Recipients of the: Legacy Award in Music Education

Darryl D. Lassiter

Darryl Lassiter attended Alabama State University between 1981 and 1986. At ASU Lassiter was a section leader and first chair in the marching, pep, jazz, symphonic bands and trumpet quartet. All experience led to his writing, producing and directing the first movie ever about HBCU marching bands "Pay the Price."

"Pay The Price" was Darryl's first full-length feature as writer/producer/director which won him the first-place prize for the "Best Family Drama" at the New York International Film Festival. He has written screenplays to Dead End Street and the remake of Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier's Uptown Saturday Night. In development now is the movie, "Revenge."

Darryl's film career began in 1991 working on the set of CBS's "In the heat of the Night". He began his career in television and radio in 1985 working at the CBS and ABC network affiliates in Montgomery, Alabama and the CBS network affiliate in Atlanta, Georgia. He worked as an announcer and program director at radio stations in Montgomery, Alabama and Atlanta, GA. The award-winning producer/director still loves juggling his versatile career from radio to television to video to film to newspaper to music. With that versatility, he has produced and directed nearly 70 music videos.

Born in Fairfield, Alabama and raised in New York City and Bessemer, Alabama, Darryl's best advice came from his 8th grade teacher, "a reading person is a knowing person, a knowing person is a reading person." Darryl has been an avid reader since."I read something every day even if it's nothing but a magazine or a newspaper article," says Darryl. "I read nearly twenty-five film books to help me produce my first movie."

A musician since 1975, Darryl has played almost every instrument in the brass family, including trombone, baritone, and French horn. But it is the trumpet that he is most familiar. Lassiter conducted numerous one-on-one sessions with various High Schools in the Atlanta area. He also assisted Eddie Ellis, at McNair High School in 1994. Concentrating on music along with television, radio, and print media as a student at Alabama State University; the 1986 grad began laying the foundation of the story for what would become "Pay the Price!" Darryl played first chair in every band at ASU including the marching, jazz, symphonic, brass ensemble, and trumpet quartet. He won every major award in the school of music. He wrote the entire band and cappella songs in the movie as well as composed and performed on three of the songs on the soundtrack.

Using his experiences in the marching band and speaking with former band members, he came up with the idea to tell the never-before-told story of the price one pays to be in a Black College Marching Band. Working tirelessly on this project since August 1, 1991 Darryl used all of his connections as a newspaper editor, magazine writer, television and video producer, radio programmer and filmmaker, to get the word out that he needed funds to make his movie dream come true.

He was recently given a proclamation from the mayor of his hometown and inducted into the National Black College Alumni Distinction Hall Of Fame a Lifetime Achievement Literacy Classic Award 2003. And he won the coveted Stellar Award 2004 for "Video of the Year."

Alabama State University

Levi Watkins Library

Upcoming and Recent Programs

Game-A-Palooza! Tne Patrons of the National Center present a night of fun, food, games, and prizes.

Friday, June 15, 2018 | 7 - 11 p.m.
Levi Watkins Learning Center
Lecture Hall and Art Gallery
Tickets: $10, $5 for students


For more information, call 334-229-4824.

View the flyer.

The Journey to Freedom: A Mural in Eight Parts


A Visual Interpretation of African-Americans’ Struggle for Recognition as Human Beings and First-Class Citizens

Commissioned by The National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture at Alabama State University

Find Out More

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