Despite being the World Famed, the Grambling State marching band has been drawing some unprecedented comments and criticisms lately. The band’s performances, as well as its size, have been criticized. There was even a “diss” Web site calling for the removal of band director Larry Pannell.An alumnus who saw the band perform earlier this semester in Jackson, Miss., was sorely disappointed., calling the band’s performance “a travesty” in last week’s Gramblinite.
But many who attended the GSU vs. Oklahoma State football game on Sept. 28 felt differently, and they have been letting the world know by Internet postings and e-mails to Dr. Pannell.
“Wow! What other way to describe your band? There are many, but that kind of sums it up,” wrote Terri Carrier, a health care worker from Tulsa, Okla.
She expressed her appreciation of the band’s tribute to Michael Jackson and said she looks to being able to see the band again.
Carrier commended the band members as well as Dr. Pannell. “What a great group of students and performers that you are mentoring and teaching. Thank you for your hard work and their hard work.
“It is greatly noticed and appreciated by all that are privileged enough to get to see the band perform! Carrier wrote.
A posting by John Rohde on newsOK.com pointed out that the band received standing ovations before, during and after its halftime performance at Boone Pickens Stadium that Saturday night.
“The record crowd of 56,901 stood throughout the eight-minute show, applauding formations and dance moves during the bands tribute to Michael Jackson,” Rohde noted.
Rohde wrote about the band’s appearance in Oklahoma City 12 years ago when Grambling played Langston, pointing out that that game also had an overflow crowd of 20,000.
Doyle Bohannan called the band “wonderful” and thanked them for “putting on a terrific show.”
“I just turned 56 years old and this was my first chance to see this wonderful band,” Bohannan wrote in his e-mail to Dr. Pannell. “Hopefully I will get to see them again.”
Sheri Blasier apparently did not know how to get in touch with the band director, so she sent her thanks via the GSU Media Relations office.
“They were wonderful,” she wrote, noting her enjoyment of the performance and thanking them for coming to Oklahoma. “They did an excellent job!!”
Sulette Brown noted that she had seen the band perform in Stillwater and called the performance “the epitome of my experience of living in OK!!!”
“It is hard to explain the joy I felt with the bands performance. My heart sang!!”
Marine Scott Wion sent an e-mail to Dr. Pannell with “Awesome Band!!!!” in the subject line.
“You are the reason I bought the tickets to that particular game as I am sure is the case with a lot of people,” he wrote.