|School||Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University|
|Founded||June 1, 1946|
The first band at FAMU was organized in 1892, under P.A. Van Weller. From an original 16 instruments, the "Marching 100" has grown to over 420 members. The band itself has amassed accolades for their many performances throughout time, including NFL Super Bowl halftime shows, presidential inaugurations, and numerous parades throughout the world.
Evidence of hazing in the band, as well as in bands of many other schools, made headlines after the death of a drum major in 2011. On November 19, 2011, Robert Champion, a 26-year-old drum major with Florida A&M University's marching band, was beaten on the bus after an away game. Investigators found that hazing was involved in the incident. The Orange County Sheriff's Office subsequently ruled the death a homicide. An autopsy determined that he had "badly beaten muscles." Florida A&M University stopped all band performances amid an investigation into the death.
In May 2012, 2 faculty members resigned in connection with a hazing investigation and 13 people were charged with felony or misdemeanor hazing crimes. Later that month, FAMU president James Ammons announced that the band would not return until 2013 at the earliest out of respect for Champion, as well as to give school officials time for a root-and-branch restructuring of the band. Earlier, it had been revealed that at least 101 band members were not enrolled at FAMU. Two months later, Ammons resigned.
On August 28, 2012, Dante Martin, identified as the "president" of the band bus, faces a charge of felony hazing in Robert Champion's death. He pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor in connection with a separate hazing incident.
Florida A&M University, after an unsuccessful mediation session between university attorneys and attorneys representing the family of Robert Champion, offered to pay $300,000 dollars to the family during the first week of November 2012 as settlement.
On March 4, 2013, prosecutors charged 12 former band members with manslaughter for the 2011 hazing death. Ten of the band members were charged May 2012 with felony hazing for the death of Champion, but prosecutors said they are raising the charges. They also have charged two additional defendants with manslaughter.
On June 27, 2013, Florida A&M University lifted the suspension of the band.
The directors of this band have been:
- P.A. Van Weller, 1892–1898
- Nathaniel C. Adderly, 1910–1918
- Leander A. Kirksey, 1930–1946
- Dr. William P. Foster, 1946–1998
- Dr. Julian E. White, 1998–2012
- Dr. Sylvester Young 2013-
The school reopened its search for a new director. They had planned to announce the new band director on January 15, 2013, but they cancelled that announcement, saying they were not as close to a deal with the candidate as they thought they were. On May 7, 2013, the school named Sylvester Young, the former director of the Hampton University marching band, as the band's director.
The band motto was created by Dr. William Patrick Foster in the beginning of his 50+ year tenure as Director of Bands at FAMU.
Qualities to live by to guide our thoughts and to rule our actions/lives:
The Florida A&M University Bands: A Role Model of Excellence.
- Highest Quality of CHARACTER
- Achievement in ACADEMICS
- Attainment in LEADERSHIP
- Perfection in MUSICIANSHIP
- Precision in MARCHING
- Dedication to SERVICE
Summer Band Camp
The Marching 100 Summer Band Camp has been in existence since 1990, when it had fewer than 100 members. The majority of those in attendance were from Burke HS (Charleston, South Carolina), and William M. Raines HS (Jacksonville, Florida). Apart from the Marching Band there are three symphonic bands (Honor, Orange, and Green), two jazz bands, a percussion ensemble, keyboard and electronic music, and an ensemble for every instrument. The camp also includes drum majors, flags, majorettes, and dancing girls. The camp students are taught by "Marching 100" members, and perform at their symphonic concert, ensemble concert, parade, and the final marching exhibition of Bragg Memorial Stadium.
- Olorunnipa, Toluse (3 December 2011). "Death at Florida university exposes ugly secret". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
- "Expert: Autopsy of Florida A&M drum major shows badly beaten muscles".
- "FAMU band leader fights to keep job".
- "Florida A&M Band Suspended".
- "FAMU band leader drummer".
- "Death of Florida A&M's Robert Champion ruled a homicide". BBC News. December 17, 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "13 Charged in Hazing Death". FOX News / Associated Press. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
- Douglas Stangin (July 11, 2012). "FAMU president resigns in wake of band hazing death". USA Today. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
- Hudak and Ordway, Stephen and Denise-Marie. "FAMU band hazing 'president' charged with felony in death of Champion". The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- "FAMU offers $300,000 to hazing victim's family". WKMG TV. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- "Ex-Florida A&M band members charged with manslaughter". USA Today. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- "Florida A&M lifts suspension for Marching 100 band". CFN13. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "FAMU band director search back to square one". CFN 13. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- "FAMU names new Marching 100 band director Sylvester Young". CFN13. Retrieved 7 May 2013.