By Jean Gordon Cook
(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University’s former Director of Bands, Lewis Liddell, has come back to lead the band program on an interim basis as the university launches a national search for a permanent director.
Before leaving in 2009, Liddell led the famed Sonic Boom of the South marching band and supervised the administration of the entire band program for 17 years, which includes the symphonic band, concert band, woodwind ensemble, brass ensemble, percussion ensemble, pep band and Prancing J-Settes dance line.
Liddell will replace interim director of bands Renardo Murray, who in May was appointed the marching band director at Alcorn State University.
During Liddell’s tenure at Jackson State, the Sonic Boom gained wide recognition as a benchmark of musical excellence through regional and national performances, including an appearance at the 34th annual NAACP Image Awards. Liddell also led the band during performances at the annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase.
“Jackson State is extremely fortunate to have Dr. Liddell return to lead our band program,” said Quinton Williams, JSU’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs and student life. “He helped the Sonic Boom become one of the most outstanding marching bands in the country and set a standard of excellence for JSU’s entire band program.”
Liddell earned a bachelor of music education from Jackson State University, a master of music education from the University of Louisiana, Monroe, and a doctorate from Mississippi State University.