According to a report from HBCU Digest, Dr. Larry Pannell, the director of the World Famed Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band will retire in June. Pannell has spent the past 26 years at Grambling, 21 of those as head of the marching band.
Pannell was quoted in the article as saying, ” I believe that I raised the bar and set a vision for the future that will allow the World Famed Tiger Marching Band and the GSU Music Department to thrive far beyond my tenure. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve my alma mater and to impact the lives of so many young people. My focus now will be on my family and taking time for myself.”
Under Pannell, the Tiger Marching Band has performed on some of the biggest stages in the world. They’ve entertained international audiences at the Super Bowl as well as performing for five U.S. presidents.
“None of that compares to the fulfillment of positively impacting the lives of so many young people. I am honored to have helped them to build their self-esteem and character and become winners on and off the field,” Pannell said. “I often told them that at the end of life, it is not the birth date or the death date that matters; but rather, the important thing is represented by the dash that is placed between the two on our tombstones. It’s what you do in life that matters. At Grambling, I tried to do my part to ensure that each student in the department and played in the band was equipped for future success.”
June 30 will reportedly be the last day for Pannell at Grambling.