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Tuskegee University announces band changes in wake of protest

Tuskegee University leaders say they are making some changes in response to the Crimson Piper...
Tuskegee University leaders say they are making some changes in response to the Crimson Piper Marching Band’s protest.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 4:59 PM CDT
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TUSKEGEE, Ala. (WSFA) - Tuskegee University leaders say they are making some changes in response to the Crimson Piper Marching Band’s protest.

Last week, the band issued a statement saying they will not participate in university events due to concerns over leadership, funding and recruitment. They have now missed football games for two weeks in a row.

Tuskegee University President Charlotte Morris posted an update Tuesday saying she has spoken with school and band leaders and has taken action as a result.

The first of which is that the band has new leadership. Warren Duncan will replace John Lennard as acting band director. The details of Lennard’s departure are not clear.

Harris said the university will also hire an assistant to lead the band’s day-to-day operations.

They will also form a review committee to be chaired by Wayne Barr, Tuskegee’s director of choral activities and assistant head of fine and performing arts. This committee will give recommendations for long-term solutions to budget allocation and instrument procurement, as well as a timeframe for new uniforms.

The third point Harris made is that there will be an analysis of the band’s budget. This analysis will be informed by “historical context.” They will also analyze scholarship funding levels for the band.

“Though more work is ahead of us, my goal is to create a shared vision for a path forward. Centrally, this includes how we can work together to ensure that the University’s actions reflect the Tuskegee community’s deep appreciation for the band and our unwavering commitment to students’ success,” Morris said.

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