphony Band and the two Campus Bands. 

She is an active clinician and performer, and has worked with numerous high school bands as an adjudicator and clinician.

Contact Me

(540) 231-5794
polly@vt.edu
242-K Squires (0138)
290 College Avenu
Blacksburg, VA 24061
 

Areas of Expertise

  • Assistant Director of Athletic Bands
  • Research/Production: Marching Virginians, Hokies Pep Band, Campus Band
  • Teaching Areas: Ear Training & Piano

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana - Champaign
  • M.M., Indiana University
  • B.M.E., University of Illinois, Urbana - Champaign


What is your favorite place on campus?  Why?

My favorite place on campus is Lane Stadium on game day.  Specifically when the Marching Virginians march into the stadium before the game starts.  There is a huge feeling of excitement and energy and it embodies what I love most about Virginia Tech--the great sense of community between students, faculty, alumni, and the community, and the opportunity I have to work with talented students and faculty.

What was the first performing arts event you remember seeing or participating in and what do you remember most about it?

There are two moments that I remember vividly.  The first was my first day playing with my high school marching band as a new transfer student.  It was so much bigger and better than what I had experienced up until that point I couldn't play--I just sat there and smiled and thought about how lucky I was to be a part of that ensemble!
The second event was playing a concert cycle with the Illinois Wind Symphony as a doctoral student.  The guest conductor was James F. Keene, one of my mentors.  Working with him in that capacity was incredibly special.  He is a demanding conductor and expects the best from his band.  Working for someone who is so musically demanding is incredibly rewarding.  The final product was a musical performance that I still love to listen to and remember how it felt to be part of that experience.  
The dress rehearsal before the concert was actually more musical and exciting for me than the rehearsal.  Every rehearsal and opportunity to play has the potential to be musical, exciting and a fantastic performance and should be treated that way.  Waiting for the performance and expecting magic will be a disappointment if you don't work towards it during every rehearsal and practice session.

When do you first remember making the decision to go into the arts?  What were the circumstances?

I have loved music since elementary school.  I started playing the piano in kindergarten and the horn in fifth grade.  I was the only person in seventh grade whose favorite song was classical music and not popular music (I mean...is there really any contest between Beethoven's Fourth Symphony and Bryan Adams?  I don't think so...).  I loved playing the piano, and I really loved being part of ensemble.  When I was in seventh grade I decided I wanted to be a band director and that never changed.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma, Honorary Band Service Sorority 
  • Sponsor for Kappa Kappa Psi, Honorary Band Service Fraternity 
     

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