AMHERST (AP) — The University of Massachusetts has selected a successor to longtime marching band director George Parks, who died unexpectedly last fall.

The university announced Monday that Timothy Anderson will take over leadership of the Minuteman Marching Band this summer.

Anderson comes to UMass from Fresno State University in California, where he has served as director of the school’s marching band for the past five years.

The 37-year-old Anderson called the chance to direct the 350-member UMass band an “extraordinary opportunity.”

Parks led the UMass band to national prominence in his 33 years at the helm.

He died Sept. 16 after a performance at an Ohio high school as the band was on its way to perform at the UMass football game against Michigan. He was 57.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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