Bowie State Reinstates Marching Band Following Hazing Investigation, Suspends Off-Campus Performances

Officials at Bowie State University have announced that the university’s Symphony of Soul Marching Band will be reinstated following an internal investigation of hazing claims, but that its band director Adolph Wright has resigned and that the band will be active under an extensive one-year probationary period.

BSU President Aminta Breaux announced the sanctions during a press conference, where she detailed conditions of probation that will include a ban of off-campus performances for one year, and suspension of new member intake and summer band camp activities through 2020.

Current band members will also be required to attend mandatory academic and ledership development programs.

“It became evident during the investigation that there is an immediate need for a comprehensive re-education program to enhance the annual anti-hazing training already provided to the band and other student organizations,” said President Breaux in a statement. “As an institution, we have an obligation to assure that the health and well-being of our students are not put at risk, so we must act quickly to remedy this situation.”

The band has been suspended since Nov. 2. Assistant Symphony of Soul Band Director Billy Bennett was announced as interim director, pending a national search for a permanent replacement.