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Former FAMU Marching 100 Bandmate Impacts Youth With His Non-Profit Community Marching Band



Inspiring the youth and giving them something to look up to is important. With the lack of resources and support available to certain communities, the lack of positive representation is high for the underprivileged. Luckily, inspirations such as Antoine Miller come along to give and pour into communities that need it most.


After marching with the famous Marching 100 at FAMU, Antoine can teach young people a thing or two about discipline and learning. Miller is the founder and band director of The Sounds of Success Community Marching Band located in Riviera Beach, Florida. The band's mission is to inspire, uplift, encourage and give the youth of Riviera Beach a chance to look forward to a future and be involved in activities that will push them forward.


We learned more about Antoine and his organization in about Take a look as Antoine speaks on the foundation of himself and his organization.


Tell us more about The Sounds of Success. What urged you to create this organization?


The Sounds of Success Community Marching Band (“the band”) is a nonprofit organization established on February 5, 2018. The band's purpose is to give the city of Riviera Beach, Florida, known as a high-crime area, a positive community initiative for the youth.

The idea of the band was born from a conversation I had with several young adults I was speaking with at a candlelight vigil at a local park for one of my former students. I asked the youth at the park, "What do you all think we need to do in the city to keep everyone occupied?” One of the young men there made a great point that I agreed with. He stated the city did not have enough activities for the youth to be involved in.


As a former educator for the School District of Palm Beach County, I know that every student will not graduate high school or attend college. Unfortunately, some youths are left behind and do not have anything positive to participate in. For the first two years of its existence, young adults were the only participants in the band. However, after a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club in Riviera Beach, its staff expressed interest in younger children being able to join and participate in the band. I agreed with the concept after I realized that being a part of the band could help young children obtain collegiate scholarships.

How has your experience as a part of the FAMU Marching 100 helped prepare you to lead The Sounds of Success? What has been your biggest achievement thus far with your community band?


My experience in the Marching 100 has embodied me with everything I teach in the band. I decided to attend FAMU because the Marching 100 is the first traditional HBCU marching band to use the performance style that all the HBCU marching bands are now using. It is also the first dancing and high-stepping marching band. Before the Marching 100, all the marching bands performed in chorus style.


When I was in the Marching 100, I learned discipline, structure, organization and musicianship. I knew I eventually wanted to be a band director, so I wanted to learn and gain experience from the marching band, also known as “The First.” I would not have learned so many things I learned musically if I had not attended FAMU. Our biggest achievement thus far is the invitation to London Band Week 2023. We must make this happen for our community and the program’s youth. Going to London is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the children to travel. For many of the kids, our recent trip to Tampa, Florida, to compete and ultimately win, The Battle of the Bands competition was their first time leaving Riviera Beach. We can only advance these kids and show them greatness by breaking them from their current and daily activities. This is for the band and our entire community in Riviera Beach.



Building a nonprofit organization can bring many challenges to entrepreneurs. How have you successfully pushed through all of the chaos?


I am still pushing through the chaos. It is a continuous battle where you must learn how to adapt and adjust. One thing I have learned in business is how to put excuses aside. As entrepreneurs, if we have excuses, then we will never succeed with anything we do. You will never stop facing challenges, but instead, be prepared to have a solution for everything. My advice is always to be open with the people around you and work with you. I keep the parents engaged because they could know something or someone that can help with a situation. The chaos will never end, but you must learn how to embrace, adapt and develop solutions.



As a Black man, how important is it for you to uplift young Black boys?

As a Black man, I must be successful because I am the leader and the eye that young Black boys see. Seeing my successes or failures affects their perception of Black men. Because living in America, we already as Black men, the odds are against us. When you see a typical Black man in America, you see a person usually being bullied or harassed by the police. Or a person that is going to get the last job or a person who constantly struggles. I try to show young Black boys different visions of the Black male figure.


It is very important that I conduct myself with the highest quality of character and always be a role model of excellence for my students. There are a lot of times when the kids see me experience failure, but I also make sure they see me develop a solution to overcome a situation. I do not mind falling short of something in front of my band because I want to show them that you do not give up when facing a challenge.


Most importantly, what I want the youth to gain from being in SOS is to live with love and always help the next person. You never know what a person is going through, and you can be the saving grace for the person. Many parents cannot afford to go on trips with us, but I allow them to come for free and feed the kids and give them an allowance. I want the kids to know that you are supposed to help thy neighbor and live with love because love will always conquer hate.


You can learn more about Antoine and the SOS Warriors on their website.

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