Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

FAMU abruptly cancels plans to name new band director

TALLAHASSEE — Florida A&M University abruptly canceled plans to name a new Marching 100 band director Tuesday morning, leaving an auditorium full of curious students, faculty and media wondering why the school couldn't agree on a contract with the remaining finalist.

"Somehow they did not meet the negotiation process and they will not be able to name a candidate," university spokeswoman Sharon Saunders said.

The announcement is certain to draw nationwide scrutiny as the Marching 100 attempts to rebuild after the 2011 hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. The group is on suspension but could return as early as fall.

The university has refused to say which of four finalists was offered the job, though Saunders said the person is in Tallahassee meeting with school officials to seal the deal.

Saunders said she didn't know what specifically hampered negotiations other than it had to do with concerns about the role of the director in light of recent efforts to reorganize the band.

The school is hiring additional staff to create more oversight. Also, the position of band director has been separated from the position of music department chair.

FAMU said Monday the news conference would be Tuesday morning. Band members were buzzing about who got the job.

Many hoped Shelby Chipman, the associate director of bands who had been groomed to assume the top position, would be selected. Others suggested North Carolina Central University band director Jorim Reid, a former Marching 100 drum major, was offered the job.

Dontay Douglas, a senior from Miami who was band president in the 2009 and 2010 marching seasons, said he has nothing against Reid but feels Chipman is the most qualified. "He's studied under legends in the world of music in this nation," Douglas said.

Former state Sen. Al Lawson, a longtime FAMU supporter, said overlooking Chipman would mean Interim President Larry Robinson and other university leaders caved to outside pressure.

Chipman's resume is full of accolades, Lawson said, and he should not be penalized for being on the Marching 100 staff at the time of Champion's death.

"You should not let the politics of the band situation prevent a person of his caliber from getting the job," Lawson said.

FAMU abruptly cancels plans to name new band director 01/15/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 9:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  2. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title


    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  3. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  4. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)


    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]
  5. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.