MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A beloved band director at Whitehaven High School has passed away, Memphis-Shelby County Schools announced.

The school district confirmed the death of band director Andre D Newsom in the following statement:

It’s with a heavy heart that we confirm the passing of beloved Whitehaven High School band director Andre D Newsom. Newsom was a father, graduate of Tennessee State University, member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and an accomplished musician.

He was overjoyed to teach at his alma mater and share his knowledge and network with students. His music, like his life, was bold and vibrant, and his memory will remain the same in our hearts.

While the District has provided additional counselors to assist the Whitehaven High community, we know that his school family and relatives will need the entire community’s support. Memphis-Shelby County Schools – MSCS extends our condolences to all who knew and loved Mr. Newsom.

Newsom and the Whitehaven High School “Sounds Of Perfection” Band were in Atlanta, Georgia, for the Dolla Watson Classic this week. The band expressed condolences to his loved ones in a Facebook post as they prepared to return to Memphis Sunday morning.

“Whitehaven High School’s beloved band director Andre Newsom passed this morning. His music, like his life, was bold and vibrant, and his memory will remain the same in our hearts,” said Interim Superintendent Toni Williams.

It is with great sadness and our sincerest condolences that we share the news of the passing of Bro. Andre D Newsom (ΗΞ-TSU-SPR ‘02) while doing what he loved, on a band trip with his students in Atlanta.

The University of Memphis chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity echoed William’s sentiments, sharing how Newsom touched many lives of those who shared his passion for music.

“He was a pillar of not only the TSU Aristocrat of Bands & the HBCU Band Community, but he was a very influential member of the Memphis Band Community and always strived to do our sole purpose in ‘Advancing Music in America’. We are praying for his family, his Whitehaven High Band family (both current and alumni), the TSU AOB family (both current and alumni), the Whitehaven community, and the MSCS Fine Arts Department. He touched so many lives and we want to send our heartfelt prayers to all who were affected by his passing,” the fraternity said.