Marching 100 ‘perform’ for Biden inauguration

The Marching 100 at the inauguration video recording. Photo by Tyriq Stewart

From the banging of the drums to the roar of the horns, the Marching 100 returned to the spotlight on a national scale during their pre-recorded inaugural performance Tuesday evening.

At 8 p.m. the revered band was among many performers, speakers and inspiring storytellers coming together to honor President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-president elect Kamala Harris. The band also represented the history and pride within minority-based communities.

The Marching 100 are veterans of presidential inauguration as this is the fourth time they have received the honor of being able to play for one of the country’s presidents. While some may find it hard to continually perform at the high standards set by acclaimed talent of years past, the Marching 100 continue to wow the country with their soulful performances.

Cymbal player Bertin Lubin believes that with each performance they must continue to uphold the band’s reputation.

We are standing on the shoulders of giants and we are going to continue to make those giants proud,” Lubin said.

  While the invitation seemed to be late in timing based on the word of some of the band’s members, the recorded and edited video that was produced does not show any hindrance in the talent displayed. According to band president Gregory Dawson, the recording process overall was very simple.

We had a small practice before the actual recording and then the next day we did the recording in front of the new rattlesnake by the career center,” Dawson said.

The video itself — less than a minute long —  showed that while the 100’s presence may not have been as widely felt as it had been in the past due to the canceling of most sports events, their time away was not used sparingly and their progression was anything but silent.

 As band director Shelby Chipman said in a press release:I am proud and appreciative of our students for their dedication and commitment to excellence even during the offseason.”

Some of the band’s members would have hoped to have gone to the parade to personally display all the glory the 100 has to offer, but given increasingly uncertain times that this pandemic has put us in many members were understanding of the reasoning behind holding a prerecorded performance and didnt feel as though it affected their ability to perform with the same polished sound and brazen performance that they are known for.  Drum major Moises Martinez believes that this was similar to what they have produced in the past and the video aspect allowed them to advertise what the Marching 100 is all about.

 “It really showcases how historically black colleges and universities foster the musicianship within the Black community and gives America a show of what we can do,” Martinez said.

Lubin said it was the ideal showcase for Florida A&M University.

 “Our motto is musicianship, marching, dedication to service and highest quality of character so we really implement that with everything that we do,” Lubin said.