Houston, Texas – The student body of Texas Southern University (TSU) and the Ocean of Soul Marching Band Members released a statement supporting Interim Director of Bands, Professor Clarence K. Gibson to remain the Director of Bands over the Ocean of Soul Marching Band program:
After working under the leadership of Professor Richard F. Lee for 10 plus years, it has been rumors of replacing Professor Clarence K. Gibson. The students feel that the University is in jeopardy of making a very big mistake. With the change in leadership, we understand that the University does not totally understand how a band program operates.
Gibson has been the interim head director since November of 2015. Since then, in his 1st year in a half as the leader, the band has earned a great deal of accomplishments. Such as making its first historic appearance in the Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans, LA — which is one of the largest HBCU Marching Band recruiting spots in the world. Being 1 of 8 bands selected/invited to participate in the Honda Battle of the Bands in Atlanta, GA with other top tier HBCU band programs. The TSU Ocean has also performed at NBA and NFL games which have been featured on national television several times for positive things. This past summer, Solange Knowles reached out to the Gibson, and asked to have the Ocean perform with her. Most recently, the Ocean lead the Houston Astros victory parade as they won the World Series Championship. This was major for TSU and the city of Houston after recovering from Hurricane Harvey.
Some faculty members of the music department won’t acknowledge it, but Gibson is a major factor in revitalizing and bringing numbers to a dying music department. He is bringing the appeal back to the program, successfully recruiting over 100 freshmen for the 2017-2018 school year. This has been the biggest freshmen class the band/music department has had at TSU since 2010. This is also the first time in years that the band has retained 95% of its students, which lets us know that with Mr. Gibson in place, our band has the potential to finally grow to a larger program, becoming a HBCU powerhouse of bands. Also, the academics have finally become stronger under his leadership in a short period of time.
Mr. Gibson has built a very big network. He has recruited from all over the United States because that’s just how far his influence spreads in the band world. He does not only inspire the students in the state of Texas and in the Houston community, but he inspires students globally, with his worldwide following in the band world. We the student of Texas Southern University, stand strong in supporting Gibson as our Director of Marching Bands!