School of Music


Master of Arts in Music and Worship (MA)


Dr. Sean Beavers


Corps Style, Curriculum, HBCU, Marching Band, Methods, Orchestration


Music | Music Performance


The marching bands at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have entertained millions nationwide with precision, choreography, and musicianship. With the combination of precision-style marching and the African-American music culture, these bands have changed the perception of the football halftime performance. The music graduates of these marching band programs often follow the philosophy taught at their respective alma maters and impart it to their students. While most mainstream high school bands implement corps-style marching, urban high schools incorporate the style of the historically black schools. Bethune Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, and Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee, are among the schools that garner the attention of sports fans throughout the country. However, there is a shortage of instructional materials related to the historically black college and university (HBCU) marching style. Most marching band resources are centered on corps style because of its popularity in the mainstream. Teaching Marching Band in Urban Schools is a college course for music education majors to equip them to teach the historically black college and university marching band style. As an attempt to measure the effectiveness of the course, a questionnaire was given to a random sample of band directors and liaisons of the HBCU band community. There were fifteen responses out of the forty questionnaires that were requested. Most of the respondents expressed the need for materials and workshops for teaching the HBCU style. Most of the band directors stated that a curriculum for teaching HBCU-style marching would be beneficial. Some favored a course that solely covered the HBCU style, while others favored a mixture of the HBCU style with other styles. Most respondents recommended there should be support and materials on teaching the style on the university level.