Roast and Toast

Marching ‘100’ band director, Julian White, Ph. D, teased and praised by family, friends and students alike at The 5th Annual Roast and Toast at the Civic Center Friday.

The event was a fund raiser sponsored by the Leon County Chapter of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association.

About 60 band members attended, opening the program by playing one of the first songs Dr. White performed at Florida A&M University, “The Way We Were.”

“I feel that he is a good leader, good role model, and he is just good at his job. The best!” said tuba player for the ‘100’ Randy Pierre, 21, a junior engineer.

Among many honorary guests were Tallahassee Mayor John Marks and Lindsey Sarjeant, a colleague of Dr. White.

Sarjeant said in his speech that FAMU was one of the only schools in the nation to have kept the same band staff since the 1970s.

White, a former FAMU drum major, has served as the band director for 34 years. Taking the position in 1973 White has led the Marching 100 to recent performances at the 48th Grammy Awards Show in 2005 with musicians Kanye West and Jamie Foxx Super Bowl XLI in 2007, performing with superstar Prince during the halftime show.

My participation with the Marching 100, symphonic band and other music ensembles has exposed me to more opportunities than I had ever expected, when I first met ‘Doc’ in 2001. Since then I have had the chance to grow musically, academically, and I’ve strengthened my work ethic,” said Crystal Finlay, 23, former clarinet player in the marching band.

At the event, White was given awards from Kappa Alpha Psi, the Marching 100 and Marching 100 Alumni Band Association.

White said he “wasn’t used to this” and that he is usually the one that is honoring other people.

Tickets for the event were $75. The proceeds go towards scholarships for band students. Another scholarship mentioned during the program was one sponsored by SunTrust Bank. Bank representative Tara Davis announced that for anyone who opens a free checking account to any of the SunTrust Banking branches in Tallahassee, $100 will be donated in a scholarship called “My Cause,” for FAMU band students.