Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Rose Bowl Parade performance important for restoring band's reputation

The 2019 Rose Bowl Parade is a now history, and the FAMU Marching 100 did not disappoint.  To the contrary, these stellar students represented all of Florida, FAMU, and the entire HBCU community well.

Some have openly asked was the trip worth the nearly $400,000 price tag for almost 45 seconds of TV time? The answer is a resounding yes! 

The invitation to perform in the Tournament of Roses Parade is the band's first high-profile invite since the highly publicized hazing death of Robert Champion in 2011.  The 100’s participation was important for both the university and the band as a whole.  The trip again put the Marching 100 back on the national stage, in a positive way, since that tragic event.

Since the reinstatement of the band in 2012, the organization has operated under a myriad of stringent rules which do not apply to other student organizations (outside of athletic teams).  Rules which (probably) no other collegiate marching band program in the country operate under.   Rules, which were, no doubt, necessary considering severity of the incident, the band’s one-year suspension, and the several external investigations and civil and criminal lawsuits the university and several former band members faced.

None of the current band members had anything to do with that dark period, of course, but yet these hard working students choose to be a part of helping to restore the organization we have all come to know and revere.   And, despite the stringent rules these students rose to the challenge to fulfill the bands motto as a "role model of excellence".

Today’s trip down Colorado Boulevard for the Marching 100, in the Tournament of Roses Parade, before an estimated 60 million television viewers from around the globe was one grand step forward on this six-year journey.

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