UMass honors late band director

Updated: September 18, 2010, 8:00 PM ET
By Matt Vautour | Special to ESPNBoston.com

The UMass marching band played its halftime show at Michigan despite the sudden death of its bandleader, George Parks, on Thursday.

Parks, 57, died of an apparent heart attack after the band played a performance for Ohio high school students en route to Michigan. The band members each wore black arm bands Saturday to honor Parks.

UMass assistant director Thomas Hannum, who led the band, said the band dedicated its performance to Parks, who led the 350-member ensemble for 33 years.

"The whole trip -- our ability to continue forward is a tribute to George," Hannum said. "There's no doubt in my mind he'd want us here."

Michigan Stadium observed a moment of silence to honor Parks before the game.

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