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DSU taps two alums to lead its bands

Milton Pratt
Delaware Public Media

Delaware State University reaches into its past to take the Approaching Storm Band and other instrumental groups into the future, naming two alumni to head up its bands.

DSU appointed Sidney Sessoms, Jr its new Director of Bands, and Vincent Adkins as the Assistant Director of Bands.

Because of COVID and hiring Sessoms and Adkins late, there will only be 80-to-100 in the band, but Sessoms hopes to grow the band in coming years.

"And that's going to be stretching it this first year, but this time next year I'm hoping somewhere between 130 and 150 and then the following years I'm hoping somewhere between 180 and 200 and sustaining," he said.

Sessoms says he plans to ease into the job to see what those students have.

"There are students that are there, and I'm going to take what we have. I'm not going to wipe the slate clean, per se. and just go in brand new because there are already some things that are already set into motion and I want to look at those things that are already in motion and see if I can't take those things and work with them and enhance them," said Sessons. "But by this time next year there is going to be for lack of a better word a new sheriff in town."

Sessoms attended DSU from 1980-1985, and he was interim Band Director in 1988. He’s also served as Director of Bands at Lincoln University in Missouri, Clark Atlanta University, and Livingstone College.

Adkins is a 1988 DSU grad, and has taught music and band to public school students for 32 years. He’s also an instrumentalist and board member with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra.

Sessoms says he and Adkins plan to bring the musicality they learned at Delaware State, while also focusing on recruitment and retention.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.