FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY
Dr. Shelby Chipman
Dr. Larry Robinson
June 1, 1946 – William P. Foster became Director of Bands at Florida A & M University with 16 members, and created what is known today as “The Most Imitated Marching Band in America.” He is credited with revolutionizing marching band techniques and reshaping the world’s concept of the collegiate marching band. His textbook “Band Pageantry” is considered to be “The Bible” for the marching band.
FAMU’s marching band has been credited for not less than 30 innovative techniques which have become standard operating procedures for many high school and collegiate marching band programs throughout the nation. Penchant for precision demonstrated in every aspect of its performance is a key to the success of the “100.”
Ranking high among the many proud traditions of Florida A&M University is the highly acclaimed Marching “100” Band. The first band at this institution, formerly named A&M College, was organized in 1892 under the tutelage of P.A. Van Weller. From a meager store of 16 instruments, the Marching “100” has grown to over 420 members. This organization has been polished and refined to perfection for the past 104 years under the guidance of its directors:
P.A. Van Weller, 1892 – 1898
Nathaniel C. Adderly, 1910 – 1918
Leander A. Kirksey, 1930 – 1945
Dr. William P. Foster, 1945 – 1998
Dr. Julian E. White, 1998 – 2012
Dr. Sylvester Young, 2013 – 2016
Dr. Shelby R. Chipman 2016 –
Qualities to live by to guide our thoughts and to rule our actions/lives:
“Highest Quality of CHARACTER”“Achievement in ACADEMICS”“Attainment in LEADERSHIP”“Perfection in MUSICIANSHIP”“Precision in MARCHING”“Dedication to SERVICE”
The Florida A&M University Bands, a role model of excellence.2008 – The Tuba Section reaches 50 members; the largest in the country.
October 15, 2008 – CNN television states, “The FAMU Band is the Best Band in the Entire Universe.”
November 15, 2008 – The Marching Band was featured on ESPN’s College Game Day on the campus of FAMU.
November 27, 2008 – The Marching Band was featured on CBS News with Katie Couric.
December 2008 – The Marching Band was featured in Sports Illustrated for Kids
January 20, 2009 – The Marching Band represented the State of Florida in the Inaugural
Parade for the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.
February 7, 2010 – The Marching Band performed pregame show at Super Bowl XLIV
2013 – Dr. Sylvester Young, a former student of Dr. Foster, assumes leadership as Director of Marching and Pep Bands.
June 30, 2016 – Dr. Sylvester Young steps down as Director of Marching and Pep Bands
July 1, 2016 – Dr. Shelby R. Chipman, former student of Dr. Foster and Associate Director of Bands at FAMU under Dr. Jullian E. White, assumes leadership as Director of Marching and Pep Bands.