Last week, the marching band world lost a great man. George N. Parks, director of the UMass Minutemen Marching Band, had a heart attack on their band trip to the Univ. of Michigan football game. He was only 57 years old, but he had already accomplished so much: creating a nationally renowned Drum Major Academy that I’m sure some of you went to for leadership training (over 3,000 people go every year), and heading the UMass marching band program, which has almost 400 members this year.
Our band created a huge card to send our condolences to the UMass band, but you can help more. Donate to the George N. Parks Memorial Foundation here. George Parks served marching bands across the U.S. for 33 years, and working with the UMass Minutemen was his first job and his last.
The Minutemen made the decision to still perform at the Michigan game two days after their director’s death. It is only appropriate that I post their performance as this week’s video. You can see that his band will, no matter what, keep up the “energy, enthusiasm, and excitement” that their director always valued–and always will.