Collegiate Affiliation

Assistant Professor: Elizabeth (Betsy) Kerns McCann

Dr. Betsy McCann is the Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Marching and Athletic Bands at the University of Minnesota. In this position, she directs the “Pride of Minnesota” Marching Band, conducts the University Band, instructs undergraduate conducting, and manages the comprehensive Athletic Bands program. McCann is the first woman to head a Big Ten Marching Band and Athletic Bands program. She has guided the program to great success on and off the field, including internationally renowned performances in the Super Bowl LII Halftime Show and World Expo 2020 in Dubai, UAE. 

McCann is active nationally as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and speaker. She has presented on leadership, group culture, and other topics at a variety of public and private events, including multiple appearances at the College Band Directors National Association Athletic Bands Conference, the Minnesota Music Educators Association Midwinter Clinic, and corporate training events. She has served as a guest conductor and clinician with bands from the United States and Canada, including with the Minnesota All State Concert Band. McCann is a strong supporter and active conductor of new music, receiving positive acclaim from composers, performers, and audiences for her interpretation and conducting artistry. 

Prior to McCann’s current appointment at the University of Minnesota, McCann served as the Assistant Director of the University of Minnesota Marching Band. Additionally, she served as a band director and classroom music instructor at Burnsville and Watertown-Mayer High Schools in Minnesota and Waubonsie Valley High School in Illinois. McCann earned a Doctorate in Conducting at the University of Minnesota, with research and performance emphasis on conducting contemporary music. She earned a Master of Music degree in Wind Band Conducting from Northwestern University, where she graduated with program honors, and a Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance and Music Education from the University of Minnesota.

McCann is a member of the National Association for Music Education, College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, Minnesota Music Educators Association, and Phi Beta Mu. She serves on the College Band Directors National Association Athletic Band Committee and is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma. She lives in the Minneapolis area with her husband and two children.


Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • BM: Music Education and Flute Performance, University of Minnesota, 2003
  • MM: Wind Band Conducting, Northwestern University, 2008
  • DMA: Wind Band Conducting, University of Minnesota, 2023


  • Contemporary Music, Concert Band, Leadership, Group Culture, Marching Band