FAMU band's first performance will be Sept. 1
Florida A&M University's band will perform in Orlando on Sept. 1, making its first appearance after a 19-month suspension at the same place where it performed last.
Band director Sylvester Young announced that the Marching 100 will perform at halftime during the MEAC-SWAC Challenge game.
"We are going to publicly state that we are bringing this band back and we are going to take the field in Orlando," Young said this morning. "And without any reservation, knowing that when we take the field we will not be stepping back in time but we will be cutting a new path."
The band's last performance was on Nov. 19, 2011. Drum major Robert Champion died later that night after a brutal hazing incident that led to the band's suspension, the resignation of university President James Ammons, problems with accreditors and the arrest of over a dozen band members.
Interim President Larry Robinson said the band's season will serve as a national model that hazing can be eradicated. The band has refocused on its core principals this year, he said, including character, leadership, academics and service.
"We are fairly confident that we are about to launch a new era, a new understanding and appreciation as to why hazing is not necessary to advance these pricncipals that I just mentioned for this marching band, as well as any other organization on this campus," Robinson said.
The Marching 100 currently has 126 members and likely won't surpass 150 students this season. There were over 400 before the suspension.
Several changes have already been announced, including band leaders being called "field commanders" instead of "drum majors" out of respect for Champion's family.