LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, Pa. — Though in its third year of existence, the Lincoln University “ORANGE CRUSH” Roaring Lions Marching Band is well on its way to becoming a band to be reckoned with in the state of Pennsylvania and the nation.
After attempts to establish a band program at the university, the Board of Trustees made it a reality three years ago as a complement to the revival of a football program. The board’s motivation was its belief that these two elements would enhance student life on campus.
Indeed, they have.
Under the direction of Professors H. Wade Johnson and Ronald Green, Assistant Director and percussion coordinator, the band has already captured the admiration of students, faculty and staff. After starting with 15 members, then 70, that number has grown to 90 and is expected to grow even more after the university launched its first football season since 1960 in 2008.
“My goal is to make Lincoln University’s music and band program one of the best in the Northeast," Johnson said. "We will serve as a major ambassador and recruitment tool for the university, and when people see us, they will see what the university represents."
Johnson said the future plan for the “ORANGE CRUSH” is to have about 160 members and perform at home football games, some away games and various events, including surrounding areas and other states. He said he is pleased with the recruitment of new band members and hopes to attain his membership goal in two more years.
The band has won awards for outstanding performances at the Battle of the Bands contest at Giant Stadium in New Jersey, Maryland, and Philadelphia. It has received several invitations and has performed at several events, including 60th Classic Parade in Maryland and Cheyney University's homecoming parade, Joe Hoeffel’s Gubernatorial Candidate drive and many other parades and functions.
Johnson said RECRUITMENT, RETENTION, and GRADUATION are the only
priorities, and he will place strong emphasis on music education and performance.
Johnson comes to Lincoln with a varied musical background on the secondary and higher education levels. From 2004-2006, he served as the director of the Approaching Storm Marching Band at Delaware State University, as well as the institution's jazz and classical orchestral groups.
From 2001 to 2004, Johnson served in part-time band directing posts in the Fairfield and Orangeburg County school districts, both in South Carolina. He also served as the director of bands at Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C. from 1990 to 1997 and as Assistant Director of bands at his alma mater, South Carolina State University from 1997 to 2001.
Johnson's educational background includes a bachelor of science in instrumental music and a master’s degree in secondary counseling, both from South Carolina State University.
He also earned a master’s in music jazz education and performance from Vandercook College of Music of Chicago, and is preparing to work on his DMA.