Dr. Grugin retiring as NMU band director after 27 years

Upper Michigan Today highlights the NMU band and Dr. Stephen Grugin’s 27-year career.
Dr. Stephen Grugin and the NMU Marching Band join Elizabeth Peterson and Tia Trudgeon on Upper...
Dr. Stephen Grugin and the NMU Marching Band join Elizabeth Peterson and Tia Trudgeon on Upper Michigan Today.(WLUC)
Published: Nov. 10, 2023 at 12:36 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The long-time director of the Northern Michigan University Marching Band is hanging up the baton.

Dr. Stephen Grugin is retiring after 27 years as the Wildcat band director.

Upper Michigan Today took its show on the road Friday, Nov. 10 ahead of Dr. Grugin’s final performance at the Superior Dome to look back at his illustrious career.

First, Dr. Grugin takes Elizabeth Peterson and Tia Trudgeon through the history of the NMU Wildcat Marching Band.

Upper Michigan Today is LIVE at TFA on NMU's campus to chat with Dr. Grugin about the history of the NMU band, ahead of his retirement as band director.

Dr. Grugin brought big-school techniques to the small university.

He talks about his pre-NMU band history, influences, and how the band program has changed since he took over in 1997.

Dr. Grugin talks about his background and what he brought to the program in his 27 years as NMU Band Director.

The band’s presence extends beyond NMU’s campus...

Upper Michigan Today looks at ways the NMU band has gotten involved in the Marquette community.

...and it’s safe to say that the Marquette community recognizes its iconic sounds.

The band plays its unofficial fight song, Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al”.

The Northern Michigan University band plays "Call Me Al".

Dr. Grugin dives into memorable moments.

Dr. Stephen Grugin shares memorable moments as NMU band director.

You can catch Dr. Grugin’s last performance as conductor of the band at the Superior Dome on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 1:00 p.m.

Though he’s stepping down from the band director role, Dr. Grugin will continue working with select students in the band program and will continue to conduct the Marquette City Band.

What's next for Dr. Stephen Grugin following his retirement as NMU band director.

And finally, the band plays one more tune.

The NMU band performs a polka song on Upper Michigan Today.

You can watch Upper Michigan Today on weekdays at 9:00 a.m. on FOX UP or stream the show on your smart device with the TV6+ app.