Bands

  • Albany State Golden Ram Show Band
  • Benedict Band of Distinction
  • Central State Invincible Marching Marauders
  • Clark Atlanta Mighty Marching Panthers
  • Fort Valley State Blue Machine Marching Band
  • Kentucky State Marching Thorobreds
  • Lane College Quiet Storm
  • Miles Purple Marching Machine
  • Morehouse The House of Funk
  • Tuskegee Crimson Piper Marching Band

Bands

Albany State University ‘Golden Ram Show Band’
Dr. Joseph W. Holley founded Albany State University in 1903.  From as early as 1925, instrumental music performances were integral to the institution’s vision. Between 1940 and 1950, the marching band at Albany State was the only musical aggregation of its kind in southwest Georgia. The institution became a liberal arts college with a Fine Arts Department that offered a BA music education degree, and under director, William Valentine the marching band became famous for performances throughout the state of Georgia. The group gained notoriety after the institution gained university status in the 1990s having performed for seven Honda Battle of the Bands (a corporate sponsored event that showcases the top ten HBCU college bands in the United States) and the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade. Indeed the marching band continues to be an integral part of the university’s culture.

The band is affectionately known as the Marching Rams Show Band (MRSB)

Show Performances:

  • The band participates in about 4 or more parades around the state of GA each year
  • The band has a membership of about 120
  • The band is a recognized student organization of Albany State University.  Although membership is opened to any university student, each prospective member must pass a rigorous audition.  The band has an elected board which governs many aspects of band operations.
  • One of MRSB’s highlights involve a group of dancers called the “Passionettes”.  These dancers perform at sports events, parades, and recruiting initiatives.
  • Performed in the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.
Benedict College ‘Band of Distinction’
Hired in the Fall Semester of 1997, Mr. Sean Daniels had a vision to establish an identity for the band program that would uniquely define its legacy for years to come.  As a result, he created the band’s official name known as the Benedict College Marching Tiger “Band of Distinction.”  This identity became official in 1998 (founding year) which included 61 band members and has grown exponentially throughout the years.

Under the direction of the late Mr. Herman Jones Jr., the band experience tremendous growth.  2011 brought forth the largest band that Benedict had experienced.

Today, the bands membership has grown to over 130 members which include woodwind, brass, percussion and auxiliary.  This membership is also comprised of music majors and non-music majors alike.  Other notable performances accolades include being named SIAC  “ Favorite Band of the Year”. Under current band director, Mr. H. Wade Johnson, the “Band of Distinction” and Assistant Band Director Mr. Ronald Green, the band accomplished one of its’ biggest accomplishments was being selected to the “Final 8” of the 2017 Honda Battle of the Bands Showcase.

The future is looking very bright for the “Band of Distinction” as we continue to strive to be the best band that we can be!

Clark Atlanta ‘Mighty Marching Panthers’

Founding Date

‘The Clark Atlanta University’ Marching Band was founded on July 1, 1988 with the consolidation of the distinguished institutions Atlanta University and Clark College. It was a continuation of the Clark College Marching Band which was founded in 1942.

Band Nicknames ( in chronological order)

The Mighty Marching Panthers

List of band directors (in chronological order)

Clark College
  • Mr. Wayman Carver 1942-1967
  • Dr. Alfred Wyatt, Sr. 1967-1987
Clark Atlanta University
  • Dr. Alfred Wyatt, Sr. 1988-1992
  • Mr. Ivory Brock 1992-1995
  • Mr. Sidney Sessoms 1995-1998
  • Mr. Cedric Young 1998-2005
  • Mr. James Camp 2005-2011
  • Mr. Thomas Warner, Jr. 2011-2014
  • Dr. Forrest Watkins 2014-2016
  • Dr. Alfred Wyatt, Sr. 2016-2017 (Interim)
  • Ms. Tomisha Brock 2017-Current

Highlight all milestones in band history and notable events

  • Inaugural Quevo Day Celebrity Football Game with the Migos
  • James Fortune’s Favor of God music video
  • Honda Battle of the Bands – seven appearances
  • A national McDonald’s television commercial
  • The Brand Atlanta television commercial with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • Turner Broadcasting System’s Dinner and a Movie
  • Ellen DeGeneres television show
  • Dallas Austin’s Drumroll: SWD television series
  • Atlanta Falcons Championship Parade
  • Black Entertainment Television (BET) Hip Hop Awards Nomination broadcast
  • 25th Anniversary of Home Depot
  • The Atlanta Falcons – New York Giants halftime show
  • The grand opening for the College Football Hall of Fame
Fort Valley State ‘Blue Machine Marching Band’
The Fort Valley State University’s  Band consists of Concert Band, Jazz Band, and The Blue Machine Marching Band also known as The Sound and The Fury!! Fort Valley StateUniversity’s band made its first appearance on homecoming day, November 16, 1946. The band was under the direction of Mr. E.N. Weston. During halftime of the game. The band, along with a group of young ladies marched to the center of the field and formed the letters ‘F’ and ‘V’ after which they played the college hymn and marched off the field.The Blue Machine Marching Band was the first SIAC band to play the famous jazz tune of “Black and Blues” by Al Jarreu, which was arranged by the then director Eric Baskin.

In 2005,The Blue Machine Marching Band also appeared in a Church’s Chicken commercial. The Blue Machine aired in their first televised football game against Fisk University on ABC in 1975. The Blue Machine had one of its largest marching bands in 2004 with a total of 164 members. February 6-9, 2016. The Blue Machine marched the Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans, Louisiana for the first time. The band was also selected to participate in the Atlanta Christmas Parade in December 2016.

Band name: The Blue Machine Marching Band

School Fight Song: I’m So Glad

Miles College ‘Purple Marching Machine’
Mr. Iva “Bossman” Williams started the Miles College Band Program in 1949 with thirty-five members. Mr. Williams was a graduate of Alabama A&M College in Normal, Alabama. The musical organization consisted of: a marching band, which performed at football games and parades; the Collegians, which performed at dances and other social events; and the Concert Band, which gave Campus concerts. Mr. Williams served as Band Director at Miles College until his retirement in 1970.

Mr. Joe Terrell assumed the position as band Director from 1970 until 1975, when the College Administration discontinued the football program. Although the football program was later reinstated, the band program remained dormant from 1975 until 1996. Attempts were made to reestablish the band program during that time with a local high school band director serving part-time.

In July of 1996, Mr. Arthur Means, Jr. came to Miles College with thirty seven years of experience as a high school band director. Mr. Means was faced with the challenge of building a quality band for the first football game in August of 1996. The task was monumental, but the goal was achieved.

In 1996, the band performed for President William “Bill” Clinton’s Campaign Rally at Birmingham Southern College. The “Purple Marching Machine” has received raves for its half-time performances, and was selected to perform during halftime at the Inaugural Pioneer Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia.

The band’s membership has grown to over 200 members. One of the largest and most active organizations on campus, the “Purple Marching Machine” performs for more than 100,000 people annually, and provides the spirit, pride, and enthusiasm that are a valuable part of Miles College. The Band’s high-energy approach to football entertainment, combining exciting drills, dynamic dance routines with the quality playing of sizzling arrangements, creates excitement at every performance.

The “Purple Marching Machine” has performed as an exhibition band for many Marching Band Festivals, and in October 2000, performed in Atlanta, Georgia in the first Historically Black Colleges and Universities Band Extravaganza. The “Purple Marching Machine” performed in the 2002 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

When you think of music, many things can come to mind and in the case of this person contributing their time to the constant positive influence on students, music is their life fulfilled. Plato’s quote states it best the character of this individual; “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, fight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.

Willie Snipes, Jr. is the current band director of the Purple Marching Machine. He has spent the last five years as the Assistant Director of bands at Miles but has a distinguished career that precluded his ascension with the PMM.

The 35-year-old Snipes attended Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, where he became student director in 1999 and was named Most Outstanding Band Member in 2000. He then came to Miles as a student as was very active in the PMM, participating in the marching band, pep band, concert band and jazz band. He also became a student director, assisting with band camps, managing the band’s budget, drill writing arranging and conducting music for the band. He is a graduate of Miles while also holding a Master’s degree from National-Louis University.

In 2006, Snipes moved to Tampa, Florida and became Director of Bands at Van Buren Middle School. His band received Superior ratings at the Bandmaster’s Association Assessment for five consecutive years. In 2009, he was awarded the Tom Bishop Award based on the drastic improvement in the band’s performance. In 2011, Snipes returned to Birmingham and took over the Jackson-Olin High School band program. That year, the Mean Green Marching Machine won First Grand Champion at the 14th annual Southeast Region Battle of the Bands and Superior ratings at the BCS Magic City Marching Band Festival.

Mr. Snipes is the son of Willie and Emma Snipes. He has one daughter (Emma Snipes), a sister (Karen Brooks) and three nieces. He is the vice president of the SIAC Band Directors Board, a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma and is also a Prince Hall Affiliated Free and Accepted Mason.

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