It was a celebration. The FAMU Marching 100, in Washington D.C. performing for the nation’s first black president during his 2009 swearing in ceremony. Twice before, while then Senator Barack Obama was on the campaign trail, the world renowned band preformed for the presidential hopeful.
But Monday, the band stayed home, suspended for killing one of their own in a deadly hazing ritual.
FAMU Drum Major Robert Champion died in November of 2011, in a hazing ritual called Crossing Bus C. Since then the Marching 100 has been on indefinite suspension.
I caught up with interim FAMU President Larry Robinson, before he headed to Washington for the president’s second inauguration. Robinson says the band will be back some day and will have other opportunities
“They’ll get invitations in the future to attend events of this caliber. Now it’s kind of hard to beat an inauguration, but we will get there,” said Robinson.
Students say the band needs to come back soon.
“It feels like there’s a lack of school spirit because you don’t hear the band. That’s what the school is primarily famous for so it’s kind of sad,” said Freshman Lashawnda Morgan.
The school was close to naming a new band director last week but negotiation broke down. Now a new search is on and students are hoping the band is back before football season.
The FAMU Marching 100 played at both President Bill Clinton inauguration ceremonies.