FAMU's Marching 100 band returns from suspension
Florida A&M University's Marching 100 band is practicing again after a 19-month suspension. Here is an excerpt from a story in Sunday's paper about what students, parents and faculty have to say about the band's return:
The band room on Florida A&M University's campus is alive again.
Eager freshmen in suits and ties lined up to audition for a spot in the acclaimed, but embattled, Marching 100 band Saturday. Then they practiced with the upperclassmen late into the evening, learning the sharp movements and musicianship that earned the band worldwide fame.
No one has forgotten why the band room went dark: the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion in November 2011. Not the students who say they understand how important it is that the 100 return as sharp as ever, but without the culture of hazing that has dogged the campus for decades, nor the administrators who know the band's problems contributed to the school's accreditation issues and tarnished its reputation.
"The world is watching you," Department of Music chairman Kawachi Clemons told the students during orientation Saturday. "Everyone's eyes are on us right now."