TSU taps new’ Ocean of Soul’ band director
HOUSTON- Texas Southern University has named Mr. Brian Simmons as the new Director of The Ocean of Soul Marching Band and an instructor in the Music Department. He will step into this new role on July 5.
“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. “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!”
The TSU band was founded in 1945 by Mr. Allen E. Norton. The Ocean of Soul, affectionately known as the 9th Wonder of the World, was founded by Mr. Benjamin J. Butler II in 1969. The Ocean of Soul has performed at numerous high-profile events, including Super Bowl XXXVIII, the 2013 NBA All-Star Game Pregame Concert, and the 2018 NCAA Final Four. Most recently, the Ocean was featured in the 2021 Netflix series High on the Hog. Notable parade performances include the 2014 NFL Hall of Fame Induction Parade, the 2017 Houston Astros World Series Victory Parade, the HEB Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the Krewe of Endymion Mardi Gras Parade. In addition, the Ocean has performed with celebrities, award shows, movie premieres, and several musical performances for various NBA, MLB, and NFL teams. You can always catch the Ocean on select TSU televised home football and basketball games during the school year. The band consists of more than 200 students majoring in different disciplines, all of whom rehearse and perform as part of a year-round program. Mr. Simmons will be the 5th Director of The Ocean of Soul and succeeds Dr. Darryl Singleton.
“The College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences welcomes Mr. Simmons to TSU, to the Ocean of Soul, and to the Music Department. I would like to thank all members of the search committee for moving us to this point,” Needha Boutte-Queen, Dean College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences. “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.”
A native of New Orleans, Simmons earned a Bachelor of Music and Master of Educational Leadership from Southern University. He also serves as an adjudicator and clinician to middle and high school bands nationwide. In addition, Simmons is an exceptional euphonium and trombone player. He is also a prolific arranger and educator respected throughout the country. He has received many awards and critical acclaim for his performances and arrangements. Mr. Simmons was appointed Director of Bands and Director of Fine Arts at the Louisiana Leadership Institute (LLI) by Louisiana Senator Cleo Fields. In January 2021, Simmons led LLI as they were selected to participate in the Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Simmons was inducted into the Southern University Alumni Federation: 40 Under 40. He has also participated in the HBCU National Band Directors Consortium, Music Educators National Conference, and Louisiana Music Educators Association. He is a member of Mu Phi Epsilon, Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com
As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.
Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.