UMass Band Leader Parks Dies Unexpectedly

Music professor George Parks, who as director led the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band to national prominence, has died.

The university said in a statement that Parks suffered a heart attack following a performance in Ohio on Thursday. He was 57.

The 350-member band was on its way to Ann Arbor, Mich., where it is scheduled to perform at Saturday's UMass football game against Michigan. That performance will proceed.

Chancellor Robert Holub said Parks' "devotion to excellence, his creativity and his passion for teaching inspired us all."

In 33 years under Parks, the UMass band performed at three presidential inaugurations and in 1998 won the Louis C. Sudler Trophy, the nation's top honor for a marching band.

Parks leaves behind a wife and two children.

This program aired on September 17, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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