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ULM announces passing of Director of Bands Emeritus Jack White

Published Aug. 19, 2020

University of Louisiana Monroe Director of Bands Emeritus Jack White died Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the age of 84. White retired from ULM after 21 years.

Jack White conducts music students at ULM.

 White joined ULM (then-Northeast Louisiana University) in 1970 as Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands. He served as band director with the Ouachita Parish School System from 1958-70.

Derle Long, Ph.D., Director of the ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts, announced the news on the Sound of Today Alumni (ULM/NLU Band) Facebook page.

“This is a sad day for us all as we come to grips with the reality that one of the great influences in our lives and in the band world, Jack White, has passed from this world. Our thoughts are with Coralie and their children and grandchildren and the entire family in this difficult time,” Long stated.

Long asked for fond memories of White to be posted on the site as a tribute, stating, “One of the great ways we can celebrate Jack's life and legacy is through the stories you can tell about how Jack influenced you and what you took from your time in the Sound of Today and/or band program at NLU/ULM.”

White held a Bachelor of Music Education from ULM (1957), Master of Music from LSU (1961) and his Plus 30 from ULM.

According to “The Bayou,” a publication about the history of ULM,” White named the ULM marching band The Sound of Today in the early 1970s after receiving a flyer which stated, “Give your band the sound of today with our music.”

Under White’s leadership, the Sound of Today grew to more than 300 members and produced albums of their songs from halftime shows.

The first band was organized in 1932, just a year after the university opened its doors.

Arrangements are under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home.