JSU's Little Named HBCU Band Director of the Year

February 2, 2023

Roderick Little
Credit: JSU/Charles Smith

Jackson State University’s Sonic Boom of the South (SBOTS) Band Director Roderick Little, Ph.D., has been named 2022 HBCU band director of the year by Best American Craftsman (B.A.C.) Musical Instruments.

The manufacturing company held its inaugural Greatest of All Times (G.O.A.T.) Awards Ceremony in December at a Chicago venue, making Little the first band director to win the award. The G.O.A.T Awards highlighted nine HBCU band directors across several categories, including showmanship and arranger of the year.

“This recognition is unique because it’s an opportunity and a platform to recognize HBCU band directors,” said Little. “PWI band directors are recognized for the things that they do through several opportunities in which minority directors, specifically from HBCUs, are seldomly recognized.”

Little ensures that his students know that any awards or accolades he receives is all about them and their efforts of being the best that they can be. He added that the students should be the ones celebrated.

Master Craftsman and B.A.C. CEO Michael Corrigan gathered a panel of HBCU band directors, band staff members, and musicians to select the band directors most deserving of recognition. JSU Associate Director of Bands, Kevan Johnson, was also nominated for the Arranger of the Year award.

“My position is that I wanted to share that love. They’re supporting B.A.C. and I want the HBCU community to know that there’s a company that really truly cares about what they’re doing,” explained Corrigan. “This award ceremony is a fraction of a ‘skosh’ of an ounce of the respect that’s due to these band directors.”

Corrigan acknowledged Little for his direction and the passion he exhibits while leading the Boom. Each award recipient was given a hand-crafted trophy that resembles the bell of a brass horn made by the company. The CEO plans to grow the award ceremony into an annual event that will be held in Kansas City, Missouri.