Acclaimed band director returns to alma mater, inspires student musicians

Maj. Ryan J. Nowlin, a 1996 graduate of North Royalton High School and member of the NRHS Alumni Hall of Fame, visited the school’s band students on Oct. 31.

Nowlin, who is the Director of the “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, was in town for a special performance at Severance Hall on Oct. 30 that many current and former students and staff attended.

On Oct. 31, band students gathered in the high school’s performing arts center to hear Nowlin share his journey from North Royalton through teaching and finally joining the President’s Own Marine Band.  He encouraged students to find their own path in life, and to explore what gives them joy and use that as the guiding force in deciding their path in life. 

Nowlin reminisced about walking the NRHS halls and performing on the school’s auditorium stage. He played video clips of his compositions performed by the Marine Band.

His advice to pursue joy and purpose resonated with the aspiring student musicians.

“It is exciting to have that ‘North Royalton’ connection to someone like Major Ryan Nowlin,” said David Vitale, NRHS band director. “His position has taken him all over the world, and he has had some amazing life experiences, and it is special for me because I remember performing in the NRHS band together with him as students.  And it is also special for our students to hear him speak, knowing he was in the North Royalton band, and to see where his career has taken him.” ∞

Photo (above): Several members of the North Royalton City School District had the opportunity to see Maj. Ryan Nowlin (front row, center) direct the United States Marine Band at Severance Hall on Oct. 30. Photo submitted.