George N. Parks (1953-2010) was Professor of Music at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and the director of the Minuteman Marching Band for 33 years. The Minuteman Marching Band emerged as one of the nation’s leading college marching bands, winning the prestigious Sudler Trophy in 1998.
For over 25 years Mr. Parks encouraged his students to reach for the stars in an effort to obtain their highest goals. At the age of 24, he became the director of the Minuteman Marching Band, known as The Power and Class of New England. Building upon a strong program that had been headed by Dr. John Jenkins since the early 1960’s, Mr. Parks’ enthusiastic and entertaining approach to the marching band resulted in instant success with the football fans throughout the Northeast.
Mr. Parks made his first appearance on the national scene as Drum Major of the award-winning Reading Buccaneers Senior Drum and Bugle Corps. He helped lead the Buccaneers to two DCA World Championships and received numerous individual honors, including eight DCA Championship Drum Major Awards and induction into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.
Each summer, over 3,000 students from almost every state in the nation attend his Band Leadership Training Seminar and Drum Major Academy. He was a recipient of the Massachusetts Conductor of the Year Award, the University of Massachusetts’ Distinguished Teacher Award and the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Service. He was also named an Honorary Alumnus of the University of Massachusetts and has been inducted into the Massachusetts Instrumental Conductor’s Association Hall of Fame.
Mr. Parks is featured in instructional videos teaching drum majoring, leadership skills and mace techniques. He is the author of “The Dynamic Drum Major,” filled with pictures, diagrams, and detailed information based on years of performing and teaching experience. It provides the drum major student with many unique suggestions and pointers on the finer aspects of drum majoring. Mr. Parks is the nation’s foremost authority on the art of drum majoring, and he brings over 30 years of experience to the Drum Major Academy, instructing over 3,000 drum major and band leadership students per year.