‘Prof. Bing’ of Florida A&M’s Famed Marching 100 Band Dead at 67
Florida A&M University associate band director Charles S. Bing, who tutored generations of members of the famed Marching 100, has died from complications from a stroke. He was 67.
Bing suffered the stroke in March, says the Marching 100’s current director, Julian White.
An Orlando native, Bing attended Florida A&M on a music scholarship and earned a degree in music education in 1960. He later earned a master’s degree from Indiana University.
During 42 years at historically Black FAMU, Bing directed not only the famous marching band, but the symphony, the ROTC band and the pep band.
He played the trombone — and one of the signatures of the Marching 100 performances he led was to have the band form the shape of the trombone on the field. The instrument would then appear to be played.
Students remembered him for his attention to detail and perfectionism, but also for making himself available to talk to students about subjects other than band.
“He was just a really, really smart person,” says Antonio C. Drayton, this year’s band president and head drum major. “He had a wealth of knowledge.”
White said Bing’s death leaves a big hole in the program.
“Florida A&M, the band program and Tallahassee have lost a giant in the field of music,” White says.
Bing is survived by his wife Betty and two children, Harmon and Melody.
— The Associated Press
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