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News Clips 01/18/2013
FAMU reopens search for new band director
Source: Tallahassee Democrat, 01/17/13
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By Doug Blackburn
One day after abruptly canceling a news conference to name a new band director for the famed Marching 100, Florida A&M University has reopened its search.
Interim President Larry Robinson decided Wednesday that protracted negotiations with Jorim Reid, his choice to lead the university’s marching and pep bands, had led him to reopen the search. Reid, a FAMU alum and band director at North Carolina Central University, had been one of four finalists to fill the vacancy created by the departure of longtime director Julian White.
Robinson said he is inclined to look at a new pool of candidates.
“We were unable to reach an agreement, and we strongly feel that it is time to reopen the search to find the right fit for the task at hand,” Robinson said in a statement. “Our goal is to continue the tradition that has made the Marching 100 great, but to also ensure that students are able to thrive in the right environment free from outside pressure and influence.”
A number of Marching 100 alumni attended Tuesday’s canceled news conference, hoping that assistant band director Shelby Chipman, one of the four finalists, would be chosen.
The Marching 100 has been suspended since Nov. 22, 2011, in the aftermath of the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion.
The university is considering the use of a search firm as it reopens the search, according to a release from FAMU.
The other two finalists, who had been on campus in late November for interviews, were Richard Beckford, band director at Blanche Ely High in Pompano Beach, and Gregory Drane, assistant band director at Penn State. Drane, who attended Bethune-Cookman, was the only finalist who is not a former member of the Marching 100.