BOWIE, Md. (WJZ) — Bowie State’s ‘Symphony of Soul’ will be more or less silenced for the next year.
After allegations of hazing within the Bowie State University band, university officials have placed their marching band on a year-long probation following an investigation, and their director has resigned.
It’s one of several punishments the band now faces as a criminal investigation continues moving forward, announced Friday.
“We are announcing a one-year probation for the band allowing for participation in limited performance activities during the probation period,” said BSU President Aminta Breaux.
That means no performances at games, and the band will no longer be able to welcome new members until 2020.
They will also be getting a new director and anti-hazing education.
Officials, while still not going into specifics of the incidents, wanted to make it known that no members’ lives were put in danger.
“While the incidents of hazing among Bowie State band members were serious, I want to emphasize that they do not rise to the level of harm and tragic outcomes of other recent high profile acts of hazing that had been reported in the media,” Breaux said.
Police said the criminal investigation into the allegations are still ongoing.
“It’s premature at this time to discuss any charges,” said Bowie State Chief of Police Ernest Waiters.
Band members that attended the press conference where the punishments were announced are angered by the outcome and the removal of their director.
“Every single tear you see standing right here means something, this program, our director means something. It means everything to us,” said Broderick Pitts, President and Drum Major of Symphony of Steel.
Band members said they feel blindsided.
“We have not gotten the answers we request and we are all hurt and disheartened.
The University said they will conduct a national search for a new director, the expect to wrap the search up by August.