The band will be historic, both in degree and size. It will be the first marching band program at Allen in over a half century. The 2018 edition is also expected to march 100 members. Reacting to his appointment, Ellis said, “I am delighted to become a part of the Allen University family and work with President Ernest McNealey in creating an exceptional marching band program that will help to grow Allen and instill spirit throughout Allen and beyond."
As band director at Morris Brown College (Atlanta) for more than a decade, Ellis conducted the symphonic band and the Marching Wolverines, leading the band to a featured role in the (2002) film Drumline, which "brought show-style marching bands to the big screen for the first time." They also performed in numerous music videos, and in 2001, Ellis' symphonic unit was the first African-American band to be featured at the Georgia Music Educators Association.
Ellis most recently served an 11-year-stint as director of bands at South Carolina State University, where he conducted the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble and the Marching 101 Band. Honors included three appearances in the Honda Battle of the Bands competition. Ellis holds a Bachelor of Arts in music from Morris Brown College and a Master of Music in Education from Georgia State University, Atlanta, Ga. He has also studied at Florida State University, the Cincinnati Conservatory and The University of Texas at Austin.
Mr. Ellis will join a host of talented musicians/professors engaged in public performances and leading student groups. The “Band of Gold” will add to the existing roster of student performers comprised of a chamber ensemble, a concert choir, a jazz band, and a gospel choir.
Allen University is a private, coeducational institution located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate degrees.