George Parks Dies: University of Massachusetts Music Professor
George Parks, a Music Professor at the University of Massachusetts Has Died
The Director of the Minuteman Marching Band suffered a heart attack following a performance in Ohio on Thursday according to a posting on the university's website.
George Parks and the band were on their way to Michigan to perform at the football game on Saturday and that performance is still scheduled to go ahead despite the band's loss.
"This is an extraordinary loss," wrote Chancellor Robert Holub and James Staros in an e-mail to the campus community. "George's devotion to excellence, his creativity and his passion for teaching inspired us all and shaped the lives of thousands of students during the three decades that he directed The Power and Class of New England. Truly, he represented the best of UMass."
Parks is credited with inspiring students to get involved in music and devoting thousands of hours to practice and performances.
The Minuteman Marching Band received the Louis C. Sudler Trophy under Parks, which is the United States' top marching band honor.
Parks was enshrined in the Bands of America Hall of Fame in 2006. "Parks' enthusiastic and entertaining approach to the marching band resulted in instant success with the football fans throughout the Northeast," said the organization's announcement. "Parks has encouraged his students to reach for the stars in an effort to obtain their highest goals."