Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Interim Director of Bands

Director of Athletic Bands


  • D.M.A. University of Iowa (Conducting)
  • M.A. University of Iowa (Conducting)
  • B.M.E. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Teaching Specialties

  • Marching Band Techniques
  • Wind Band Performance
  • Conducting

Research Interests

  • Marching Band Pedagogy
  • Wind Band Literature and History
  • Guest Conducting
  • Performance Clinician


  • National Association for Music Education (NAfME)
  • College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA)
  • National Band Association (NBA)
  • Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association (ASBOA)
  • Phi Mu Alpha, Sinfonia


Dr. Steven R. Riley is Director of Athletic Bands and Assistant Director of Bands at Arkansas State University. He directs the Sound of the Natural State, Howlers Basketball Band, Volleyball Band, Concert Band and teaches marching band techniques. Prior to A-State, Dr. Riley was Director of Bands at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts where he was an administrator in Student Affairs and served as director of the marching band, pep band, and led the creation of a 60-member college concert band.

Dr. Riley studied at The University of Iowa where he was a student of Dr. Mark Heidel and held the Myron D. Welch Conducting Fellowship. At Iowa, Dr. Riley, was twice named a “Top 10 Finalist” in the National Band Association’s Young Conductor Mentor Project and conducted for the Office of the President of the United States. Furthermore, he designed multiple halftime shows performed by the Hawkeye Marching Band which were featured nationally on SI.com.

Dr. Riley is an active guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician having led multiple regional honor bands in the Mid-South and Northeast United States. In 2019, Dr. Riley was invited to the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia to lead the Inaugural World Scout Jamboree Band comprised of musicians from over 25 countries. Dr. Riley has contributed several articles to The Instrumentalist and the National Band Association Journal and has presented at the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) State Conference in Boston. Dr. Riley’s public school experience includes serving as Director of Instrumental Music at Johnsburg High School in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Dr. Riley resides in Jonesboro with his wife, Rose Schmidt Riley, who teaches K-6 elementary music and junior high choir in the Bay School District. They have two adorable cats, adopted from the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society named Hope and Hermione.

Steven Riley

Contact Information

P: (870) 972-2020
F: (870) 972-3932


Building: Fine Arts Center
Room: 254