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Band Director Fired Unfairly - Needs Our Support


Band Director Fired Unfairly - Needs Our Support

FAU's first-year marching band director is in the process of being fired for applying for a similar (dream) position at a much more established university.

The director announced to the band on Monday night that he had been relieved of duty after word got back to FAU that he had applied for the band director position at Purdue University. The director, who would likely be a long shot for the Purdue job, now has no job - only because he dreamed of directing a Big 10 band.

This likeable and professional college band director did the almost impossible this year - creating a good-sounding marching band from a 50-or-less-member group of newcomers. President Frank Brogan and football coach Howard Schnellenberger personally thanked the musicians and director on many occasions for their dedication, talent and performances.

Brogan even asked member of the band to pose for a photo printed on his person Christmas cards.

So, certainly, they were not upset with Chapman's results.

The Marching Owls made football games and (now) basketball games into bigtime college experiences. They played for the president's address, at pep rallies, for fans tailgating before the games, and even went through the dorms to increase student fan support and enthusiasm. The band was among the loudest cheerers at games and led most of the cheers with its songs and ditties.

This was the director's doing. And he had big plans for the band in the coming years. He already placed FAU in a great light with the results of his work.

The band was small, but it was started with little fanfare, promotion and in little time (late August).

The members like the director, who treats them with respect and already had them excited about planned trips to the Clemson and South Carolina games next year, and, perhaps, to the NCAA basketball tournament this year.

FAU is no major college sports player yet and we all know that. Small college and mid-major coaches, administrators and others almost always have their eyes on their dream jobs. Coaches and administrators who apply elsewhere are usually not punished by losing their jobs they have.

And they shouldn't be penalized for dreaming big. The director did not want to leave FAU, but wanted to see how he stacked up in the running for a major position in the Midwest, where he grew up and graduated from college.

When was the last time we read about a coach being fired for talking to a major college A.D.?

It's just not fair and this decision will set back the small but growing and successful marching band program at FAU.

I wonder whether President Brogan knows about this firing. I hope not. And when he finds out, I hope he steps in and kills this mistake before it's too late.

I encourage everyone here and elsewhere to write to and call Brogan and the administration encourage and demand that the director be retained in his position.

To send a letter about this situation to President Brogan and the administration, please go to:

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You might also send an e-mail to him at: [email protected] (this address is a guess based on other officials' addresses; Brogan's address is not listed).

Please carbon copy his staff (below);

Dr. Lawrence Davenport
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
President's Chief of Staff
[email protected]

Dr. Jennifer O'Flannery
Director of Community Relations
[email protected]

Ms. Lill DuKate
Assistant to President
[email protected]

Here is the press release about Chapman's hiring and some background on him …

FAU Appoints New Marching Band Director

BOCA RATON, FL (April 21, 2005) ? Florida Atlantic University?s Department of Music recently announced the appointment of XXXXXX XXXXXX as director of the FAU Marching Band. The director will assume the position of assistant director of bands/athletic band director in July of 2005 with the assignment of having a marching band on the field for the 2005 football season.

?(The director) will bring a high level of energy, inventiveness and musicianship to the Marching Band?s return to the field in 2005. The Band is going to be great for FAU football and its fans, and it will give many FAU students a chance to continue to be involved in a musical tradition that they loved in high school,? said Heather Coltman, chair of FAU?s music department.

The FAU Marching Band was founded in the fall of 2002 under the direction of George Sparks, who was then on the music faculty. Sparks continued as director through the 2003 football season, but then was appointed director of FAU?s School of the Arts. Now, after a one-year absence, the Marching Band will be back under the director?s guidance.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, the director has served as Director of Bands at Foothill High School in Henderson, Nevada. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree from The Ohio State University in 1992 and a Master of Music from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1998. Currently, the director is completing his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Washington.

The director?s professional affiliations include the Music Educators National Conference; the Washington Music Educators Association; World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles; and College Band Directors National Association. He is also an honorary member of the National Honorary Collegiate Band Service Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi.

The director will be working closely with Kyle Prescott who joined FAU in the fall of 2004 as Director of Bands. The University?s Marching Band complements Prescott?s vision of a comprehensive band program in the Department of Music.

For further information about FAU?s band programs in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, call the music department at 561-297-3826.
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Band Director Fired Unfairly - Needs Our Support

The director informed FAU officials, out of a sense of fairness, that he had made the application, and that he did not expect to be hired. But he is from the Midwest and eventually would like to lead a major conference band in his home region. He called it a "dream job."

FAU officials told the media today that he resigned. But the director told the band he was told to resign, effective at the end of this year.

My questions are: Would Matt Doherty be fired if his named showed up in an ACC head coach search news story? Was Frank Brogan asked to resign as lt. governor when he applied for FAU's (and perhaps other) college president position?

So why the double standard?

I did not hear back from any college officials today. I mailed my letter of protest to them last night.

BTW, I do not really know this man. I met him a couple of times.
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Band Director Fired Unfairly - Needs Our Support

Here it is again under a sports forum. I knew it was here somewhere it was back on page seven. I thought I would bring it back to the top since it was already here.
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Band Director Fired Unfairly - Needs Our Support

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