Grambling State Univ. names first female band director in school’s history

Members of the Grambling State University marching band watch as the Dallas Cowboys host the Washington Redskins at Texas Stadium in Dallas, Texas on September 17, 2006. Dallas won 27 – 10. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

Gender equality has been a hot topic in the wake of various women’s empowerment movements gaining national attention, and now it looks like Grambling State University is keeping up with the times by naming its very first female band director.

According to HBCU Gameday, Friday, it was announced that Dr. Nikole Roebuck will lead as the University’s new Chair of the Department of Music and its first woman Director of Bands.

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In her new position Dr. Roebuck’s will be responsible for overseeing operations for the World-Famed Tiger Marching Band, which was applauded on a global scale in April 2019 after performing for Beyoncé and Adidas.

“We are excited to have one of our home-grown innovators lead during this historic time,” beamed President Rick Gallot. “Dr. Roebuck is one of our most dedicated and humble leaders. She is a proven gift to our students, community, and all who support the world-famed sound of Grambling.”

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The Tiger Marching Band was founded in 1926, yet this is the first time in its 93-year history that a woman has been empowered to take the helm. Unfortunately, the lack of women being put in leadership positions in musical programs is nothing new. Dr. Roebuck is only the third woman band director in HBCU history, joining Tomisha Brock of Clark Atlanta University and Dr. Kerry Anne Simon of Mississippi Valley State University who were appointed in 2017 and in May 2019, respectively. She is also only the second woman band director in the history of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

What makes this honor that much sweeter is the fact that Dr. Roebuck graduated from Grambling State University’s Music Education program herself before receiving her Master of Music from the University of Louisiana-Monroe in 2005 and her Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education from the University of Memphis in 2009.

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