Hundreds gather to celebrate the life of Miami Central band leader Bobby Jackson Jr.
, who struck a chord with students
...Jackson, 32, had been band director at Miami Central Senior High, where he had continued the school's storied success.
Back in the band room, the magic was beginning, as the tubas, trumpets and trombones coaxed a smile from Bernadel.
Bernadel, a sophomore at Florida A&M University
, was the high school band's first drum major when Jackson
arrived at Central four years ago.
was a friend, a father figure . . . someone I could always depend on," said Bernadel."He
also taught me discipline."
In the world of marching bands, one characterized by flair and showmanship, friends said Jackson
seemed always composed amid the flamboyance.As drum major, he was the band's leader, its field marshal under Jackson's watchful eye.
It's about the music -- getting the music right, the dancing will come later -- Jackson
told Bernadel and the rest of his
spent up to 13 hours a day writing music and coaching the band.
On the marching band scale, excellent is a notch under superior.Jackson's
office, untouched since his
death, reflects his
dedication.Music flash cards and notes adorn his
desk while plaques hang from the walls.
understood its importance.
'He would tell me, `I gotta keep these kids in the band,' " said Band Booster president Pernell Sumner."Bobby
didn't want them getting into trouble. . . . The band was a way of keeping many of them in school."Jackson bought uniforms, paid for textbooks and served as a counselor.