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O'Neill Sanford

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Mr. O’Neill Sanford has recently retired as Director of Bands at Jackson State University. Since becoming a music educator in 1965, he has held a number of positions to include the following: Visiting Professor of Music, Principal Recruiter and Director of Bands, Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi; Sevier High School, Ferriday, LA; Director of Bands, Marching Band Arranger, and Trombone Instructor, Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena, MS; Director of Bands, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA; Symphonic Band and Marching Band Director, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; Director of Bands, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; and Director of Bands at Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA. While at Norfolk State, Sanford also served as the Chairman of the Department of Music. Mr. Sanford earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA; Master of Music Education, Vandercook College of Music, Chicago, IL; and Studied Jazz Composition with composer and arranger, Thad Jones, Conservatory of Music, Copenhagen, Denmark. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the Conservatory of Music, Mexico City, Mexico; has served as Conductor of “The Youth All-American Band” in Spain, England and Greece, as well as serving as a guest conductor, clinician and performer on tours throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe.

Sanford’s works for the marching band, jazz ensemble and concert band are performed throughout the United States and Europe. The St. Paul Civic Orchestra commissioned his work, " Lift Every Voice ", for orchestra and choir. He wrote The Bicentennial Fanfare for the University of Pittsburgh’s Bicentennial, "Pitt is It!" - a spirit song; The Chancellors March and his 1991 composition, “The President’s March”, which was performed by the United States Navy Band, and is currently performed throughout the United States.

He is the Founder of the HBCU National Band Directors' Consortium and served as the President for fourteen consecutive years, and is Founder and Chief Organizer of the HBCU-"Battle Fest" (Battle of the Bands).

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