Duane Bonifer  |   Published November 19, 2021

New Athletic Bands Director

Award-winning music educator John Eckstine brings three decades of experience to the position.


JOHN ECKSTINE: Monmouth College's new director of athletic bands. JOHN ECKSTINE: Monmouth College's new director of athletic bands.MONMOUTH, Ill. – Veteran music educator John Eckstine has been named director of the Monmouth College athletic bands.

Eckstine brings more than three decades of experience and awards to the position, most recently serving as athletic director/dean of students at Pendleton County Middle/High School in Franklin, West Virginia.

Eckstine’s career includes serving as director of bands and instrumental music specialist with the nationally recognized Spring-Ford Area High School Band in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where the band was five-time Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Group IV Champions and three-time Cavalcade of Bands Yankee Open Class Champions.

After an award-winning career on the high school level, Eckstine said he wanted to direct a band program on the collegiate level.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy a lot of success with high school bands, and I am excited about getting started at Monmouth and bringing a high level of excellence to the Monmouth athletic bands.” John Eckstine

“I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy a lot of success with high school bands, and I am excited about getting started at Monmouth and bringing a high level of excellence to the Monmouth athletic bands,” he said. “I love conducting bands and working with students to create something special for a school, and Monmouth has all of the tools it needs to make that a reality.”

Monmouth Associate Vice President for Student Life and Co-Dean of Students Michelle Merritt said the College community is excited that Eckstine will lead its athletic bands.

“John brings an impressive resume and a record of success to Monmouth,” Merritt said. “We look forward to seeing him lead our athletics bands and help our students grow.”

Eckstine said the current members of the Fighting Scots Marching Band, which numbered about three dozen at this year’s Monmouth home football games, are a committed and talented group of students.

“I have been very impressed with the members of the Fighting Scots Marching Band when I met with them. They form the core of what can evolve into a much larger presence on campus.” John Eckstine

“I have been very impressed with the members of the Fighting Scots Marching Band when I met with them,” he said. “They form the core of what can evolve into a much larger presence on campus.”

Eckstine has led marching bands in the Hollywood Christmas Parade in California, the Miracle Mile Holiday Parade in Chicago and the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade. Spring-Ford’s wind ensemble performed at the 2009 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association annual in-service convention. His jazz ensemble was a two-time Tournament Indoor Association Atlantic Coast Open Class Champion.

Eckstine, who started playing trombone in the fourth grade, was a member of marching bands in high school and in college, where he said he loved being part of marching band culture.

“In college, I almost ran from the fine arts building to the practice field, because I couldn’t wait to get to practice,” he said. “The culture, the people, the friendships you make with people and, of course, the activity all really stuck with me.”

Eckstine holds a master’s degree from Messiah (Pennsylvania) University in instrumental wind conducting and a bachelor’s degree in music education from Frostburg State (Maryland) University. He has served as a brass instructor with the Drum Corps International Raiders Drum & Bugle Corps, and the Drum Corps Association Bushwhackers Drum & Bugle Corps. In addition, he has been associated with the Stevenson (Maryland) University marching band.

Listen Up …

On the 1853 Podcast, John Eckstine discusses his vision for athletic bands and explains how a trombone led to an award-winning career in music.

Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/academics/only-at-monmouth/educational-garden-farm/" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/offices/global-engagement/" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p><strong>Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Pi Beta Phi, the first such collegiate women’s organization, was founded at Monmouth in 1867. It was followed three years later by Kappa Kappa Gamma. The two pioneering organizations today boast a total of 275 active chapters nationwide.</strong></p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Preparation</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthscots.com/" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>