William P. Foster

August 25, 1919- August 28-2010

Induction: February 6, 1996

Conductor and Founder of the FAMU Marching “100” Band and Symphonic Bands.  Past Director of McDonald’s All-American High School Band.  Appointed by President Bill Clinton to the National Endowment for the Arts.  Florida’s Man of the Year, 1997.  Member of MENC Hall of Fame.  Has written many book and articles on the band movement and on the marching band.  Past President of the American Bandmasters Association, Collebe Band Directiors National Association, and Florida Music Educators Association. 

Quick Facts:

Has been referred to as “The Law” and “The Maestro”

Has written “The Man behind the Baton”

Began playing clarinet at the age of 12

Brought over 30 new techniques to Marching 100 Band which are now standard procedures for high school and college bands nationwide

Under his direction, the Marching 100 band has appeared in numerous films, commercials, magazine articles, and nationally televised performances

In 1989, the Marching 100 band was chosen by the French to be America’s representative in the Bastille Day Parade celebrating the bicentennial of the French Revolution

In 1996, the Marching 100 Band was the centerpiece of the Opening Ceremonies for the Walt Disney Indy 200

The Marching 100 Band was the featured attraction at the 15th and 25th anniversary National Telecast of the Walt Disney World in 1986 and 1996

The Marching 100 Band marched in the inaugural parades of President Bill Clinton in 1993 and 1997.

At FAMU, he began redefining band pageantry with show style, rapid tempo, high-stepping, and dancing.

Authored 18 articles for professional journals

Has 4 published marching band shows

1st recipient of the U.S. Acheivement Academy Hall of Fame Award, Outstanding Educator Award by the School of Education at the University of Kansas