Beckford sets the tone


Florida A&M began the next step in its search for a new director of marching and pep bands Tuesday.

Each candidate will go through identical interviewing processes in room 301 of the Foote-Hilyer Administration Center, beginning at 8 a.m. Interviews will conclude at 3:30 p.m., when each candidate will have the opportunity to direct the band at the Band Rehearsal Hall in the Foster-Tanner Music Building from 3:35 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Richard Beckford was interviewed Tuesday. Gregory Drane will be interviewed Wednesday; Jorim Reid on Thursday; and Shelby Chipman on Friday.

The Search Committee for the Director of Marching and Pep Bands will interview each candidate first. The dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, the Department of Athletics, the president and leadership team, the department chair and faculty will also conduct interviews throughout the day.

Beckford is a FAMU alumnus and former member of the Marching “100.” He is a composer and arranger who has written and composed music and created halftime shows for high school and college bands across the country.

Drane is a Bethune-Cookman alumnus. He joined the School of Music faculty as an instructor and assistant director of athletic bands at Penn State University in 2005. Drane is an arranger and drill designer and assists with conducting non-major concert bands.

Reid, a FAMU alumnus, is the band director at North Carolina Central University. He was a head drum major for the Marching “100” in the 1990s. Reid’s band at NCCU has grown from 30 members in 2001 to more than 200 today.

Chipman, a FAMU alumnus, is an associate professor and associate director of bands at the university. He taught band in Miami-Dade County for ten years. Chipman has presented music education and conducted clinics on several public school and college campuses.