Some band members of the world renowned Florida A&M Marching 100 returning for the fall are no longer allowed to march and make music. A new rule says FAMU students only.
On one hand, some say it's a positive and necessary move, and one that will ensure travel. But others fear the drop in numbers will have an effect on the band's sound.
FAMU's Marching 100 is more like the marching 400. Due to budget issues the university is only allowing students enrolled at FAMU to participate.
Byron Clark, a member, says, "Most of our numbers come from other schools although we have a set number here. What makes us 400 and 300 is a result of students coming from TCC and FSU."
Lanedra Carroll, FAMU spokesperson, says, "The numbers will be down. We will be fewer in numbers, but you will not experience that in the quality of the sound of the famous Marching 100."
Limiting band participation to FAMU students only is an effort to tighten the budget for band travel, in turn supporting one of the university's main recruitment tools.
Lanedra says, "We wish all of the musicians well. It is a great thing. Who wouldn't want to be a part of the Marching 100? It's great, that there is such an interest in the band, but we must curtail the enrollment to those who are FAMU students.
Band members say the drop in numbers has added a bit of pressure as the first performance of the year draws near.
Clifton Robinson says, "Everyone expects the FAMU band to be on top of things and to have the numbers, and to have the sound, so this year we're really going to have to try hard to get the same quality sound and to get the precision."
The band's first performance will be on September 3 at Bragg Memorial Stadium during the sports hall of fame weekend.
In speaking with Marching 100 band director Dr. Julian White off camera, he says he's in agreement with the interim president's decision.