NCCU Sound Machine wants answers following director's departure - WFLA News Channel 8

NCCU Sound Machine wants answers following director's departure

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Jorim Reid led the NCCU Marching Sound Machine for 14 years.  In May, his contract was not renewed. Jorim Reid led the NCCU Marching Sound Machine for 14 years. In May, his contract was not renewed.
DURHAM, N.C. - Members of an iconic marching band in Durham are demanding to know why their long time leader was let go.

Students and volunteers involved with the North Carolina Central University Marching Sound Machine held a forum on Wednesday night to air their grievances.

Jorim Reid led the band for 14 years before leaving in May.  His contract was not renewed, along with several members of his staff.  The university is not saying why.

"They haven't responded on anything," band booster Leonard Williams said.  "We've asked every possible question there has been and we haven't received a response."

NCCU sent WNCN a statement, which read in part, "This past May, North Carolina Central University made a strategic decision to pursue a different direction in leadership with the Marching Sound Machine," adding, "NCCU looks forward to enhancing and improving the Marching Sound Machine's overall student experience, signature sound and quality showmanship this fall and in years to come."

That starts with interim director Thurman Hollins.  The former St. Augustine's University band leader will start on July 1 as a nationwide search begins for a permanent replacement.

The Marching Sound Machine is known for its unique, contemporary style.  Reid led the band to national recognition, even making an appearance in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

At Wednesday's forum, boosters and current band members said they did not appreciate being left in the dark.

"Making decisions and not talking to us really shows no care for us," band member James Sadler said.

"To me, this seems like a vendetta," booster Elaine Laws said, "That I'll just get rid of everybody and I'll start over with someone I can keep my thumb on."

Some also said they were worried about future funding and support from the university.

"Nobody knows what the future holds," band member Dominique Mclendon said,  "I just hope we can continue to make an impact on different people's lives."

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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