Band Name: Marching Sound Machine
Band Director: Mr. Thurman Hollins
University Chancellor: Dr. Debra Saunders-White
Prior to the formation of marching band, Miss Carolyn Glover had organized ensembles every year, beginning in 1933 at the North Carolina College at Durham.
North Carolina College at Durham¹s first marching band was organized by Dr. Stephen J.
Wright, who later became president of Fisk University, during the 1938-39 school year. The first group is believed to have numbered only about twenty-five students.
In the first fifty years of operation, North Carolina College had only four directors: Mr. Wesley Howard, Dr. Joseph Mitchell, Mr. Hershel McGinnis and Mr. Richard Jones. Under Jones, the college band enjoyed great success. Aside from their halftime performances at all of the college¹s football games and other campus events, the band made many outside appearances, including the 1960 North Carolina Governor¹s Inauguration and the much talked about performance on October 29, 1961, before more than 56,000 fans during the halftime of the New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game at Yankee Stadium.
From its humble beginning, the band grew from 25 to 120 pieces under the direction of Richard Jones and won national acclaim as a precision marching group and a well-balanced musical organization.
Following the tenure of Mr. Richard Jones, succeeding directors continued the band¹s tradition of excellence. NCCU Alumnus Dr. Joseph Mitchell became director and served the university for five years. Mr. Willie Williams followed Mitchell as director. After his tenure, Joseph Mitchell became acting band director for one year until Dr. Jerry Head joined the faculty. For eight years another alumnus, Mr. Xavier Cason, served as director. His successor was Ms. Robyn Reaves, the first female band director in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA).
After Ms. Robyn Reaves, the marching band was led by Mr. Jorim Reid. During his 14
year tenure, the band grew to over 200 members and gained national recognition performing at the Honda Battle of the Bands Showcase in Atlanta, GA and the Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena California in 2011.
Mr.Thurman Hollins was appointed Director of Marching and Symphonic Bands in 2014.
The band has performed for many campus and community events, parades, and band exhibitions. In 2014, the Sound Machine performed at the ³Battle in the Apple² basketball game in Brooklyn, New York and continues to represent the legacy of musical excellence at NCCU.