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Mark S. Palmer, Director of Bands

Mark S. Palmer has been at University High School since 2000. Prior to coming to UHS, he was the director of bands at Cameron High School in Marshall County, WV from 1995-1999, and also served as adjunct director of bands at Waynesburg College in Waynesburg, PA in 1998-99.

Mr. Palmer holds a bachelors degree in advertising and bachelors and masters degrees in music education from West Virginia University. He graduated from John Marshall High School in Glen Dale, WV.

Under Mr. Palmer's direction, the UHS symphonic winds was named a West Virginia Music Educators Association Honor Ensemble in 2014 and 2019. The symphonic winds and jazz ensemble have each received superior (I) ratings every year since his arrival, and the concert band has received superior (I) ratings seventeen times during the same span. More recently, under the direction of former UHS Assistant Director of Bands Neil King, the jazz ensemble was named the WVMEA High School Honor Jazz Ensemble in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and the jazz combo was named WVMEA's first "X" Honor Ensemble in 2016. 

Additionally, the marching band has been highly successful, winning numerous awards throughout the years, including Grand Champion of the 2008 Ritchie County USSBA Competition, runner-up Grand Champion at the 2008 WV Oil and Gas Festival Competition, first place Group IV at the 2008 Preston "Music In the Mountains" Tournament of Bands Competition, first place Group IV and overall at the 2009 Northern Garrett (MD) TOB Competition, first place Group IV at the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 Preston "Music In the Mountains" TOB Competitions, and first place Group IV, first place guard, first place percussion, and first place field commander at the 2013 Baldwin (PA) TOB Competition.

His bands at Cameron High School also consistently received superior ratings and high scores.

Mr. Palmer worked as a graduate assistant in the WVU Division of Music during the 1999-2000 school year, teaching guitar and working as a university supervisor for student teachers, and has continued a close relationship with the WVU Division of Music, hosting 67 student teachers at UHS as of 2021.

Mr. Palmer was named the Phi Beta Mu (National Bandmasters Honorary) West Virginia Bandmaster of the Year for 2014-2015, and the University High School Teacher of the Year in 2014. He was elected to Phi Beta Mu in 2008, served as president of the West Virginia Bandmasters Association from 2009-2015, served on the West Virginia Music Educators Association Executive Board during that same span, and has served on the National Federation of High Schools Music Committee since 2018.

He performs a solo vocal/guitar/piano act around the Morgantown area, and has performed on both trumpet and guitar with West Virginia Public Theater.

Mr. Palmer, his wife Jen, and their sons Max and Sam live in Morgantown.

Corey Orban, Assistant Director of Bands

Corey Orban is the Assistant Director of Bands and Orchestra Director at University High School. A native of Morgantown, Mr. Orban earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from West Virginia University and a Master of Arts in Teaching with a specialization in Music Education from Fairmont State University – where he was named Outstanding Graduate Student of the Fine Arts Department in 2016. He is a 2008 graduate of University High School.

Mr. Orban co-founded the UHS Symphony Orchestra in 2019 to provide instrumental music students the opportunity to study and perform orchestral masterworks.  Under his direction, the UHS Symphony Orchestra was named a West Virginia Music Educators Association Honor Ensemble in 2020.

Additionally, the UHS Percussion Ensemble, an extracurricular chamber ensemble directed by Mr. Orban, was named a WVMEA Honor X-Ensemble in 2020.

Mr. Orban is an accomplished marching band and percussion arranger. Ensembles playing his arrangements have won numerous awards, including: Mountain Ridge High School (Frostburg, MD) marching band’s Group 3A Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Championship gold medal in 2017 and bronze medal in 2016, Fort Hill High School (Cumberland, MD) indoor percussion ensemble’s Keystone Indoor Drill Association bronze medals in 2014 & 2016, and several first place percussion awards by University High School from 2012 to present.

Corey Orban is a member of the National Association for Music Education, West Virginia Music Educators Association, and the Vic Firth Education Team.


Visiting the School:

University High School is located at 131 Bakers Ridge Rd, Morgantown, WV 26508.

If you wish visit us at the UHS Band, please call ahead or contact us to schedule an appointment.  Contact info is located above.

All guests must check-in at the front office upon arrival.