TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida A&M's marching band will make its first performance on September 1 at the university's first football game in Orlando.
Director of Marching and Pep Bands Sylvester Young made the announcement Thursday as the band practiced for the fourth day since coming off suspension.
FAMU suspended the Marching 100 in 2011 because of the hazing-related death of drum major Robert Champion.
Since his death, the school has instituted a wide range of policies to try to eliminate hazing in the band and across the campus.
The stricter rules include a new code of conduct for band members, new faculty positions focusing on hazing and the eligibility of band members, new ways to report and investigate allegations of hazing, and tougher eligibility requirements for band members.
FAMU interim President Larry Robinson says the university has taken steps to launch a new era for the marching band and campus groups.
"We believe that moving forward, this band will be a model of excellence for other bands across this nation and will actually focus on its founding principles of character, academics, leadership, marching and service." He added, "When you look at all these actions that we've taken in total, we are fairly confident that we are about to launch a new era and a new understanding and appreciation as to why hazing is not necessary to advance these principles that I just mentioned for this marching band, as well as any other organization on this campus."
In the past, FAMU's marching band included more than 400 members. The new band has 126 members.
Young says the new Marching 100 will be a quality band.
"This is a new beginning for this band. Fate brought it to that particular situation. So if you notice, the band is smaller and I've always said throughout my career, there's no correlation between size and quality. So what you will see with this band is a quality band."