Howard University will be front and center to help Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris make history.
The University announced on Monday that the Showtime Marching Band will escort Vice President Kamala Harris at the 59th presidential inauguration on Jan. 20. The band will perform a special drum cadence for the parade.
“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 President Wayne A. I. Frederick said in a release. “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.”
Showtime Band will have the drumline, the Flashy Flag Squad, and Ooh La La dancers in the inauguration parade, representing less than one-third of the band for safety precautions.
“We are proud to unite safely as a band to represent Howard University, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and all HBCUs across the country,” said Kelvin Washington, the Howard University band director.
Washington has been working on a song for the parade since Harris was selected to join President-elect Joe Biden on the presidential ticket in August 2020. This will be his third inaugural, as he participated as a student in 1981 (Ronald Reagan) and as an assistant
“It’s a very gracious opportunity for us, and we’re very thankful for it.”
The band hasn’t been together since the pandemic began. But senior Courtney Gilliam of the Flashy Flag squad is confident the band will perform well.
“Our squad has been conditioning, learning tosses and practicing dances to band music since last summer at our respective homes,” She said. 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.”