Coronavirus claims life of Troy Univ.‘s first Black drum major

Troy University's first Black drum major died from COVID-19

TROY, Ala. (WSFA) - Members of Troy University are mourning the death of a man who made history for the school’s marching band.

According to Troy Band Director Dr. Mark Walker, Dr. Robert Lawrence, the band’s first Black drum major, recently died from the coronavirus.

Troy University Band Alumni President Tim Sims says Lawrence was a member of the Sound of the South in the late 1970s and became the band’s first Black drum major.

“His impact on folks at Troy, even though it was a few decades ago, a teacher of his quality and standing influences people all over,” said Walker. “He influences them in terms of modeling correct behavior, and musicianship, and leadership and what it means to be a good person and care about other people.”

Just last November Lawrence returned to campus to conduct the alumni band at their reunion. He spent years serving as an educator and an esteemed band director in Georgia.

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