Multiple outlets are reporting that Jackson State University has fired its director of university bands O’Neill Sanford on Wednesday night. The firing is alleged to have followed Sanford’s authorization of non-students to participate in the Sonic Boom of the South’s recent performance at the Queen City Battle of the Bands last week in Charlotte, NC.
One of the premier brands in the HBCU band world is now looking for a new leader. O’Neill Sanford is out as the head of the Sonic Boom of The South, after the band reportedly brought dozens of members to a band event last week who were not fully registered with the school, sources tell HBCU Gameday.
Sanford, who has been with JSU since 2012 and is the former director of bands at Norfolk State University, has told reporters that he intends to retain legal counsel to challenge the termination. From the Jackson-Clarion Ledger:
“I am very concerned and shocked with what happened and how Jackson State handled this,” he said. “I was terminated, and I am not at all pleased about it.”
Jackson State officials declined to comment on the matter, citing personnel privacy laws. Lowell Hollinger, an associate director of the Sonic Boom, will serve as interim director.