Justin McManus is a 2006 graduate of Torrington High School, having played both clarinet and bassoon during his time as a student. He was Drum Major of the “Pride of Torrington” Marching Band for the group’s first national performance, the 2006 National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. His favorite memory at THS was his final home football game, leading the band onto the football field for the final time. Justin has continued to carry his Torrington pride throughout his collegiate and professional career, and is grateful for the incredible lessons he learned during his time in Torrington.
Justin is entering his seventh year in his role as assistant band director at the University of Notre Dame (IN). At Notre Dame, Justin conducts the symphonic band, university band, tuba/euphonium ensemble, varsity basketball pep band, summer band, and numerous other instrumental ensembles. Additionally, Justin has worked with the symphonic winds, horn ensemble, BandLink community service outreach program, and varsity hockey band, and teaches courses in instrumental methods/conducting, applied bassoon studio lessons, and assists with the university’s first year student seminar.
As an active adjudicator and musician, Justin has worked with school band programs in Connecticut, Indiana, and California, and has served as a guest adjudicator for the New Zealand Concert Bands Association National Festival. He has conducted the ND concert band during several overseas tours, including stops in South Africa, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Australia, and Peru, and has directed the ND pep bands in several NCAA post-season tournaments including the 2019 NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship game. At Notre Dame, Justin is also responsible for new student recruitment, social and digital media, publications and marketing, inventory management, and coordinates all football pre-game flyovers featuring Air Force and Navy aircraft.
Before coming to Notre Dame, Justin was graduate assistant director of athletic bands at the University of Connecticut, where he served as marching band drill technician, co-directed the pep band and concert band, and assisted with music department operations. He holds a Master of Music in Bassoon Performance, Bachelor of Science in Music Education, and Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Connecticut, and is completing coursework toward the Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education from Boston University, where his interests include the lived experiences of minority students in college marching bands. He studied bassoon with Mr. Ron Haroutunian of the Boston Pops and Mrs. Alicia Simonetti-Sphur, and has performed in large and small bands, orchestras, and pit ensembles across the state of Connecticut.