Union College welcomes new Director of Bands

Published on
January 14, 2015

Douglas Olenik is the new Director of Bands at Union CollegeUnion College students will soon be able to march to the beat of their own drum.

Union College President Marcia Hawkins, Ph.D., along with Vice-President of Academic Affairs Dr. David Johns, has announced the addition of Douglas Olenik as Director of Bands to the college’s Department of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts. Olenik will enter into his duties this month.

“Doug has an exceptional range of musical interest and brings an exciting vision for the college’s band program,” Dr. Johns said as he welcomed Olenik to Union College. “He is in Barbourvile now and will begin working with our current students as well as visiting various high schools to recruit for the program.”

Olenik comes to Union from Creston, Ohio. He holds a bachelor’s in music education from Youngstown State University and a masters of music performance and literature from the University of Illinois. Olenik also attended Indiana University where he began coursework for a doctorate of musical arts, studying tuba performance with world-renowned tubist, Daniel Perantoni.

As Director of Bands, Olenik will introduce a variety of styling to the Union College Band program. Olenik plans to introduce a pep band this spring, concert band and will lead a long overdue reintroduction of  the college’s marching band.

“My vision for the Union College Band program is simple,” Olenik said. “I want to share our pride for Union College, our history and our music with everyone we can possibly share it with.”

Olenik’s first objective for the program is development of the marching band. He says he has been editing the college fight song and other school songs “for a sound that will truly be unique to Union College.”

“And, the more I listen to this music, the more excited I am about this opportunity for our students,” Olenik added.

Olenik has issued an open call to all students to join in the new endeavors “whether you have been playing an instrument your whole life or are just looking to get started.” In addition to the planned band ensembles, Olenik also invites students to offer suggestions regarding other possibilities for ensemble introductions such as a jazz band or a string quartet. He sends the same invite to the Barbourville community in hopes of developing a community band.

“Again, whether you have been playing for years or days, I will do everything to get you involved,” Olenik said. “I hope so many of you are interested in being part of our exciting music program here at Union College. I couldn’t be more excited to a part of this town and this college and I look forward to sharing our music making with all of you.”

For more information on Olenik, along with some recordings, visit his website at www.douglasolenik.com. You can email him at dolenik@unionky.edu.