NC Central faces backlash after marching band director is suddenly ousted

NCCU Marching Band Director Jorim Reid's contract wasn't renewed, and it's not known why. Band supporters are demanding answers.

Jorim Reid’s contract wasn’t renewed, and it’s not known why. Now band supporters are demanding answers.

The NCCU Marching Sound Machine has made a name for itself, and booster club chairman Dennis Ellis says it’s all because of Reid.

“He has proven his worth for the last 14 years, we feel, here at North Carolina Central,” Ellis said.

The MSM Booster is among a growing group of alumni still reeling from the sudden departure of the longtime band director.

“That was pretty abrupt. The University, they made a decision we didn’t necessarily agree with,” said Leonardo Williams, a MSM Booster.

An online petition is calling for NCCU’s Board of Trustees to reconsider its decision not to renew Reid’s contract, or to at least explain why.

The band performed at the coveted Tournament of Roses parade. However, the following year, hazing allegations surfaced and some of its members were disciplined.

“I can’t really say that it had anything to do with that. But, again, no one knows why,” Williams said.

Alumni and students could get some answers at a public meeting planned for Wednesday night. They’re also concerned about funding the marching band.

“It’s hard times everywhere right now. But we just need everybody to just pull together as a family. We’re family at North Carolina Central. That includes alumni and hopefully, our administrators,” Ellis said.

No word on whether administrations will be on hand for that open forum where former band members like Williams will get the chance to sound off.

“This is a perfect opportunity for the alumni to really get involved and support the current band program, continue to make sure the students have what they need,” Williams said.