Professor Derrick K. Yates has been selected to serve as Director of Bands at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He previously served as Interim Director of Bands at Alabama A&M University, where he conducted a 250-member award-winning Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Brass Ensemble and Pep Band for twelve years.

“Directing the Blue Pride Marching Band is a tremendous opportunity for me. My vision is to help reaffirm Stillman’s place in the City of Tuscaloosa, the State of Alabama and the country by expanding the band’s recruiting efforts, increasing our community involvement and creating more opportunities for band members to showcase their musicianship and skills at local, regional and national venues,” states Yates, who, in his previous position, doubled the number of musicians in the French horn, baritone horn, sousaphone, trombone and trumpet sections in a three to four year period.

Yates, who was responsible for all facets of the University Band Program, was presented the Key to the City of New Orleans for outstanding band leading at the largest Mardi Gras Parade (Endymion Parade) in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He found innovative ways to enhance recruitment and assure the success and visibility of the University’s award-winning band. In 2006, the band made history when it became the first HBCU band to lead at the 117th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA.

From 2004 to 2011, Yates presented workshops on preparing middle school directors for band festivals and competitions, and conducted diverse clinics on rehearsal techniques, repertoire selection and related topics. In 2008, he created and launched the University’s first High School Summer Band Camp for students in grades 6-12, which enhanced efforts to attract, develop and retain qualified instrumentalists. The University’s band won the Chicago Classic in 2011 and the Magic City Classic in both 2010 and 2012.

In addition to his contributions as a conductor, director and instructor, he has researched and presented papers on issues such as band leadership styles, challenges facing HBCU bands today, and hazing. At the National Band Directors Consortium Conference in Atlanta, GA in March, he served as a panelists speaking on hazing in HBCU bands.

During the 20th Anniversary Conference of the NAAAS (National Association of African American Studies) in 2012 in Baton Rouge, LA he presented “Band Directors’ Future Challenges for Institutional Leadership at Historically Black Colleges and Universities” and “A Review of Leadership Styles of Band Directors: Leadership Style Matters When It Comes to the Success of Marching Bands.” At the 2013 NAAAS conference, he presented a paper titled “Hazing in HBCU Bands in the United States of America.” He recentlysigned a publishing agreement with The Edwin Mellen Press, Ltd to write a book titled “Why Does Hazing Occur in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Bands in the United States of America.”

Yates is an Alabama A&M graduate who earned a Master of Music Education and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education.

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