Sunday, August 11, 2013

Marching 100 begins pre-drills under tight supervision

FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson shared a message of new beginnings and rising to high expectations as he addressed the more than 190 potential members of the Marching “100” on Saturday.

“This band will truly exemplify the principles of Character, Academics, Leadership, Musicianship, Marching and Service. The band will be a model for others to emulate on and off the field," said Robinson. “We’ve learned a lot in the past 20 months. We’ve made significant adjustments to educate and inform our students about the great traditions and values of Florida A&M University and the Marching ‘100’ which include respecting and supporting each other in the light of day and when the crowds have gone. We’re looking forward to a great season and future for the band.”

New and returning students reported to pre-drill in order to audition for faculty to be in the Marching “100.” All students in pre-drill met the new eligibility guidelines. The new criteria being used to determine who can participate in the Marching Band ensemble is as follows:

• Must have a 2.0 or better cumulative G.P.A.;
• Revised the Student Code of Conduct procedures;
• Must have earned 24 cumulative credit hours during the last academic year (i.e., Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Summer 2013);
• Based on the Admit Term, the student should have earned the following minimum cumulative credit hours at the end of each academic year:  

           Fall 2012               24 credit hours      
           Fall 2011               48 credit hours
           Fall 2010               72 credit hours
           Fall 2009               96 credit hours

Students are only allowed to participate in the Marching Band ensemble for four Fall semesters.

Robinson lifted the suspension on the Marching “100” in June 2013. He based his decision on the comprehensive changes implemented in the new anti-hazing plan, which includes:

• Revised the BOT Anti-Hazing policy;
• Revised the Student Code of Conduct procedures;
• Implemented enhanced procedures for reporting and investigating hazing allegations;
• Launched a new anti-hazing website,;
• Awarded funding to FAMU faculty and students for research on hazing prevention;
• Created two unique positions to provide a comprehensive approach to implement the anti-hazing initiatives, hired a special assistant to the President for anti-hazing, and a music compliance officer — to make sure that all music department ensembles including the band meet all standards to be eligible to perform.
• Scheduled campus training and forums and anti-hazing sessions.
• Enhanced the membership intake process for clubs and organizations; and;
• Revised the organizational structure of the Department of Music and hired a new Director of Marching and Pep Bands.

“We have new rigorous guidelines to ensure the academic progression of our students, which further drives home the statement that ‘not everyone can be selected for the Marching 100,’” said Sylvester Young, director of marching and pep bands. “When the time comes to take the field, we will be the best band on the field with the many of the best students in the classroom. At the end of the day, band is a class. How our students perform in both arenas is paramount to the university.”

Returning members dressed in orange FAMU T-shirts wowed the crowd of freshmen, parents and administrators with stirring renditions of the “Florida Song,” “Ratteration,” and “I’m So Glad I’m From FAMU.”

On August 15th, Young will announce his decision regarding the first performance for the band, which may take place in on September 1st in Orlando at the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney.

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