The Inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris will be an all-Howard University affair. Not only will Harris become the first Howard University graduate to serve as Vice President, but she will also be joined by Howard University's Showtime Marching Band. The band will perform a special drum cadence for the 59th presidential inauguration.
“It is our esteemed honor to be involved in the historic inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,” Howard University Wayne A. I. Frederick said.
“Throughout her career, the vice president-elect has carried her Howard education with her, ensuring that she adhere to truth and service and inspiring her to achieve unprecedented levels of excellence. It is perfectly fitting that the Showtime Marching Band, the ensemble that captures and reverberates the heartbeat of our institution, should accompany her on this last leg of her journey to the White House. It was that steady pulse of her Alma Mater’s legacy that propelled her forward, and it is that same rhythm that will carry her onward as she undoubtedly will become one of the most influential vice presidents in the history of our nation.”
Howard University's Showtime Marching Band will not perform alone. The drumline will be joined by Flashy Flag Squad and Oh La La dancers. However, the three units will travel with a paired down lineup due to COVID-19 protocols.
“We are proud to unite safely as a band to represent Howard University, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and all HBCUs across the country,” Howard University Band Director Kelvin Washington said.
“It's a very gracious opportunity for us, and we’re very thankful for it.”
For many members of the band, the inauguration will mark the first time many of the band members have united since the pandemic began. It will not only be a historic moment for Harris, but it will also mark the first time the band has come together to perform in an inauguration.
“I think the amendments to this year’s inaugural events are appropriate for the times we are experiencing. I’ve been eager for months to see how Howard University would be included in this momentous inauguration, and it’s great to know that we’re able to safely execute traditional events and be represented as the marching band and musical heart of the vice president’s Alma Mater. As the first of many more progressive elections/inaugurations for women, it feels euphoric to be involved. I’m beyond elated to be able to participate with the Flashy Flag Squad, Ooh La La Dancers and percussion section,” Flashy Flag Squad Co-Captain Courtney Gilliam said.
“Our squad has been conditioning, learning tosses and practicing dances to band music since last summer at our respective homes. So, finally hearing the heartbeat of the band, even in this small degree, is powerful for the entire band, and I’m sure the student body will be excited to see their peers help usher in our fellow Bison.”
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