Dr. Arthur C. Bartner earned his B.A., M.A. and Ed.D. in music education from the University of Michigan, under the guidance of famed director William D. Revelli. His love for music started long before in Maplewood, New Jersey, where he learned to play the trumpet. In 1970 after seven years of building some of the most highly acclaimed high school band programs in Michigan, Dr. Bartner accepted an invitation from USC to direct the Trojan Marching Band.
Dr. Bartner introduced the band’s distinctive “drive-it” style of marching and revolutionized its sound by incorporating modern hits into its repertoire. Now, after 47 years, the Trojan Marching Band is one of the most innovative and in-demand college bands in the country. Under his direction, the band became known as “The Spirit of Troy” for its support of USC Athletics. The band attends over 85 USC sports events each year and has not missed a Trojan football game since 1987. With over 350 annual engagements, his band is the university’s goodwill ambassador to the community, nation and world. The program has traveled to every major continent and 18 countries. In 2014 USA Today named the TMB the best band in college football.
Dr. Bartner’s program has also come to earn the nickname “Hollywood’s Band.” During his tenure, the band has appeared in well over 100 movies and television shows. The TMB also garnered two platinum albums for its work with the rock group Fleetwood Mac. The band has appeared on the Academy Awards three times, performed with Radiohead at the 2009 Grammy Awards and recently guest-starred on American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and The Tonight Show.
Beyond USC, Dr. Bartner has made a name as a top guest conductor and director of massed bands. His career-defining moment came when he directed the 800-member All-American College Marching Band for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Dr. Bartner has also conducted massed bands at Liberty Weekend in 1986, four Super Bowls and Washington D.C.’s Millennium Celebration. From 1974 to 2005, Dr. Bartner held a regular post as the director of the Disney All-American College Band, composed of the best collegiate musicians in the nation.
Dr. Bartner has been honored repeatedly for his dedication to music education. In 2006 he was awarded the prestigious Lowell Mason Fellow Award by the National Association of Music Educators and, a year later, was honored with both the Association of Trojan Leagues’ Outstanding Service Award and the USC Parents Association’s Teaching and Mentoring Award. In 2012 he was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame.