Band Together - Drum Major Sculpture Unveils in Muskegon Heights


On October 20, 2023, the City of Muskegon Heights unveiled a new 12-foot bronze sculpture, "Band Together," at Rowan City Park. The sculpture, created by local artist Ari Norris, with financial help from many local area businesses and organizations, depicts a Muskegon Heights High School Drum Major in full uniform.

"Band Together" is a powerful symbol of the community's pride, specifically in the remarkable story of the Muskegon Heights High School Marching Band. The band is known for its unmistakable style of marching, which draws on the high-stepping, dancing, and swinging traditions of historically black colleges and universities. This sculpture is a reminder of the community's resilience and their commitment to building a brighter future.

Mayor Walter Watt spoke at the unveiling ceremony, explaining that the sculpture is their first step to many of the positive changes that will come to Muskegon Height that will reinvigorate the citizens pride, joy, and love to the community. Including plans to renovate Boardway Avenue and the downtown area starting as soon as next year if possible.

Special guests at the ceremony included Albert Meerzo, MHHS Band Director from 1955 to 1959, Floyd Cook Jr, MHHS Band Drum Major, and Robert Moore, MHHS Band Director from 1971 to 2014.

Meerzo shared the story of how he selected Floyd Cook Jr. to be drum major of the MHHS marching band in 1958, coincidentally the first African American drum major of MHHS. Cook also designed the then-brand new drum major uniform, which is depicted on the sculpture.

Moore spoke about his own journey to Muskegon Heights, where he ended up staying for 43 years as the band director. He recalled his first meeting with John Sydnor, then MHHS Superintendent, who convinced him to stay in town after he came to visit a friend fresh out of college.

Video above concluded with a vintage recording of the Muskegon Heights High School Tiger Marching Band performing at the MSOBA District 7's band festival in 2001.

The unveiling of "Band Together" was a joyous occasion for the Muskegon Heights community. The new statue is a beautiful and inspiring symbol of the community's pride and its commitment to a brighter future.