Anticipation sweeps over Florida A&M’s campus as students, faculty and alumni contemplate what this year’s homecoming will have in store. Returning from its suspension, the Marching “100” is back, revitalizing the spirits of fans who flock to Bragg Memorial Stadium every homecoming, eagerly awaiting the band’s performance.
Sylvester Young, the new band director, plans to change the culture of the Marching “100.” Judging by the band’s first few performances, the “100” has lived up to his word. Before the suspension of the band, members used to “pop-lock and twerk” to audiences’ amusement.
At the band’s first performance since it was reinstated, at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference/Southwest Athletic Conference Challenge, there was less pop-lock and more hesitation. That halftime performance was underwhelming, to say the least.
Homecoming is a time where the band shows the crowd its Rattler pride and throws caution to the wind. The homecoming experience and the football halftime show go hand in hand.
The lack of the band last year seemed to drain the spirits of every student, professor and administrator. Although FAMU made efforts to entertain the crowds by bringing in celebrity performers, nothing quite compares to seeing the Marching “100” center stage on the gridiron.
The “100” is an essential part of FAMU’s homecoming and a spectacle the university can be quite proud of. With the Marching “100” back, the excitement, the thrill, the sound, the rhythm, the soul, the intensity, the amazement and much more is back at FAMU. Students will jump from their seats, crowds will sway back and forth and smiles will light the faces of many who greatly missed the band in its absence.
Band members have been practicing hard after class to make sure that they are in unison and in lock-step perfection. Anticipation is high, but without a doubt, all spectators will be in for a treat this year.
The group that will surely share the most joy concerning the band’s return will be the alumni. Watching former Marching “100” members relive their glory days will certainly evoke amused laughs and nostalgic smiles from alumni looking on from the stands and performing on the field.
The athletic department will also greatly benefit from the band’s return, seeing as it will bring the revenue streams back. The Marching “100” is world renowned, and people travel from all over to witness its performances.
It allows tickets to the homecoming football game to be more expensive when the “100” is playing at halftime. Judging by the attendance at previous games this year, there’s a good chance ticket sales will increase for homecoming, also because of the generations of fans. It’s really a win-win for everyone.
After a week of fun festivities, good food and merriment and the halftime performance, the famed marching band will be the staple in a week-long celebration. All in all, this year’s homecoming experience is sure to be an enjoyable one. Happy homecoming, FAMU!