Appalachian State University Marching Mountaineers Partner with MadU

Forward Performing Arts is pleased to announce a partnership between the Appalachian State University Marching Mountaineers and MadU, the virtual education program of the Madison Scouts and Black Star Drum Line. The MadU fall semester kicked off in early September with courses in leadership, health & fitness, show design, instrument masterclasses, and more.

This fall many collegiate athletic band directors were faced with the reality that their students would not have the opportunity to perform for thousands of fans each Saturday due to restrictions related to COVID-19. In response, Dr. Jason Gardner, Associate Director of Bands and Director of the Marching Mountaineers at Appalachian State University, explored a partnership with MadU as an alternative path to keeping his students engaged with virtual educational content.

“The Marching Mountaineers are proud to partner with the Madison Scouts in the MadU program this fall.  We had to make a quick change in the format of our instruction from in-person to online this fall.  The MadU course selection aligned with topics we wanted to cover to help our students grow as individuals, musicians, leaders, and team members," said Dr. Gardner. "I’ve had several former students and staff perform as members of the Madison Scouts.  Each one has returned to our program with an outstanding work ethic and ability to work as a team, while treating other band members with respect, empathy, and kindness.  These are all traits that I wish to continue to see instilled in every member of the Marching Mountaineers.”

Over 250 Marching Mountaineers will be participating in Forward Leadership and health & fitness sessions, along with masterclasses for winds, percussion, color guard, and visual performance. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in drill design and music composition courses led by the design team of the Madison Scouts.

“We are excited to welcome the Marching Mountaineer family to the MadU program,” said Programs Director David Lofy. “Given the many challenges collegiate athletic bands like Appalachian State are facing, we are pleased that MadU can be a tool directors pursue to engage their students in meaningful marching arts content.”

Band directors interested in exploring a partnership between their ensemble and MadU virtual education content can contact David Lofy at to learn more about the program.