June 15, 2011
Source | NY Amsterdam News
Black college marching band legend Dr. Thomas E. Lyle has died. Lyle was famous for perfecting the famed marching band style of high-stepping that is seen at historically Black colleges and universities and helping expose America to dynamic Black college marching bands in the 1960s and 1970s. He was 82.
Lyle passed away last Thursday and is best known for serving as director of the historically Black Alabama State University Mighty Marching Hornets band from 1964 to 1988 in Montgomery, Ala. He also served as director of the Stillman College Blue Pride Marching Band in Tuscaloosa, Ala. where a building on the campus is named after him.
May 10, 2010
Three years ago, Brandon Franklin was drum major of the Louisiana Leadership Institute band, which marched in the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, Calif. Franklin and the band were photographed Dec. 28, 2006, at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge.
Even when he was just a student at O. Perry Walker High School, Brandon Franklin was as much a role model as a peer, a former teacher said Monday.
Franklin, 22, who was shot to death Sunday night in Hollygrove, therefore easily grew into the role of teacher and mentor when he took a job within the school’s music program at the beginning of this school year, said Mark Bailey, an assistant principal at Walker.
Bailey, Franklin’s math teacher in his senior year three years ago, described the young father and musician as a bright student who often took on a leadership role, both in the classroom and the school’s acclaimed marching band, where he was a drum major.
Birmingham Police Sgt. Johnny Williams Jr. helps with bands at Jackson-Olin High School and Miles College
October 25, 2009
By day, Sgt. Johnny Williams Jr. is the voice of the Birmingham Police Department.
But come 5 p.m., he brings on the band.
Williams, a 44-year-old veteran police officer and the department spokesman, spends his off-duty hours choreographing fancy steps and field formations for the bands at Jackson-Olin High School and Miles College.
As a former drum major and baritone player for the Alabama State University Marching Hornets, it’s something that comes naturally for the self-professed "band head."
His wife was a cheerleader at another college, but his son and two daughters play the trumpet.
In addition to his police work week of 40-plus hours, Williams puts in about five hours each weeknight with the two bands plus the weekend games, where he also announces for the Jackson-Olin band.
October 21, 2009
MONTGOMERY, AL - Alabama State University’s Mighty Marching Hornets Band has joined nearly 5,000 student musicians from 45 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in taking their first steps on “The Road to the Honda” in hopes of being one of the eight lucky bands slated to finish their journey in Atlanta at the 2010 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase.
As in past years, the top HBCU marching bands are selected to participate in the invitational showcase by a combination of votes from HBCU’s presidents, band directors, students, alumni and the fans, said James Oliver, ASU’s band director.
Fans only have until Oct. 30 to vote online for the ASU Hornets at the invitational’s Web site: www.HondaBattleoftheBands.com.