Prairie View A&M Band Director Dies After Crash

By: KHOU Email
By: KHOU Email

A legendary band director and professor at Prairie View A&M University died Thursday from injuries received in a car crash earlier this month.

George Edwards directed Prairie View’s world-renowned Marching Storm Band for 30 years.

“On behalf of the entire PVAMU community, we offer our deepest condolences to the entire Edwards family. For three decades we were fortunate to have George contribute to our community and nurture the talent of our student performers,” states PVAMU President George C. Wright.

Affectionately known around campus as “Prof Edwards”, Edwards first arrived at Prairie View A&M in 1978. Under his tenure, the university’s Marching Storm Band entertained audiences around the U.S. and the world and developed a reputation for its unique sound. Prairie View A&M’s band, once known as the “Funky 50,” was renamed under Edwards’ leadership and vision in 1984. Today, the Marching Storm is now considered among the most dynamic and skilled bands in the world for its unparalleled musical artistry, and electrifying and adventurous drum line, which is showcased during each performance.

Edwards directed the Marching Storm Band’s inaugural performance in the 120th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, in 2009.

Edwards and the Marching Storm Band were also invited to perform at Kyle Field during a Texas A&M University football game, as well as at President George W. Bush’s first inaugural parade in Washington, at the Dallas Cowboys 2004 Thanksgiving Day game and at the 2006 ESSENCE Music Festival in Houston.

For three consecutive years, the Prairie View A&M University’s Marching Storm Band performed in the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase, which later allowed Edwards and the band to be featured in “Stompin’ at the Dome,” a DVD band documentary.

The world was introduced to Edwards’ skill and the Marching Storm during a feature in the British documentary “Marching All Together,” which aired on the BBC Network.

In 2007, Edwards’ compassion and fierce dedication was captured by the New York Times in a video and article which covered the band leading up to the annual Labor Day Classic football game between Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern University.

Details on the fatal crash were not available Friday.

Funeral arrangements for Edwards have yet to be announced.

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