Marching 100 band

Tom Flanigan

The Capital City marked Veterans Day on Saturday with a big parade on Monroe Street. The event was a tangible tribute to all who have served in the nation's military.

FAMU Drum Major Robert Champion died due to injuries sustained in a hazing ritual. His family is suing FAMU.
FAMU

The Florida Supreme Court will take up an appeal by a former Florida A&M University band member. Dante Martin is serving a seven-year prison sentence for the hazing death of a drum major.

Almost exactly five years after Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion died of injuries suffered in a hazing incident, a state appeals court Friday upheld the manslaughter and hazing convictions of another former member of the school's "Marching 100" band.

Dr. Shelby Chipman conducts the Marching 100 in this undated photo
change.org/pointanddrive.com

Shelby Chipman is the new Director of Bands at Florida A&M University. FAMU President Elmira Mangum announced the promotion during the school' National Alumni Association's annual alumni awards gala Friday evening.

FAMU Drum Major Robert Champion died due to injuries sustained in a hazing ritual. His family is suing FAMU.
FAMU

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - The attorney suing Florida A&M University over the fatal hazing of drum major Robert Champion has been reinstated to practice law in Florida.
 
     The Florida Bar notified Christopher Chestnut on Thursday that he is no longer delinquent for not having taken 30 hours of continuing legal-education classes over the past three years.

An Orlando jury has handed down hazing and manslaughter convictions to the final three defendants in the death of a Florida A&M University marching band drum major. The verdict brings a three and a half year old legal saga to a close.

Tony Levell

Attorneys are set to give closing arguments in the case of a former Florida A&M University band member charged with manslaughter and hazing in the death of a drum major who was beaten on a band bus during a hazing ritual.
 
     Once they're finished, Judge Renee Roche will give the jurors final instructions and deliberations could begin sometime Friday.
 
     Prosecutors called eight witnesses, including former band members who identified 27-year Dante Martin as orchestrator of the ritual known as "crossing Bus C" after a football game in Orlando in 2011.

FAMU Drum Major Robert Champion died due to injuries sustained in a hazing ritual. His family is suing FAMU.
FAMU

Another plea deal could be in the works in the case involving the 2011 hazing death of a Florida A&M University Drum Major.

One of the final four defendants in the FAMU hazing case, Benjamin McNamee, is considering a plea deal. His attorney Wednesday told the judge McNamee would consider the plea deal if it could be done before the judge who had the case previously.

LHatter / WFSU News

The Marching 100 will take the field September first for the first time in nearly two years.

Because of students graduating and tighter rules governing participation, the ensemble has shrunk from more than 400 to 126 members, the size it was a half-century ago.

“If you notice the band is smaller. But you know, as I’ve always said throughout my career, there’s no correlation between size and quality. So what you will see with this band, is a quality band,”   said band director Sylvester Young.

LHatter / WFSU

It’s been nearly two years since the sound of Florida A&M University’s band was last heard. Now the ensemble is back, and  band and university leaders say it’s going to take a lot of work to prove to the world that times have changed.

This time around, FAMU’s Marching 100 band is closer to its official name—with a current roster of 198 musicians. That’s about half the size the band that, in 2011, was placed on suspension following the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. Also new is the terminology.  there are no more “drum majors” in the Marching 100.

Tia Mitchell / Tampa Bay Times

Florida A and M University’s famed Marching 100 band is no longer on suspension. The band was suspended as a result of the hazing death of a former drum major in 2011. While some say the band is not ready to get back on the field, others say it’s time for the University to move forward.

In 2010, the Marching 100 band, playing Rihanna’s “Please Don’t Stop the Music,” – kind of ironic given the events that would unfold a year later.

FAMU Lifts 'Marching 100' Suspension

Jun 27, 2013
LHatter / WFSU

Update 1:32 p.m.

Florida A&M University is lifting the suspension of its famous Marching 100 band. The hazing death of drum major Robert Champion in 2011 led to the band's suspension, along with  the resignations of the university’s former President and band director. But, many say the school is now on the path to recovery.

Florida A & M University’s Marching 100 band is still under an indefinite suspension due to the hazing death of a drum major in 2011. FAMU’s interim president is  still mum on when or if, the band’s suspension will be lifted.

The Fall football season is approaching and FAMU is facing the possibility of a second year without its main halftime attraction. But Interim Florida A & M University President Larry Robinson he’s still evaluating whether  the “right conditions” are in place for the band to return:

LHatter / WFSU

In the halls of Florida A&M University’s band room, a lone baritone burbles along. It’s a sound that hasn’t been heard much in the year since FAMU’s Marching band was placed on suspension as a result of the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. Today, the band room is in a state of disarray. Bookshelves, boxes, piano’s parts of instruments and garment bags are strewn about. Equipment manager Donald Beckwith says the department is doing a bit of Spring cleaning.

Tony Levell

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Prosecutors are charging 12 former Florida A&M University band members with manslaughter in the 2011 hazing death of a drum major.
 
     Ten of the band members had been charged last May with felony hazing for the death of 26-year-old Robert Champion, but prosecutors said Monday they are raising the charges to manslaughter. They also have charged two additional defendants with manslaughter.
 

The first of 12 former Florida A&M University band members facing felony charges in the hazing death of a drum major has been sentenced to community service and probation after an Orange County judge said he played only a minor role in the hazing death of Robert Champion.

Erich Martin / WFSU

Florida A&M University’s Rattler Football team played its first home game of the season over the weekend and beat the Hampton University Pirates with a score of 44-20. And the team did so without the school’s famed marching band cheering them on. And longtime fans of Rattler football say it’s just not the same without the band.  

Hip Hop Recording Artist Future performed his hit single “Turn off the Lights” during the halftime show, and the crowd sang along. But reviews of Future’s performance, were mixed.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has concluded its investigation into the finances of the Florida A&M University’s marching band. The investigation was launched following the hazing death of school band drum major Robert Champion last November. The probe found several instances of missing money and duplicate payments to band members and others who traveled with the Marching 100.

Florida A & M University President James Ammons resigned Wednesday in the wake of the hazing death of Marching 100 band drum major Robert Champion and other problems facing the university.

Florida A&M University President James Ammons has resigned as the university continues to deal with the fallout from the hazing death of one of the school band's drum majors.

Just weeks ago FAMU's board of trustees issued a vote of "no confidence" in Ammons over the way the university has handled the case. Ammons said at the time he had considered stepping aside but in the end decided to remain.

Wednesday, Ammons issued a letter to the board stating his intentions to leave the university.

WFSU

Update 9:45 am:  University President James Ammons issued the following statement regarding Dr. Julian White's retirement:

“We wish him well in his retirement.  Given his position as department chair and director of bands, we must focus on moving forward with changes to the music department and the marching band.”

The director for the Florida A & M Marching 100 band is retiring after more than 40 years at the university. The news is the latest in the fallout from the hazing-death of one of the band’s drum majors.

Most of the people charged in the hazing death of a Florida A & M University drum major have been taken into custody. Lynn Hatter reports the arrests come after state law enforcement authorities announced charges against 13 people on Wednesday. The arrests have some people beginning to wonder what’s next in the fate of FAMU’s fabled band program.

Some people may not have heard about Florida A&M University, but the sound of its band is almost unmistakable.

Most of the people charged in the hazing death of a Florida A & M University drum major have been taken into custody. Florida Public Radio’s Lynn Hatter reports the arrests come after state law enforcement authorities announced charges against 13 people on Wednesday.

The charges come almost six months after FAMU Marching 100 band Drum Major Robert Champion died after being beaten in a hazing ritual aboard a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel. Now state law enforcement authorities are busy taking in suspects. 

Tony Levell

Thirteen people are facing charges in the hazing-death of a Florida A & M University band drum major. Robert Champion died following a beating aboard a band bus in Orlando in November. Now as Lynn Hatter reports, the charges range from misdemeanors to felonies in connection to the case.

Florida A&M University is looking for ways to deal with legislative budget cuts and a deficit in its athletics program. Lynn Hatter reports the school is considering increasing tuition, and trying to find ways to deal with the expected loss of revenue from the absence of its main fall attraction: the band.

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