Band of the Hour alumnus funds matching gift challenge

Jeanne Krull, 10-05-2023

Carmine Parente, who spent four years in the Frost School of Music’s Band of the Hour, wants every band student to participate without financial constraints. He has pledged $1 million in matching funds to encourage donations in support of band scholarships, starting with a Giving Day challenge on Oct. 11.
Band of the Hour
University of Miami alumnus and former Band of the Hour member Carmine Parente is matching donations to support band scholarships.  


As an undergraduate math major at the University of Miami, Carmine Parente believed the time he spent as a member of the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music’s Band of the Hour prepared him for his future as well as anything else he did in college.

The Frost Band of the Hour includes the marching band, which performs at football games, and the smaller Pep Band, which performs at men’s and women’s basketball games and select volleyball games. They are among the University’s highest-profile and most dynamic student groups. Students from across the institution participate, regardless of their major, and represent the U with pride and gusto at campus events and athletic contests.

“I was in the band for four years, including one year as drum major in 1983,” recalled Parente. “As a band member, you learn how to follow, you learn how to lead, how to communicate with people, how to work with men and women, all those things I learned helped me be successful in my life.”

Parente owns and operates a thriving manufacturing company that operates across Florida and North Carolina, which he started after leaving the University.  His rewarding business career has enabled him to support the band that meant so much to him.

More than 20 years ago, along with fellow alum and band director Michael Mann, he helped the Band of the Hour Alumni Association establish the Michael Mann-Carmine Parente Scholarship Endowment Fund. Now Parente is taking that support to the next level with a $1 million challenge gift.

“I’ve told Frost School of Music Dean Shelly Berg that I am going to contribute $1 million toward the endowed scholarship for band members and that I want him to use that money as an incentive to challenge other donors to contribute and we hope raises another $1 million,” Parente explained. “My wife, Eileen, and I will match every dollar that is raised up to $1 million, building up this endowment to ensure every band member can receive some form of financial aid.”

Coincidentally, Parente followed in the footsteps of Jay Rees as drum major and Rees now serves as professor of music at the Frost School and director of athletic bands, which includes the Frost Band of the Hour. The two men have joined forces to get the word out on the challenge.

“Between Carmine’s $1 million pledge and another $1 million in matching funds through the challenge, we are really going to generate significant scholarship funds for the band students,” said Rees. “I know Carmine feels strongly that showing the students how much we value them can really make a difference.  We hope to get to the point where 100-plus students are receiving a significant scholarship for being part of the band.”

The Frost School plans to highlight the Band of the Hour giving challenge at various school events. The University’s annual Giving Day on Wednesday, Oct. 11 will feature an all-day Band of the Hour Challenge to encourage donations.  

The band’s participation in the 24-hour fundraising marathon doesn’t surprise Berg. He describes the Frost Band of the Hour as a special glue in the fabric of life at the University, using music’s unmatched ability to inspire and unify the campus community. He said that he believes this new financial commitment from Parente will lift the band higher than ever before.

“Long before this amazing gift, Carmine Parente has for decades dedicated his time and resources to his alma mater and the Frost Band of the Hour,” said Berg. “I couldn’t be more grateful to Carmine for the leadership he continues to exemplify. This scholarship support will change lives and positively affect countless students over time. We are all in for raising the additional $1 million.”

Magnify your impact! Join the Band of the Hour Giving Day challenge