Linard H. McCloud is a 1972 alumnus of Burke High School in Charleston, SC. In 1976, he received his BS in Music Education from Florida A&M University. Immediately following graduation, he was awarded the William P. Foster Scholarship to attend the University of Kansas, but decided to further his studies at the University of Iowa on a full fellowship, where he received his MA in Music Education.
In August of 1978, Mr. McCloud was hired as director of bands at Burke High School. As a result of his leadership, the band has advanced to a music performance level of grade IV–V literature. He has been instrumental in helping students receive over sixteen million dollars in academic and music scholarships to attend four-year colleges and universities throughout the country. In 2022, band seniors received 1.3 million dollars in scholarships.
The band’s numerous achievements and awards include 1982 Division 1-AA College Football Championship performance, percussion performance for the Prince of Wales, ETV documentary on the Burke Percussion Section (F-Troop), three Mardi Gras parade performances in New Orleans, 15 spring tours in Canada, named in 1998 as the official marching band of the College of Charleston, consistent Superior and Excellent ratings in Concert Assessment, Glasspro Company local commercial, and the co-founder of the Palmetto Invitational Marching Classic for traditional style bands.
The Classic was founded in 1987. The purpose of this event was to increase the participation of traditional-style bands in competitive marching events and enhance the appreciation for the quality and diversity of marching bands. After a period of nine years (1987–1995), the Classic alternated between Charleston and Columbia. In 1996, Burke Band ventured out on its own. Because of that change, the band program has been able to offer six $1,000 scholarships annually (1996–2022) to deserving students. The Burke band program has given $150,000 in scholarships from the Classic. Under Mr. McCloud’s leadership, the boosters have also given over $120,000 to nine HBCUs that performed for the Classic. The Classic proceeds have also yielded a Mr. Linard McCloud $1,500 scholarship that’s awarded to an outstanding band member who exemplifies exceptional work in the program.
Mr. McCloud has been recognized as Burke High School Teacher of the Year on three separate occasions. He has received community awards from the 221 Choosing Help Over Hurt • Successful Habits for Teaching Band in Underserved Communities Linard McCloud • Scott Rush Omega Psi Phi and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternities, and Delta Sigma Theta and Alpha Kappa Alpha sororities.
In 1997, Mr. McCloud became a South Carolina recipient of the prestigious National Milken Foundation Outstanding Educator Award and was presented the key to the City of Winter Haven, FL, for contributions to excellence in education. He is the first Black to serve as President of the Charleston County Band Directors Association. He is also a member of Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity, Phi Beta Mu, Phi Mu Alpha, SCBDA, and the Charleston County Band Directors Association. He is a lifelong member of Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, SC. Due to their insistence, his 2016 graduating seniors petitioned and were granted the honor of naming the Fine Arts Music Building at his beloved Burke the Linard H. McCloud Fine Arts Center.
Mr. McCloud is married to the former Veronica Rene Rivers of Lamar, South Carolina, and they are the proud parents of Rosalee Patrice McCloud- Ashley, and Linard Rivers McCloud. He has four grandchildren, with two on the way.