‘Marching 100’ prepares to step high with Prince at Super Bowl in Miami

The Florida A&M University Marching 100 is preparing to take the field with music superstar Prince during the halftime show at Super Bowl XLI in Miami.

Band members said the invitation to perform Feb. 4 with Prince at NFL’s biggest event came as a result of the 2005 Grammys, where members of the Marching 100 performed with musicians Kanye West and Jamie Foxx.

“From what I understand, it was Prince who invited us,” said Chandler Wilson, 22, a music education student from Miami. “He (Prince) saw the band at the Grammys and wanted to know who the band was.”

It is unclear when the band was officially invited, but Wilson, the band president, said he was informed Dec. 14, 2006 at the university’s fall commencement ceremony.

Fans will watch Prince and the 100 perform together, however, exactly what they will be performing cannot be disclosed.

“We cannot divulge any aspects of what the show contains,” said Julian White, director of bands.

Members of the 100 showed excitement for the performance that almost did not happen. Months ago, it was unclear whether the band would be able to attend the event.

“Dr. (Castell V.) Bryant expressed reservations about us attending the performance, but our alumni came through and fought for us to be able to go,” Wilson said.

University officials did not speak about Bryant’s former reservations but said minor technical issues of the contract for the performance are being settled.

“The details of the contract are still being resolved with Super Bowl officials, but we do expect the band to perform,” said Pamela Bryant, special assistant to the president.

Super Bowl XLI will not be the 100’s first appearance at the big game. The complete list of past Super Bowl performances on www. superbowl.com shows this performance will be the band’s third halftime show performance and fourth appearance at the bowl.

The band appeared as a solo halftime performer in Super Bowl III and Super Bowl V. The 100 also performed pregame at Super Bowl XXXIX.

“I am proud and elated that the Marching 100 has been extended the honor to perform at the Super Bowl,” White said. “It is a great honor for the band and for the university.”

Members plan to make history again when they perform with Prince, whom www.superbowl.com calls “one of the greatest living performers of our time.”