CFO Alex Sink Honors FAMU Legend Willliam P. Foster
CONTACT: Jerri Franz or Jayme O’Rourke, 850-413-2842
TALLAHASSEE – Florida CFO Alex Sink today sponsored a Cabinet resolution honoring Dr.William P. Foster, who served as Director of Bands at Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University (FAMU) for more than 50 years and transformed the university’s “Marching 100” into one of the nation’s most iconic marching bands.
“All Floridians should honor and take pride in Dr. Foster’s contributions to FAMU and the world of music,” said CFO Alex Sink. “His accomplished career as a musician and music educator will live on in his compositions and many accolades, and especially when the famous ‘Marching 100’ performs!”
In June 1946, with 16 members, Foster became Director of Bands at FAMU and created what is today known as “The Most Imitated Marching Band in America.” The Marching 100 has performed on some of the world’s biggest stages – for Super Bowls, Olympics, and before foreign dignitaries – and has appeared in three United States presidential inaugural parades for Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
At the age of 12, Foster began learning to play the clarinet, and his music education continued as he earned a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from the University of Kansas in 1941 and his Master of Arts in Music Degree from Wayne State University in 1950. Foster was then a fellow of the Rosenwald General Education Board at Teacher’s College, Columbia University, earning a Doctor of Education Degree with a major in Music in 1955, and received the honorary Doctor of Human Letters Degree in 1998 from FAMU.
Foster authored the textbook Band Pageantry, which is considered to be “the bible” for marching bands, and is the composer of Marche Brillante, National Honor March, March Continental and Centennial Celebration. He has been inducted in the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, the National Association for Distinguished Band Conductors Hall of Fame, the Florida Music Educators Association Hall of Fame and the Afro-American Hall of Fame; and has also served as national president of the American Bandmasters Association and the College Band Directors National Association.
Foster passed away last week and is survived by his sons Anthony and William Jr. and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A memorial service is being held this evening at FAMU in his honor.
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