Wilberforce plans to bring back marching band and music program

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James McLeod. Courtesy of Wilberforce University.

James McLeod.  Courtesy of Wilberforce University.
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James McLeod. Courtesy of Wilberforce University.

McLeod will also hire music teachers, revamp and expand the music curriculum for the Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance for Instrumental Vocal Music and Bachelor of Science in Music Business degrees with a technology component.

McLeod, who has a 27-year history of creating such programs, said they will soon be accepting auditions for orchestra scholarships to join the march, orchestra and college choir will be next.

“The band’s schedule is a core part of HBCU culture,” McLeod said. “The marching unit is a great source of pride and school spirit. We are confident that in rebuilding the music department, having a band present would not only bring pride and school spirit, but would also help us reach our enrollment goals exponentially.

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Virgil Goodwine. Courtesy of Wilberforce University.

Virgil Goodwine.  Courtesy of Wilberforce University.
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Virgil Goodwine. Courtesy of Wilberforce University.

McLeod said the university expects to have an operational set in the spring of 2022, pending the arrival of equipment.

The group, like other student-led activities, will be recruited locally from the campus population, he said. The university will also seek students from surrounding cities and states.

McLeod earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from Mississippi Valley State University, a master’s degree in music education from Jackson State University, and a master’s degree in entertainment science from Full Sail University. Between applied music education, music appreciation and theory, writing music, making videos, and creating graphic designs, McLeod is currently working on her doctorate. in music education.

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Goodwine attended the Colonel White School of the Performing Arts, earned his BS in Mathematics from Central State University, his Masters of Science in Music from the University of Dayton, and his Ph.D. with a concentration in Higher Education Research Leadership from Capella University. Most recently, he served as Director of Instrumental Music for Oak Park, Michigan Schools in suburban Detroit.

Goodwine said he wanted the opportunity to build an HBCU marching band.

“Truly, the opportunity to create and build is the incentive,” he said. “There are various HBCU music programs dating back to the 1940s that have established traditions based on the director who started each program.”

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