Villanueva began his association with UMBC as director of the Pep Band in 1998. He also created and led a 16-piece Jazz Ensemble, directed the UMBC Wind Ensemble and mentored students in the UMBC Music Department. During his tenure, the Pep Band evolved into a talented and spirited support group and earned wide-spread praise from media outlets such as The Washington Post for their excellence.
“From our performances at all home basketball games, to taking the band to the NCAA tournaments, it has been a remarkable journey,” Villanueva said. “We truly have become the musical face of UMBC at the national level! It has been a joy working with musician-students who have come through the band over the past 12 years, many of whom I am proud to call friends and colleagues.”
Villanueva wrote and arranged Our UMBC, the school’s alma mater in 2006 to celebrate the university’s 40th anniversary.
Villanueva will remain in the area continuing to work for the State as an Administrator in the Maryland Military Department and remain musically active as director of the Maryland Defense Force Band and the Federal City Brass Band.
Jari Villanueva holds degrees from Peabody Conservatory of Music and Kent State University. He has taught in the Baltimore City and Baltimore County school systems, Goucher College and Loyola College. He has performed with the Baltimore Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, Baltimore Opera Company and performs as trumpet soloist at over 50 weddings a year in the Baltimore-Washington area. He served as Music Director for musicals at Dundalk Community Theater, Catonsville Summer Theater, The Young Victorian Theater and The Peabody Ragtime Ensemble. His published works include many for band, brass ensemble and brass quintet. Publishers include Ludwig Music, Musicians Publications, Music Express and JV Music. These publications include Going Home, Honor With Dignity, The Music From Titanic (the movie), American Revolutionary War Medley, Amazing Grace, Overture from H.M.S. Pinafore, and English Folk Song Suite by RV Williams. He also arranged 2 volumes of Civil War Music for Brass Quintets. Many of his arrangements have been recorded.
Jari is considered one of the country’s foremost authority on US military bugle calls and the bugle call of Taps. As a writer, he published numerous articles on the history of US bugle calls and brass bands of the Civil War and is currently working on a book on the subject. His articles have been published in the International Trumpet Guild, NY Brass Conference for Scholarships, the Washington Times, Washington Post and The Navy Times. He was the curator of the Taps exhibit at Arlington National Cemetery and responsible for moving the bugle used at President Kennedyâ??s funeral from the Smithsonian to Arlington. A active free lance musician, Jari also finds time to pursue his hobby of Civil War re-enacting. He is the director of the Federal City Brass Band, a group that performs on 19th century instruments.
His website is www.tapsbugler.com.
He was at UMBC from 1998 as director of the the Down and Dirty Dog Band (The UMBC Pep Band), The UMBC Jazz Ensemble-Big Band, The UMBC Concert Band, and is instructing courses in Music Education and Instrumentation. He also served as an advisor for the UMBC Color Guard. Jari left UMBC in 2010.