Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Herman Jones.
Floyd Ingram, provided photo.


COLUMBIA, SC -- The man known for growing and invigorating Benedict College's marching band over the past decade has died.

Herman Jones, 53, was a father figure for his pupils and a "transformational leader" who improved the band's sound and bolstered its numbers, his friends and colleagues said.

Jones passed away Friday at Providence Hospital, a huge loss for the private Columbia college and its band program, they say.

"In the 10 years he was there, he impacted so many people, it was as if he had been there for 30 years," said Adrian Adams, who played in Benedict's band under Jones and later joined Jones' staff.

Jones, a jazz saxophonist, took over Benedict's band program in 2007 and gave it a unique sound, a fusion of music from different genres and eras that appealed to virtually every member of its audience, his friends said.

At that point, the band was just 10 years old, but Jones gave it an identity – always giving students room to provide input and try new things.

Herman Jones.
Floyd Ingram, provided photo.

"He was a jazz musician at heart," said Emmett Goods, one of Jones' former assistants at Benedict. "He was constantly improving, constantly coming up with something new, something spontaneous and only the fly."

Friends and colleagues say Jones gave everyone a chance and was generous with advice and individual attention for his students. Jones also was an active recruiter who worked hard to boost the band's membership.

"He was always there to help the young people advance, not only musically, but as human beings as well," said Linda Kershaw, an associate music professor at Benedict.

Jones was credited with strengthening the band's relationship with its alumni and raising money to buy new uniforms and instruments.

Soon enough, Jones' band was the main attraction at Benedict football games, some said.

"Eighty-five percent of the crowd was there to support the band, if not more," Adams said.

Avery G. Wilks: 803-771-8362, @averygwilks

Source: The State Newspaper


Friday, June 3, 2016

Viewing: 4:00pm - 8:00pm at Leevy's Funeral Home.

Prayer Vigil in Honor of Mr. Herman Jones, Jr., Director of Bands: 8:30pm at Charles W. Johnson Stadium (Two Notch Road & Read Street, Columbia, SC).

Saturday, June 4, 2016.

Viewing: 11:00am and Funeral: 12:00noon.
Bible Way Church of Atlas Road
2440 Atlas Road
Columbia, SC 29209.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Washington Crossing National Cemetery
Newtown, PA 18940.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following organizations:

American Heart Association
website: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Affiliate/Columbia-SC-Home-Page_UCM_MAA006_AffiliatePage.jsp

The Herman Jones Jr. Endowed Band Scholarship Fund
Benedict College
1600 Harden Street
Columbia, SC 29204

In the Benedict College spirit of caring and sharing, let us keep the Jones Family in our thoughts and prayers.

Ruby W. Watts, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President
and Chair, Faculty and Staff Recognition & Courtesy Committee

SEE ALSO the Marching Tigers "Band of Distinction".

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