Florida A&M University (FAMU) has named Sylvester Young its new director of marching and pep bands. Young, a FAMU graduate and former member of the Marching “100,” spent nearly 25 years at Ohio University, most recently as band director. FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson made the announcement today after an extensive nationwide search process.
“Dr. Young is a talented and experienced administrator, musician and scholar who I believe will provide strong discipline, leadership and vision for the Marching “100,” Robinson said. “Dr. Young has had a stellar career as director of bands at several universities and I am looking forward to Young continuing the great traditions of the Marching “100" when we deem it ready to return to the field.”
“I am honored to be back home at FAMU and fully embrace the challenge ahead,” Young said. “The Marching “100” had such a positive impact on me and I know firsthand what this band means to FAMU. We will enter a new era of excellence for the band and I am proud to be leading the charge.”
Young has served as an associate professor of music since 1990 at Ohio University where he taught courses in marching band techniques, jazz ensemble methods, computer skills for musicians and instrumentation.
“As chair of the search committee, we were looking for someone who has the respect of his peers, the experience and the passion to continue the practices that have made the Marching “100” a household name,” Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rodner Wright said. “We are pleased with our choice.”
For six years, Young served as director of bands for Ohio University. Prior to that appointment, he served as director of bands at Hampton University from 1982 to 1990 and Lincoln University from 1979 to 1982.
Dr. Young's previous band at Ohio University
Young earned his undergraduate degree in music education in 1969. He went on to earn his master’s education degree from the Bowling Green State of Ohio in 1970 and a Ph.D. in music education from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
The bands he has directed have been invited to perform at many prestigious events.
In 1993, Ohio University's band was the only marching band to represent the state of Ohio in former President William “Bill” Clinton’s Inaugural Parade. In 1992 and 1995, the Ohio University Marching Band performed for the Detroit Lions and in 1991 and 1994 for the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.
In his new role as FAMU director of Marching at Pep Bands, Young will report to the chair of the Department of Music and will oversee all aspects of the marching and pep bands. He will also plan and direct the summer high school band camp and serve as the liaison between the Athletic Department, the Division of Student Affairs and the Department of Music.
Young is scheduled to report to work on June 14, with an annual salary of $105,000.