Dowell Taylor takes helm for 3rd time as leader of JSU’s band program

Dr. William B. Bynum Jr., president of Jackson State University, has named Dowell Taylor as interim director of bands effective Sept. 18.

Dowell Taylor Featured

Dowell Taylor is a well-respected musician with many honors. He has a long history with the JSU band. He joined the Sonic Boom family as a freshman member of the tuba section.

Taylor has been lauded throughout the U.S. for his musical prowess. As the former leader of bands, he received several media highlights and honors. Bands were recognized by Jet Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor and People Magazine as well as serving as the “Special Guest Band of Honor” at the St. Petersburg, Florida, Martin Luther King Battle of Bands, 1991 NBA All-star basketball game in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Motown’s 30th Anniversary Celebration in Hollywood, California, 1990, among many other accomplishments.

“We appreciate Dowell’s commitment to Jackson State University and the music program,” said Bynum. “He has set the bar high throughout his career and during his previous two terms as director of bands.”

A native of Jackson, Mississippi, and Jackson State alumnus, he received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from the university. While pursuing his undergraduate education, he was a member of the Sonic Boom of the South and earned the highest honor bestowed upon a band member – Best All-Around Bandsman. Taylor has completed 90 hours toward a doctorate degree in Wind Conducting at the University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“In 1972, under the leadership of Harold Haughton Sr., I joined the Sonic Boom family as a freshman member of the tuba section,” Taylor said. “Since that time my love for the organization has never floundered, as I have always remained loyal and poised to assist in whatever way possible, whenever I could. The 2017 version of the Boom is as strong as ever, replete with a youthful and immensely talented staff. In speaking with President William Bynum at length, the future appears to be bright for JSU and the band program. I am happy to once again play a small role in the success of both.”

Taylor began his career as director of bands at Mary Holmes Junior College and then Kentucky State University, where he also served as department chair.

His previous stints as director of bands were from 1984-1992 and 2012-2016.