TSU appoints the youngest "Ocean of Soul" band director

August 19, 2021 - 01:10 PM

Houston, TX (BAMM Network) — Brian Simmons makes history as Texas Southern University names him the new Director of the Ocean of Soul marching band and instructor, making him the youngest director appointed ever. 

Succeeding the previous director, Darryl Singleton, Simmons will be the youngest director of the critically acclaimed marching band.

“It is an honor to join the TSU Family. Texas Southern has always been a respected rival of mine. I am excited to work with a program with so much history both in the band and HBCU world,'” said Simmons

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Simmons is a two-time graduate of TSU's rival university, Southern University, holding a Bachelor of Music and Master of Educational Leadership. While he was at SU, he served as the Associate Band Director. In 2018, he was appointed as Director of Bands and Director of Fine Arts at the Louisiana Leadership Institute where he led the band for the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Inauguration in January 2021. 

“I look to honor the rich history and traditions of the 'Ocean of Soul' while incorporating new and innovative ideas. Fans and alumni can expect to see what the band is known for as we rise to the next level. Ultimately, it will be the same Ocean, just a new wave!”, he mentioned.

Working in a band since he was 16 and taking up leadership roles, Simmons has a proven track record that makes him a perfect fit in the "Ocean of Soul" marching band. 

The College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences Needha Boutte-Queen has welcomed Simmons, praising him for having the qualities of a leader. “We are thrilled that Mr. Simmons accepted this opportunity to lead the historic Ocean into the future. His talents are widely known and will help propel the Ocean of Soul to new heights,” she added.

About "Ocean of Soul" Marching Band

Known as the 9th Wonder of the World and founded by Mr. Benjamin J. Butler, the Ocean of Soul marching band is known for its captivating performances, clear-cut drills and harmonious sounds. Consisted of more than 200 students majoring in different disciplines, the band has performed in numerous high-profile events, such as the Super Bowl XXXVIII, the 2013 NBA All-Star Game Pregame Concert, and the 2018 NCAA Final Four. They've been performing in award shows, movie premieres and musical performances for NBA, MLB and NFL teams at the same time. They can be also seen on select TSU televised home football and basketball games during the school year. 

Recently, the band was featured in the 2021 Netflix series, High on the Hog.

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Photo Credit: Texas Southern University's Official Facebook Page

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