Renew Current Band Staff Contracts
  • Petitioning North Carolina Central University Board of Trustees

This petition will be delivered to:

North Carolina Central University Board of Trustees

Renew Current Band Staff Contracts

    1. James Sadler
    2. Petition by

      James Sadler

      Durham, NC

Mr. Jorim Reid has been the Director of Bands of the North Carolina Central University "Marching Sound Machine", Wind Ensemble, and Concert Bands for over a decade. Under his leadership, the band program was taken to national and international levels with multiple performances at the Honda Battle of the Bands, and at the Tournament of Roses parade. Both are great accomplishments, not just for HBCU bands, and PWI bands, but world-renowned ensembles as well. These performances, under the direction of Mr. Reid, created international exposure not only for the band but for the entire university. With the national exposure at both the MEAC and NCAA basketball tournaments, there has been an increase in both potential and current student interest to join the band.

As he built the legacy of the "Marching Sound Machine", Mr. Reid recruited, instructed, and mentored many incredible people, including Mr. Lamon Lawhorn and Ms. Karimah Bennett.  Mr. Lawhorn spent endless hours composing and arranging all of the drum cadences created over the years by students and past instructors alike.  The "Marching Sound Machine" drum line (affectionately known by the acronym, D.O.A.) is said to be one of the best drum lines in the country under his direction, comparable to professional drum corps and ensembles. Mr. Lawhorn also takes time out of his busy schedule to instruct and rehearse the band and assist students with studying for subjects other than band, all while working on his pending Doctorate of Music.

Ms. Bennett has been an incredible Equipment Manager and Administrative Assistant for the program. Thanks to her dedication and tireless efforts, all of the equipment that we use stays in excellent condition and we receive what we need. Ms. Bennett is also the Auxiliary Coordinator for "eClipse Auxiliary Corps". She assists the Director of Bands by maintaining a positive image and performance standards.  She is also working on her Master's degree while doing as much as she can for the students.

Members of the "Marching Sound Machine" were informed that the entire band staff would not be returning next school year due to their contracts not being renewed, and that they would be terminated prior to the start of the next school year. There is currently no interim band staff to learn how to operate the band. There was no warning to students. Without the current staff we fear that our band will decline, and that all of the great achievements and accomplishments that have been built in the past decade will be destroyed. Current band members are very unhappy with this decision, especially considering that we did not have any warning, and were unable to express our opinions on the matter.

Signing this petition can help ensure that our band program can continue to grow under the guidance of our current staff: Mr. Jorim Reid, Mr. Lamon Lawhorn and Ms. Karimah Bennett.  We want to keep our staff and will appreciate your signatures to show your support

To:
North Carolina Central University Board of Trustees
Renew Current Band Staff Contracts

Sincerely,
[Your name]

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    1. Reached 1,500 signatures

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    Reasons for signing

    • Terry Copeland TALLAHASSEE, FL
      • 2 months ago

      There is a vision, that the current band director has........he is a well respected and wel'll trained asset to the NCCU family, he was instructed and trained under the great late Dr. William P Foster and Julian White, the same tenacity and professionalism, both directors carried, was shared with all of the members of the Marching 100. To not renew those contracts would be a total death sentence to an organization and a legacy of future leaders in their own rights.

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    • Yulonda Davis DURHAM, NC
      • 3 months ago

      The progress and recognition the band has made in recent years had been outstanding. If something is working and working good keep the support going and it will only continue to get better. I just don't understand why the university can keep a womens basketball coach who struggles every game to get a win and let a individual go who brought NCCU much recognition and fame go.. People come to see the Marching Sound Machine and Mr Reid. When people come they bring money. Money that can be used for the university. Students from other schools, people who don't even like football come to football games to look at the Mr Reid and the band. This seems like a malicous act by the chair of the band to get rid of a t-bone steak and substitute it for hamburger meat. The two are not equal.This was done without warning to Reid or the students who have participated in the band. Why? Is it because of financies? University officials have to learn how balance everything, dont cut off the hand that feeds you. I am sure funds can be allocated from less popular areas to keep Mr Reid. How many department chairs refused a pay raise. How many department chairs supervised and arranged for hundreds of students to go on trips. I dont see of the big bosses coming to see whtat Mr Reid does on a daily bases, let alone sit outside and practice with the band to preform a show. No one knows the band now. The is a learning curve to learn the members as well as overall activities. This can not be done in a year. I feel so sorry for the juniors and seniors who have been under the leadership of Mr Reid. If and when a new director is hired, the transitional turnaround is going to take many seasons for the band to come back to status they are now. I have participated by coming to football games for many years, even followed the band to California to show support, The university needs to support the MSM now by keeping Mr Reid. Its obvious that the individuals who elected to not renew the contract have never been in a band or around a band. People have always come to an HBCU's to see two things 1. footbal and 2. the band. Its obvious that Mr Reid and the MSN have no university support. I have learned in my life that purchasing cheaper things don't always work as the item you have to replace. Eventually you have to go out and purchase items for the same price if not higher.

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    • Deborah Wilson ATLANTA, GA
      • 4 months ago

      Alumni 1972

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    • Bernadine Snell MIAMI GARDENS, FL
      • 4 months ago

      The truth shall prevail. God shines on the righteous.

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    • Tysha Hansley DURHAM, NC
      • 4 months ago

      I believe that Mr. Jorim Reid and his staff have done an outstanding job. If it wasn't for them we would have been invited to the Rose Parade. I love attending the football games, but seeing the band perform is one of the main reasons I purchased a season pass.

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