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Florida A&M University
"Marching 100"
The FAMU Marching 100 during halftime at the Florida Classic.
SchoolFlorida A&M University
LocationTallahassee, Florida
FoundedJune 1, 1946

The Marching 100 is the official name of the marching band at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida. Since its inception, the band has been credited for 30 innovative techniques which have become standard operating procedures for many high school and collegiate marching band programs.[1]


The first band at FAMU was organized in 1892, under P.A. Van Weller. In 1946, William P. Foster became director of bands, starting with 16 members. Since then, the band has grown to over 440 members. The band has performed at the Super Bowl (on several occasions), the Summer Olympics, the inaugural parades for U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and was selected to be the official United States representative to the Bicentennial Celebration of the French Revolution in Paris, France.

The band also featured as opening act for Louis Vuitton's men's fashion show in Louvre during 2022 Paris Fashion Week.[2][3]

Directors, assistant directors, and staff


Assistant directors and staff

Band motto

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The band motto was developed by William Patrick Foster in the beginning of his more than 50-year tenure as Director of Bands at FAMU.

Qualities to live by to guide our thoughts and to rule our actions and lives:

The Florida A&M University bands, a role model of excellence.

Summer Band Camp

The Marching 100 Summer Band Camp has been in existence since 1990, when it had fewer than 100 members. The majority of those in attendance were from Burke HS (Charleston, South Carolina), and William M. Raines HS (Jacksonville, Florida). Apart from the Marching Band there are three symphonic bands (Honor, Orange, and Green), two jazz bands, a percussion ensemble, keyboard and electronic music, and an ensemble for every instrument. The camp also includes drum majors and flags. The camp students are taught by "Marching 100" members, and perform at their symphonic concert, ensemble concert, parade, and the final marching exhibition of Bragg Memorial Stadium.


Main article: List of hazing deaths in the United States

Evidence of hazing in the band made headlines after the death of a Marching 100 drum major in 2011.[4] On November 19, 2011, Robert Champion, the 26-year-old drum major, was beaten to death on the bus after the annual Blue Cross Blue Shield Florida Classic between Florida A&M University and Bethune Cookman University. Investigators found that hazing was involved in the incident. The Orange County Sheriff's Office ruled the death a homicide. An autopsy determined that he had "badly beaten muscles."[5] Florida A&M canceled all of the band's remaining scheduled performances for the 2011–12 school year and launched an investigation.[6][7][8]

In May 2012, two faculty members resigned in connection with the ensuing hazing investigation and 13 people were charged with felony or misdemeanor hazing crimes.[9][10] Later that month, FAMU president James Ammons announced that the band would not return until 2013–14 at the earliest out of respect for Champion, as well as to give school officials time for a root-and-branch restructuring of the band. Earlier, it had been revealed that at least 101 band members were not enrolled at FAMU.[11] Two months later, Ammons resigned.[12] On August 28, 2012, Dante Martin, identified as the "president" of the band bus, was accused of felony hazing in Robert Champion's death. He pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor in connection with a separate hazing incident.[13] After an unsuccessful mediation session between university attorneys and attorneys representing the family of Robert Champion, FAMU offered to pay $300,000 to the family during the first week of November 2012 as settlement.[14] On March 4, 2013, prosecutors charged 12 former band members with manslaughter for the 2011 hazing death.[15] On June 27, 2013, Florida A&M lifted the suspension of the band. School officials instituted new academic requirements for the band, as well as a zero-tolerance policy for hazing that applies to all campus organizations.[16] On October 31, 2014, Dante Martin was found guilty of manslaughter and three counts of hazing[17] and on January 9, 2015, he was sentenced to six years in prison.[18]


  1. ^ "Marching 100- Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University2019". Archived from the original on 2008-02-04. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  2. ^ "Louis Vuitton brings Florida marching band to the Louvre for Paris fashion week". Reuters. 2022-06-24. Archived from the original on 2022-06-25. Retrieved 2022-06-25.
  3. ^ "FAMU Marching 100 band performs at Louis Vuitton Men's Paris Fashion Show". WTXL. 2022-06-23. Archived from the original on 2022-06-24. Retrieved 2022-06-25.
  4. ^ Olorunnipa, Toluse (3 December 2011). "Death at Florida university exposes ugly secret". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Expert: Autopsy of Florida A&M drum major shows badly beaten muscles". CNN. 22 December 2011. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  6. ^ "FAMU band leader fights to keep job". CNN. 25 November 2011. Archived from the original on 16 June 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Florida A&M Band Suspended". CNN. Archived from the original on 2014-08-19. Retrieved 2011-11-26.
  8. ^ "FAMU band leader drummer". CNN. 24 November 2011. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  9. ^ "Death of Florida A&M's Robert Champion ruled a homicide". BBC News. December 17, 2011. Archived from the original on 17 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  10. ^ "13 Charged in Hazing Death". FOX News / Associated Press. 2 May 2012. Archived from the original on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  11. ^ "FAMU Marching 100 to Remain on Suspension |". Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  12. ^ Douglas Stangin (July 11, 2012). "FAMU president resigns in wake of band hazing death". USA Today. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  13. ^ Hudak and Ordway, Stephen and Denise-Marie. "FAMU band hazing 'president' charged with felony in death of Champion". The Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2012-08-29. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  14. ^ "FAMU offers $300,000 to hazing victim's family". WKMG TV. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  15. ^ Eversley, Melanie; Bacon, John (4 March 2013). "Ex-Florida A&M band members charged with manslaughter". USA Today. Archived from the original on 2 January 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  16. ^ "Florida A&M lifts suspension for Marching 100 band". CFN13. Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  17. ^ "Former FAMU band member guilty of manslaughter in Robert Champion hazing case". Archived from the original on 2014-11-01. Retrieved 2014-11-01.
  18. ^ Neuman, Scott (9 January 2015). "Former Florida A&M Student Sentenced To 6 Years In Hazing Death". NPR. Archived from the original on 26 April 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2018.