Alcorn State University’s Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite (SOD) Marching Band teaches its members more than music notes and dance routines. It also teaches them essential keys to life. Graduating senior Joshua McNair credits the band for shaping his outlook on life.
“My experience in the band taught me to endure, be successful, have a healthy mindset, and be a good student in and out of the classroom,” said McNair, who played the trombone.
The Hattiesburg, Mississippi native and former trombone player will replace his SOD uniform with a graduation cap and gown Saturday when he receives his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice during Alcorn’s 2021 Fall Commencement Exercise.
The bond shared among McNair and his bandmates are unbreakable. He’s grateful to have developed strong relationships with his peers.
“The best part of being in the band was forming friendships with my bandmates, especially the ones that began this journey with me four years ago. There is nothing like having bandmates who are willing to help each other become successful. Our bond is incredible. We’ve shed tears and been there for each other through the good and bad times. We hung out almost every day outside of band practice.
Traveling to various cities to perform was also one of the many highlights of McNair’s stint in the band.
“The band exposed me to various states and cities with our performances. Traveling was so much fun. We had such a good time battling bands across the field and experiencing places we’ve never been.”
Besides being a band member, McNair also sharpened his leadership skills by being a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, a student-centered organization with over 200 members. The organization serves and helps other students around campus. A desire to help his peers inspired McNair to join the organization.
“I joined the organization because I wanted to help students when they were in need. Being a good leader means positively impacting students and making sure that they exceed their expectations.”
McNair’s mission was to leave his mark on the organization and inspire others to be great leaders.
“My goal is to be a leader that leaves a great legacy behind for others to follow after I graduate.”
McNair appreciates the journey that has led him to graduation.
“My experience here has been tremendous. The advisors and various faculty and staff have set the bar for success. In addition, I’m grateful for the Office of Career Services because they are a big help in providing students with job and internship opportunities. I have learned so much at this University that I’m sure I will apply to my life after I graduate.”