Founders Day speaker to tell how he succeeds as an entertainment exec

By Trayonna Hendricks

Every year Hampton University has a Founder's Day ceremony where a renowned speaker is chosen to deliver the keynote address and pay homage to the General Samuel Chapman Armstrong, the founder of this university. This weekend the 123rd Founders Day ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m. in Ogden Hall on Sunday, Jan. 31 and Michael D. Armstrong will deliver the keynote address.

Graduating in 1994 with the class of "OgrephiOgre8," Armstrong took his bachelors on to not only receive his masters from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, but also to become the executive vice president and general manager, international brand development for Viacom International Media Networks.

"I'm incredibly humbled and honored to be able to come back to the place that I love, my home by the sea. It's a little bit surreal," said Armstrong. Hampton University is known for molding leaders, including Booker T. Washington, Alberta Williams King and Douglas Palmer Armstrong. Like those mentioned, Armstrong has gone on to lead in many different realms throughout his career including sales, marketing and business after his tenure at Hampton University.

Armstrong shared a few key things that he has received from Hampton that he still utilizes in his career today: "Hampton really taught me to problem solve and to be self-reliant, it's one of the virtues of Hampton to be resourceful."

At Hampton, it's important to take advantage of your network and to remain persistent in the midst of your journey said Armstrong. He shared his advice that he would give to students who aspire to work in the entertainment industry as he does today: "Don't focus too narrowly on what it means to be in the entertainment industry. If you read what's going on in the industry, you will find that you can be at a company like Viacom, Netflix, Google, and be "in the industry" but just doing something different."

All students are working towards some type of a career and, according to Armstrong, making sure you focus on your goals is the most important thing you can do: "A true Hamptonian that's resourceful will do their homework and study. If you really aspire to work in the industry, study it, learn what it is, and what it is you want to do within it.

"That applies for any industry, and with the Internet available, there's no excuse."

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Players, fans anticipate competitive NSU-Hampton U. basketball game

By Khalida Volou

Who's ready for the annual Battle of the Bay?

Well, Hampton University Pirates are anticipating yet another win against the Norfolk State Spartans. It is evident that this game has become one of the biggest games of the year aside from the "Battle of the Real HU" vs. Howard University and has had huge turnouts for three years in the row.

Students here are ready to take on those Spartans. "You never know what to expect, they both bring it!" said Christiana Cole, a junior Communicative Science and Disorders major from Alexandria, Virginia.

The rivalry between the two universities started out during the football season of 1963. The two schools are separated by the Hampton Roads harbor. Because these two universities are close in proximity it has made this rivalry a friendly one. "The rivalry isn't like the HU versus HU game. Our Norfolk [State] versus Hampton game is friendlier, it is two HBCU's coming together and fighting it out and then we party together," said Cole.

This yearly match up eventually advanced to include basketball season and other sports at both universities. Today, the tournament name "Battle of the Bay" is used when both schools have any athletic competition.

Now that it is basketball season students from both universities are ready to take this rivalry to the next level. "I expect a big crowd, large population from both schools, and definitely a win!" said Hampton U. freshman Sherena Sabla, Communicative Science and Disorders major from Charlotte, North Carolina.

According to the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference website the Pirates were the last team to win on this ongoing rivalry. Dating back to the 2012-2013 season the Pirates lost both games that season, then during the 2013-2014 season they regained their standing and won both games. During the 2014-2015 season, the Spartans won two games and the Pirates ended the rivalry strong winning in overtime the final game of that season. Reginald Johnson scored 11 points hitting three 3-points.

The current standing of the Pirates is 11-8 and Norfolk State is 10-12. The Spartans are hungry for this win to move up in the conference before championships. "Last year out of the times that we played Norfolk State it was the hype of Hampton versus Norfolk," said Reginald Johnson, team captain of Hampton U. men's basketball. "This time it's a one verse two, we're No. 1 and they are No. 2. It is going to be a big game as far as atmosphere and actually meaning something for conference."

With Norfolk State having high rankings in stats and Hampton becoming better in winning conferences, what are the odds? "I think it's going to be a close game, it's going to be really tight," said Maurice Williams, Hampton University sports information director.

Students from both universities are putting their hopes on this game, especially Hamptonians. "It is important for us to beat Norfolk," said Johnson, "and it is important for us to stay No. 1 at conference to keep riding out, and so far we have been doing good."

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Hampton U. vs. NSU means battle of the stands

By Aaliyah Essex

Pirate Nation looks to take the court against the Spartans in the annual "Battle of the Bay." Hampton will host the double header against Norfolk State Saturday, Jan. 30.

The 8-12 Lady Pirates will take on the 0-18 Lady Spartans at 4 p.m. Hampton University's men's basketball team is scheduled to take on Norfolk State at 6 p.m. With the two male teams sitting at No. 1 and 2 in the MEAC respectively, the matchup is expected to be full of intensity.

With both schools within a 15-mile radius, the competition tips off far beyond the wooden planks. For fans at both Historically Black Universities, the rivalry that dates back to 1963 seeps into the stands.

Renee Stephen, graduate of the Hampton's Class of 1985, still enjoys the rivalry. "HU has always been seen as the cream of the crop academically, and for a while, NSU was known as the cream of the crop athletically," explains Stephen. "This causes each side to have to prove themselves to one another. We're constantly fighting to win."

Stephen took her son to experience the matchup as a young child. Her son Antrell, who is currently a Hampton student, now takes his mom's place in the stands.

"Honestly, when it comes to NSU, it's literally like a tournament," says the junior sports management major. "Teams versus teams. Cheerleaders versus cheerleaders. Fans versus fans. Wardrobes versus wardrobes. It's so competitive because we are the two African-American schools in the Hampton Roads area."

Though both schools are small compared to others in the NCAA, the fans feel that the competition is just as relevant. "This is the Duke vs. UNC [North Carolina] of HBCU's," says junior HU student, Gary Faulcon. "They are both right here and all the students are very active in the rivalry."

Kelsey Jenkins, a junior NSU student, relates the opposition to the NFL. "It's like the Redskins against the Cowboys. It's exciting."

As the day approaches, fans gear up for an action-packed night. After the regulation clock winds down, fans begin to put aside their school spirit in order to unite. "It's a friendly rivalry," says alumna Renee Stephen. "We are rooting for NSU," she says in regards to their recent administrative controversies. "We represent black schools in the area. So at the end of the game, we are together."

Supporters from both sides are patiently awaiting their opportunity to take bragging rights. With both male teams suffering one loss in conference play, the some fans said they are anticipating war!

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Hampton U. faculty, family of students trapped in D.C. storm

By Alexandria Moreland, Briana Oates and Caelyn Sutton

The snow that paralyzed the Washington, D.C. metro area the night of Wednesday, Jan. 20 missed the Hampton University community, however, a number of faculty and families of students here were touched.

Drew Berry, a professor at the campus' Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, left his home north of Baltimore Thursday morning at 5 a.m. What was usually a four-hour drive, he said, turned into a seven-hour headache. He encountered a number of icy roads and witnessed several car accidents.

"It was a nightmare," said Berry, who intends to stay in the Hampton Roads area until Monday.

The evening before, after snow suddenly hit Washington, D.C., Scripps Howard's Dr. Mavis Carr received a disturbing text from her daughter-in-law, Nicole Eley-Carr, who lives in that area. For her, a productive day at work had quickly turned into a Wednesday night of disaster. Eley-Carr left work, as usual, and proceeded to drive home, but her car stalled on a road approximately 10 minutes from her Accokeek, Maryland home. After restarting her car and attempting to navigate the hilly, winding road home, her vehicle and others began to slide precariously backward down the snow-dusted hill. Eley-Carr then made the decision to park near a CVS and resigned herself to spending the night in a place that at least had food. While perusing the shelves, she recalls that "one of the first smiles" she saw was that of the father of a former student of her mother-in-law Dr. Carr.

As they chatted, he learned that Dr. Carr had taught his daughter at Hampton University a couple of years ago. He was nice enough to go out of his way and drove Eley-Carr home, after his wife arrived in their SUV. When she got home, Eley-Carr and her husband decided to go get some things from the store. Once there, they found the shelves bare. They now are preparing to hunker down for the Thursday night snowstorm.

Wednesday night was referred to as "Carmageddon 2.0," as D.C. snowfall took over the streets. According to Fox5-TV, part of interstates 95, 495 and 270 were jam-packed with cars, and there were numerous Thursday-morning school delays. Virginia State Police responded to nearly 200 traffic accidents and, as reported by Fox5, Fairfax County stated that there had been at least 50 vehicles crashes.

Winter Storm Jonas was projected to pack up to 16 inches of snow, leaving millions of people in the D.C., Baltimore and New York area frantic in anticipation of its arrival. Multiple East Coast states have been under emergency blizzard watches, winter storm watches, winter weather advisories or freezing rain advisories. Baltimore is expected to receive at least two feet or more of snow.

Jamie Miller, lifelong Baltimore resident and grandmother of Scripps Howard student Jasmine Charles, said, "We're a little scared because over the years we've been spared from most of the more disastrous storms, but all the while knowing that something like this would happen sooner or later. So we're just waiting to see what happens."

Phillip Jackson and Jasmin Charles contributed to this report. The writers are students at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Touchdown in Chi-town: Martin Luther King sought to improve housing in '66

By Jelani Scott

With each passing year, it almost becomes too easy to forget about the contributions of the great leaders that were instrumental in molding the way our society is today. On holidays such the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, people often look at it first as third day of a long weekend and, aside from a special program or morning march, that's essentially it.

It is common for us to first look to King's famous "I Have A Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington to draw inspiration and knowledge from and about the iconic civil rights leader, but there is so much more work attributed to his name than just this. Many people are unaware that some of his most significant work occurred 50 years ago in an area not usually associated with the pioneer.

When asked about what 1966 felt like, Washington, D.C. native and current resident Yvonne Williams, 73, said it felt like a "regrouping" year following King's heavy involvement in South in a movement that struck a chord with most of the country.

"Down here in D.C., we really didn't hear that much about him [after Selma]," said Williams, who at that time was working at the Federal Power Commission, now known as the Department of Energy.

Nineteen sixty-six was a pivotal year for King as he further showcased the extent of his reach by leading the ambitious Northwestern civil rights campaign known as the Chicago Freedom Movement. Accompanied by Southern Christian Leadership Conference leader James Bevel and Coordinating Council of Community Organizations leader Al Raby, King was determined to improve the living conditions in Chicago for its African-American citizens. The movement sought to neutralize the slums in the city and eliminate housing and school discrimination.

The campaign went a long way in proving that non-violence could enact social change outside of the South. Tensions began to increase throughout the country following the Watts Riots of 1965 in California and activist Stokely Carmichael declaring early in the year that there was a need for "black power," which opposed King's approach. Chicago provided the perfect stage for King and his associates to ease some of these tensions by helping their poverty-stricken brethren.

"And I contend that the cry of 'black power' is, at bottom, a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro," King told CBS' Mike Wallace in a September 1966 interview in response to Carmichael and rising tensions.

"I think that we've got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard. And, what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the economic plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years."

On July 10, 1966, King held a "Freedom Sunday" rally in front of a crowd of 45,000 inside Chicago's Soldier Field. Five days later, according to Stanford's King Encyclopedia, Chicago's mayor and King reached an agreement on "new programs in recreation for Chicago blacks, a committee to study police relations with citizens and closer cooperation between the black community and police."

By the end of July into August, the movement spawned a number of rallies outside of real estate offices and marches into all-white neighborhoods throughout the city. During one protest, King was struck in the head by a rock hurled by one of the white opposition members and fell to the ground. Shortly following this incident, King said, "I think the people from Mississippi ought to come to Chicago to learn how to hate."

In August, negotiations began between city leaders, movement activists, and members of the Chicago Real Estate Board and by the end of the month, an agreement consisting of positive steps towards more housing opportunities being provided was reached. Despite these small victories, however, King and his team were unable to make the immediate change they wanted for Chicago.

"Mayor Richard J. Daley wanted to keep the city segregated, because it guaranteed that middle-class whites didn't flee to the suburbs," wrote Edward McClelland in a 2012 NBC Chicago article. "Rep. William Dawson, the black overlord of the South Side, also wanted to keep the city segregated, because the ghetto guaranteed him a captive political base,"

Although the 1966 Chicago Freedom Movement didn't pay dividends that year, the 1968 Fair Housing Act justified the work. Passed by President Lyndon B. Johnson following King's assassination, the act afforded equal housing opportunities for all people and made it a federal crime to "by force or by threat of force, injure, intimidate, or interfere with anyone ... by reason of their race, color, religion, or national origin."

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Hampton University Concert Choir honors Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Phillip Jackson

This weekend, people across the nation will be celebrating the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Here at Hampton University, HU's concert choir will be recognizing the life and contributions of King through song and performance. The celebration will be held at Hampton University Memorial church, 4 p.m. Sunday.

"The celebration from us actually has been occurring for some years," said Romeo Garcia, a senior music major from Greenville, North Carolina. "It's actually coming back after a decent hiatus."

The celebration for King led by Hampton University's concert choir comes just two days after his birthday and one day before the national observation of the holiday.

Hampton University's concert choir, conducted by Omar J. Dickenson, look to perform "four to five songs," according to Garcia. "Specifically, 'Oh Holy Lord,' 'How Great Thou Art,' 'Daniel, Daniel, Servant of the Lord,' 'We Shall Overcome,' and 'Dream and climb.'"

Hampton's choir will not be the only selected group set to recognize the work of King. The Crusaders Male Chorus, conducted by John H. Wickham, will also perform, along with The Christian Fellowship Choir of First Baptist Church, conducted by Effie T. Gardner.

This is not the first time the Hampton University choir has performed with other selected choirs in the Hampton Roads area. In 2006, Hampton University's Department of Music and the Hampton Choirs presented the annual Martin Luther King, Jr.

Freedom Concert: Music by African-American Composers in Ogden Hall. According to HU NEWS, the concert showcased music that was composed and arranged by African-Americans, and conducted by former maestro of Hampton Concert choir, Royzell L. Dillard.

The event that year also featured a performance by Norfolk, Virginia's I. Sherman Green Chorale, which is the only professional, all African-American chorus in the Hampton Roads area, along with the Woodside High School Meistersingers, directed by Jason Dungee.

Two years later the Hampton University concert choir held another Freedom Concert under Dillard, which also encompassed guest performances from Woodside High School and St. Augustine College Concert choir, then under maestro Eric Poole.

King's close ties to Hampton University were documented. His mother, Alberta Williams King, graduated from Hampton Institute in 1924. King also visited the campus of Hampton.

In 2003, his son, Martin Luther King III, visited the Hampton Roads area and was scheduled to attend a reception at Hampton University Museum, Ogden Circle.

Whether it is at a protest to #ReclaimMLK or a service being held in honor of his former preaching at churches Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama or Ebenezer Baptist church in Atlanta; there will be many celebrations and rallies in light of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the weekend leading into it.

On the actual national observation date on Monday, Hampton University will also hold a march on campus in recognition of King's Civil Rights work beginning at 10 a.m. in front of Emancipation Oak.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Hampton U. theater students produce 'books with legs'

By Nyaa Ferary

The Hampton University Department of Fine and Performing Arts offers creative outlets such as drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, design, debate and music. They are known for presenting some of the best plays available for Hampton students to enjoy. The Hampton Players perform a couple of plays per semester in the Little Theater of Armstrong Hall.

The director of the theater department is Karen Ward. She has more than 30 years' experience with writing, directing, acting and producing theater. She has published and written her own plays. As well as performed in shows for both local and national arenas such as the Theatre Virginia in Richmond and Heritage Repertory Company at the University of Virginia for her role as Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill." She makes sure each production for the Hampton Players is original and has its own spin so that it is interesting and unique to the viewers. "There is always a shelf to put every book on," said Ward. "And for plays, there is always a stage to put plays on."

Students are welcome to write and produce their own work. Every other year there is a production called "New Voices" and it is basically "a book with legs" said Ward, in that student playwrights are offered the opportunity to submit their own works to be produced in a reader's theater format and later if the comments and reactions are good, to be presented on the main stage, which will then be ran in the next season. This experience requires a lot of commitment from the students who wish to see their plays in the Little Theater. Ward says, "There is a heavy cost to be the boss." These students must now act on the opposite side of the fence by playing the role as producer and director for their own productions.

The selection for this year's lineup was finalized well in advance. The Fine and Performing Arts Department typically produce four to five productions a year and make their production decisions based on faculty, students and input from the community in April or May. Once classes are over, the faculty gets together and sees which plays haven't been done before as well as which ones fit the department's mission. From that, a list is narrowed down and the faculty looks at all the plays and each director decided what they might want to direct, given what their expertise is. The result is a composite of four plays to be run throughout the year, usually two in the fall and two in the spring. At least one is classic, one is contemporary; another is written by a black playwright, and also a musical.

The newest production the Hampton Players are presenting is "Stick Fly," directed by Robin Jackson Boisseau. She has been an assistant professor of theater at Hampton University since 2001. During Boisseau's time at the university, she has directed over 20 productions and is the adviser to the Hampton Players & Company student theater organization.

This play originally debuted in 2010 as the Broadway production by Lydia R. Diamond. The playwright graduated from Northwestern University where she majored in performance studies and is a 2005-2007 member of the Huntington Playwright Fellows. According to the Huntington Theatre Company website, "She was a 2005-2006 Harvard WEB Du Bois Institute non-resident Fellow, a 2007 TCG/NEA Playwright in Residence at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, a 2012-2013 Radcliffe Institute Fellow, a 2012 Sallie B. Goodman McCarter Fellow, and a 2012 Sundance Institute Playwright Lab Creative adviser. She is currently a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and a playwright in residence at Arena Stage."

The initial success of "Stick Fly" in association with the Arena Stage led to the play's 2011 nomination in for a Tony Award. "Stick Fly" tells the story of an African-American family that face issues of race, class and sibling rivalry, while they are spending the weekend at their second home in Martha's Vineyard.

There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes for these productions. The crew, directors and actors all have to pull their own weight to make such plays like "Stick Fly" a success. The actors and actresses interviewed said they dedicate all of their evenings to rehearsals and getting their costumes made. Practice is held every day except for Sunday, and students audition for the roles of their choice before they are assigned a role. Many students are juggling between their course workload; other extracurricular activities, the play and some have jobs to maintain.

Briana Nealey is a senior from Denver; her first time being in Hampton Players play was this semester's production of "Little Shop of Horrors." She auditioned in late April and began preparing for her role over the summer. When asked why she chose to be in the play, Nealey said, "I've always loved performing. I decided that I wanted to try out for a play at Hampton because I had been away from the stage for too long. I love acting and so I decided it was time to start doing it again." She is currently now practicing for her role in "One Wild and Crazy Night," which will be presented next year.

Nealey said she often has to miss rehearsals because they conflict with her current retail job schedule: "School and work has always been something I've had to balance. Adding rehearsals has really taken up a lot of time in my schedule. It's hard to balance sometimes and lots of times schoolwork takes the back burner. But it's just really about understanding that you need to plan out your week and make time for everything you need to get done."

The amount of hard work and dedication that must be committed to each play is substantial. Whether it be acting or being a part of the stage crew, many long hours and passion is required to create such original productions. These students submerge themselves in their craft. They live and breathe the theater craft, many spend their free time watching other plays, reading manuscripts and singing play numbers regularly.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

No water on Mars, but something close to it

By Kenya Baker

In a September press release, NASA confirmed evidence of flowing water on the planet Mars. Using the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter it provided proof that liquid water flows on Mars.

Researchers discovered signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where streaks are seen. These streaks appear to ebb and flow over time, darkening and appearing to flow down steeps during the warm seasons and then fading during cooler seasons. The flows going downhill are known as reoccurring slope lineae and have been described as possibly related to liquid water. The discovery of these hydrated salts is believed to lower the freezing point of liquid brine, similarly to salts found on the roads of Earth that melts snow at a faster rate.

Despite NASA's findings Nicholas Heavens, Ph.D., research assistant professor of Planetary Science at Hampton University was not as thrilled about the hydrated salts being discovered on Mars. According to Heavens, "First, the major scientific result that it is based on is simply that recurring slope lineae looks like they contain hydrated salts. At our present state of knowledge, that could be coincidental. Moreover, flowing water on Mars probably would have atmospheric effects that so far have not been studied. In other words, the result that justifies the 'confirmation' is one of many results that would make up a coherent argument that there are liquid water flows on Mars.

"However, I do not want to detract from the hard work of the authors of the study in question. The result they present is a valuable contribution and well demonstrated. Science however, is very incremental. The study is only one step to confirming liquid water flows on Mars. Second, despite some work by NASA to argue against this idea, there have been rumblings that flowing brines on Mars would be potential habitats for life. They are some salt-tolerant microbes on Earth, but these conditions in these flows on Mars likely would be too extreme to sustain even the Earth's hardiest organisms."

Finding evidence of flowing water on Mars is no small feat. Aside from the possibility of one day going to Mars, there are a few reasons behind why one would want to go to the red planet. Kunio Sayanagi, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences department believes there are three reasons why one would want to travel all the way to Mars.

1. Sending people to exotic places and coming back with stories is human nature. It is also human nature to explore.
2. Get people excited about technology. We need beyond bleeding-edge technology. It's about keeping people alive in environments and we can learn more about human physiology.
3. Eventually, we're going to need another planet.

Graduate student John Balock added a fourth reason for why people should want to travel to Mars: "People are better at doing science better than robots. A robot doesn't know how to feel luck or act on intuition so you'd have to send a person to detect certain stuff."

The goal is to have people going to Mars by 2033. Before NASA or any other association with the power to send people to Mars there are steps that need to take place as well as enough of the proper resources. Most importantly, Mars should be able to sustain life before people begin staying on the planet, and there are many factors that go into that.

Balock says that's there are steps we must take before anyone can live on Mars. Some of those steps include an Earth-dependent mission to test out equipment, and then an independent mission supplying resources followed by bringing an asteroid to orbit the moon to run more tests. People will be sent to land and live on Mars' moon Phoebus for six months. The film "The Martian," released just days before NASA's announcement, explores the idea of an independent mission of living on Mars. It tells the story of an astronaut getting stuck and being forced to survive on his own with little resources, but he still manages to make it back to Earth. The story may be fiction, but even Hollywood is on board with sending people to Mars.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson had his own opinions on the film and its depiction of Mars. During an interview with "CBS This Morning" in October Tyson said "The Martian atmosphere is less than 1 percent the thickness of our atmosphere and so when the wind picks up, it doesn't pick up heavy things--it can't and so it picks up only very light dusts."

Tyson understands that some details of the film had to be exaggerated in order to tell the story in an entertaining fashion. In regards to the evidence of water flow on Mars he said, "Even as an astrophysicist, I consider the search of life in the universe to be the greatest and highest goals in all branches of science."

Although Mars is the current focus and seemingly the most realistic, there are other planets that could possibly be another home for humans. Some of these planets may never get explored due to how far away they are or how difficult it maybe to get to them. But as science continues to advance, there is hope that one day we may be able to get to these distant planets.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Entertaining, in-your-face Hampton U. marching and pep bands

By Kelsey A. Marrow

At HBCUs, the marching band is the main reason for fans' attendance and support of the university. It is the heightened feeling of ecstasy and school spirit, the band performance exhilarates that causes a memorable time of love and fellowship. Hampton University brings a unique twist of culture and style that separates them from others.

The Hampton University bands consist of the marching band, the concert band, and the symphonic winds and the pep band, according to information obtained from the Department of Music. Each of these organizations strive to provide a high level of musical experience for its members. These organizations provide music for university functions under the umbrella of the Department of Music. The bands are comprised of wind players and percussionists from all academic disciplines around campus. The university bands study and rehearse wind band repertoire that fosters musical growth and human connection through music.

This year Tory F. Smart was appointed director of university bands. He is the son of the late Barney Smart, who served as the director of university bands for 14 years. It was under the father's guidance that "The "Force" became known as an outstanding college marching band. Tory Smart serves as the director of the HU Marching Force.

He said, "My goal is to uphold the tradition, the pride and increase the size of the band. I want the Force to be aggressive and entertaining this year. I will educate our students and develop them into strong professionals."

"The Force" performs crowd favorites such as "Poison," a 1990s hit by the New Edition spinoff group Bel Biv DeVoe, "6, 7, 9" by Fetty Wap, "SOS" by Rihanna, "This is how we do" by Montel Jordan, "Body Party" by Ciara and the most popular, "Talking Out the Side of Your Neck." In 1984, the group Cameo wrote this popular song as a protest against then-President Ronald Reagan and the song has remained a favorite since that time. You can hear this song played by a number of collegiate bands; however, Hampton's version of the song is like no other.

Hampton's version is approximately five minutes long. It is played longer than any version performed by other bands. The musical arrangement also makes Hampton's version dramatically different from others. Throughout the song there is the distinctive sound of the brass and woodwind sections and the percussion at different intervals during the song.

The marching band currently consists of approximately 200 members that include musicians, flag team members and Ebony Fire dancers. In 1977, the marching band became known as the "The Force" which was a term referenced in the movie "Star Wars." "The Force" was described as powerful energy field created by all living things that surrounds and penetrates living beings. It represented good and combated evil. The marching band performs at all home football games and selected away games.

The pep band is a vibrant and energetic ensemble that plays for both the women's and men's basketball teams. The pep band is open to students who play traditional band instruments that typically consist of brass, woodwinds and percussion.

"We perform at all home and selected away games." said clarinet player Markus Smith, a freshman chemistry engineer major. "I enjoy traveling to the MEAC [Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference] basketball tournament every year and performing in front of family and friends.

"We perform several concerts every year and challenge ourselves to perform musical pieces from different cultures and styles."

The concert band is an ensemble designed to provide opportunities for all Hampton University students to continue playing their instrument after marching season.

The symphonic winds, founded in 1991 by Barney Smart, provides opportunities for outstanding instrumentalists and music majors to perform traditional and avant-garde band literature at the highest level possible.

The Hampton University marching band practices seven days a week from 5 to 9 p.m. Music scholarships are offered to qualified students. These scholarships will not pay the total costs to attend Hampton University, but will help to defray some of the expenses. Initial scholarship awards are based on performance ability, according the Department of Music. Subsequent awards are based on number of factors such as musical growth, commitment and performance ability.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Mastering the mix: Hampton U’s deejay culture

By Arriana McLymore

DJ Envy Numerous talents graced Hampton University's campus throughout the years. Whether it is through dancing, singing or acting, Hamptonians used the university as a place to hone their performance skills. One talent that is often overlooked is the art of deejaying. When it's time to party, disc jockeys are some of the most sought–after students. They are often asked to attend Hampton Harbor apartment parties, 12 to 2 sessions in the student center and other school-sponsored events.

Becoming a deejay takes time and practice. From building a brand to mastering how to mix songs, deejaying is a craft to be respected. HU disc jockeys come from a long line of success stories. Hampton alums such as DJ Envy, DJ Babey Drew and DJ Tay James have worked to make their names known worldwide for the deejaying skills.

New York native Raashawn "DJ Envy" Casey is one-third of Power 105 FM's "The Breakfast Club," alongside Charlamagne Tha God, and Angela Yee. "The Breakfast Club" has become one of the top-rated urban radio programs in the country, with syndication on more than 30 stations nationwide. The program is also broadcast on and the iHeartRadio mobile app. DJ Envy has accumulated various awards for his deejaying talents including the National Mix Show DJ of the Year Award and the DJ of the Year Award, given by the Global Spin Awards.

Andrew "DJ Babey Drew" Bisnaught's claim to fame as Chris Brown's deejay quickly made him popular amongst hip-hop and pop crowds alike. Some of DJ Babey Drew's other famous clients include hip-hop star Li'l Wayne, Kelly Rowland, Jordin Sparks and the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Bisnaught is currently on Atlanta's Power 96.1 and Z-104 FM in Virginia Beach, Virginia. DJ Baby Drew has been featured on VH1's second season of "Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta," BET's "106 & Park" and "Rap City," ABC's "Good Morning America" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

DJ Tay James is continuing to build his brand by performing across the world as Justin Beiber's deejay. The 2009 Hampton University graduate attributes the campus to much of his success. "If I didn't go to Hampton, I wouldn't have a job right now," said James during the DREAM Digital Symposium last fall at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco.

Many of the Hampton U.'s deejays used the campus as a way to build their network and skills. One of the most notable deejays on campus now is Cameron Benboe, a senior finance major from Louisville, Kentucky. Known as "DJ Camo," Benboe said he began deejaying before attending HU, "I started between my eighth grade and freshman year of high school."

Benboe is a self-taught disc jockey who turned to YouTube and other resources to learn how to spin. "There was a solid period where I deejaying in my room," said Benboe. "I started with my computer. I was making mash-ups of songs with other instrumentals. I went from that to actually mixing songs together." After saving money to buy equipment, Benboe began to take his talents to the next level.

One year later, Benboe started to let other people listen to his mixes. He created CDs, began working parties and worked to build his brand in his home state. Benboe said that his transition to Hampton U. was easy. "I looked at it as moving into a new market," he said. "I was looking for a good opportunity to expand and get a different fan base."

Before arriving at HU, Benboe researched the known deejays on campus. DJ LP, Audio Tha DJ and DJ Tay James continuously popped up on his radar as notable names. "The Hampton network of DJs is really big," said Benboe. "I'm not going to say that's the reason I came to Hampton, but it was a plus."

From the moment Benboe stepped on Hampton's campus, he was ready to perfect his craft. Benboe continued to practice in his dorm room and network with other campus deejays. The most crucial part of his success has been his ability to market himself. "Deejaying is something that's fun, but it is also a business," said Benbore. "You have to connect yourself professionally. Part of the reason why I've been progressing is because I've really taken the time to plan out how I market the brand myself. It's all very strategic." Benboe creates his own fliers and graphics for his events.

Benbore notes that knowing the history of deejaying is just as vital as understanding the business side of it. "I'm part of the few people in our generation who took the time to go back and learn the basic elements of scratching and mixing," said Benboe. "With the technology that's available, it's very easy to lose sight of the craft and the art of deejaying. You have to know where it came from to know where it's going."

Although people may enjoy what deejays do, said Benboe, they often do not fully comprehend the complexity of the job: "People don't see everything that goes behind the scenes. They just see that you're in a booth deejaying for three hours, but they might not understand that it took another three hours to prepare for that night."

Benboe explained the difficulties that come with performing for picky crowds: "This song is playing right now, but I'm thinking five songs ahead because I'm trying to create a mood for the audience." He noted that he practices during the days leading up to performances and continuously tailors his sets to his audiences.

Benboe believes that he has grown a lot at Hampton. He has taken the time to help out rising deejays on campus: "I feel blessed to say that I've done the things that I've strove to do. I feel blessed to be in a position to help someone else get to where I am."

Deejays that Benhoe has influenced are Barry "DJ Barry B" Palmore and Tyler "DJ Rico" Ware.

Ware says Benboe is an inspiration: "He's done a bunch of events and has done a lot to make himself successful here at Hampton. Seeing how he's come up and what he had to do in order to put his name out there inspired me to do the same. Last year he gave me some encouraging works on how to be successful as a DJ, such as being more active on social media and getting more involved with [the Office of] Student Activities."

Unlike Benboe, Ware, a junior marketing major from Brooklyn, New York, began deejaying after he arrived at Hampton U. Before his freshman year, Ware helped high school dance teams mix their music for their performances. "I didn't start deejaying with real equipment until I came to Hampton and saw student deejays," said Ware. "After that, I decided to learn on my own through YouTube."

Ware's success is beginning to blossom as he is being asked to perform at more events. With over 30 on-and-off campus events under his belt this year, Ware believes he's off to a great start. During the 2014-2015 school year, Ware deejayed the Class of 2017's annual Onyx Shout out, Hampton U.'s inaugural Hip-Hop Conference, and numerous social gatherings around campus.

Like Benboe, Barry "DJ Barry B" Palmore began building a name for himself before arriving at the university. Palmore, a second-year student in the five-year MBA program, began deejaying in his hometown, Hackensack, New Jersey. His first spinning lessons were taught by his mentor and high school math teacher.

"He was offering deejaying classes after school and thought it would be really cool to learn how to spin," said Palmore. His interest grew as the classes continued to progress. "I was really one of the only students who committed, so I started learning a lot more than everyone else." Palmore learned as much as he could from his mentor and before long, began helping his mentor with party engagements. It was then that his mentor suggested that Palmore begin deejaying on his own. "I would go on his gigs," said Palmore, "and he would say, "You really have a strong grasp of music and you know how to sway a crowd."

Eventually, Palmore began saving his money to buy deejaying equipment and book events in his home state. Now at Hampton, Palmore has branded himself as DJ Barry B and is working to establish a network of fans and supporters. "I've hooked up with a lot of deejays on campus, specifically DJ Camo, DJ Vince and JRoc," said Palmore. "They basically set the foundation for me because they want me to succeed."

Palmore has worked events such as the "Ogre Dolla Holla" and the Hallow-Harvestfest in Holland Hall. His brand is continuing to grow as more clubs and organizations request his services. Palmore is using his Hampton University connections to create a presence outside of his hometown.

"I feel that Hampton is a good start to help me get my name out," said Palmore. "I see myself deejaying at premiere clubs in the near future. Hopefully, I'll be able to get my name out there with DJ Taye James, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Kid Kapri."

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.