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[UPDATE] Final Interviews Underway for FAMU Director of Bands

The associate band director for FAMU admits to administrators what he could have done differently to stop hazing within the Marching 100.

Dr. Shelby Chipman is one of the final candidates to fill the director of bands position.

During Friday's interview, an administrator asked, "You were the associate director of bands when the university had to deal with the hazing crisis. How can we be assured that you're the right person for this position?"

Chipman responded, "I believe that I'm the right person for this position because I firmly believe in zero tolerance on hazing."

But, when asked what could he have done to eliminate hazing from the FAMU Marching 100 in the past, Associate Band Director Dr. Shelby Chipman said, "I think I could've been more vigilant in maybe knowing."

In his interview for the director of bands position, Chipman said he did not know about the hazing ritual, called, "Bus C," that killed drum major Robert Champion last November 19th. He says as an assistant, he may not have been privy to some information at times.

Chipman says, "Any student would tell you about my position on hazing. I backed it up with recommendations at various times for student to be placed out of the band, which took place whenever I heard anything."

The three other finalists who interviewed for the position are: Richard Beckford, a high school band director in Pompano Beach, Florida; Penn State assistant band director Gregory Drane; and Jorim Reid, North Carolina Central University's Band Director.

The search committee hopes to complete the process before the university closes for the Christmas holiday to submit a recommendation to the President.


Tallahassee, FL - The final of four candidates for the FAMU Director of Bands is being interviewed today. Dr. Shelby Chipman is facing the search committee, administrators, and other department leaders in separate interview sessions. Dr. Chipman is currently an associate music professor at FAMU.


Tallahassee, FL - Interviews for the Director of Marching and Pep Bands are underway.

Interviews are scheduled through November 30. The search committee hopes to complete the process before FAMU closes for the Christmas holiday to submit a recommendation to the President.


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