TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/The Miami Herald) – Florida A&M University’s band is back up and marching again after being suspended in 2011 following a deadly hazing incident.
The school’s well known Marching 100 is set to make a comeback during the upcoming fall semester with new staff as well as new rules, according to CBS4 news partner, The Miami Herald.
Interim President Larry Robinson lifted the band’s suspension back in June, with higher expectations in preventing hazing. Robert Champion, the then drum major died back in November 2011 after band members beat him with fists and instruments on a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel following a football game.
Now, students are more eager than ever to get a spot in the band and continue the legacy, but the pressure is on.
“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.”
Prospective members will be competing for 256 spots in the band this year, as opposed to the more than 400 in previous years.
Members who are selected will be required to be full-time students and maintain a 2.0 GPA. Students won’t be able to participate for more than four football seasons.
Only adult band staff will lead rehearsals and teach students in order to comply with university policy and to respond quickly to any accusations of hazing, according to the Herald.
Student “section leaders” will now be called “principals” and the “drum major” title will be retired, in respect to Champion’s death, and traded for “field commander.”
It is not said yet if the band will travel to Orlando for the first game of the season on September 1st or if they will perform during halftime for the game.
However, the students are excited to be back.
“We’re really focused and understand the job we have at hand,” euphonium player Ronald Gray told the paper. “This is bigger than every individual. This is history.”
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