Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Videos Of HBCU Marching Bands Stadium Entrances

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides seven videos of stadium entrances of marching bands & their auxiliaries from United States historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU). Some information about the history of historically Black university marching bands is provided as an addendum to this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

These videos are presented in chronological order based on their posting dates on YouTube with the oldest post presented first.

Example #1: Bethune-Cookman Entrance 2 / John Merritt Classic 2013

Wally Taylor, Published on Sep 2, 2013
Bethune-Cookman University is in Daytona Beach, Florida

Example #2: PV Marching into Mumford Stadium after 25 years (2013)

ZymbalistiK, Published on Sep 19, 2013

The Storm back in Baton Rouge since 1988.
"PV" = Prairie View A&M University (Texas)

"A&M" is an abbreviation for the no longer applicable designation of "agricultural & mechanical" courses which were the only type of courses that were offered in that college.

Example #3: The Ocean of Soul - Entrance - 2013

DrumMaster Studios, Published on Sep 23, 2013

Texas Southern University Entrance

Example #4: Alcorn Marching Into Mumford Stadium @ SU Homecoming 2013

Marvin Price, Published on Oct 26, 2013
Alcorn = Alcorn State University, Lorman, Mississippi. SU = Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Example #5: Alabama A&M University x Marching In - Magic City Classic (2013) - Marching Maroon & White

tjames20 Published on Oct 27, 2013

The Showband of the South marches in the 72nd Annual Magic City Classic October 26, 2013. Under the direction of Carlton J. Wright. #AAMU #MMW

Example #6: Alabama State & SU Stadium Entrance 2013

TBoneNupe1911 Published on Nov 11, 2013

Alabama State & Southern University Stadium Entrance 2013

Example #7: Jackson State Marching into SWAC Championship

HBCUBANDS.COM, Published on Dec 9, 2013

Jackson State Marching into the 2013 SWAC Championship
Jackson State University is located in Jackson, Mississippi. "The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is a collegiate athletic conference headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, which is made up of [10] historically black universities in the Southern United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I for all sports; in football, it participates in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), still frequently referred to by its former designation of Division I-AA."


A Brief History of African American Marching Bands

"According to Jacqui Malone, “by the last decade of the nineteenth century there were approximately ten thousand bands in the United States, many of them marching bands” (1996: 137). This time period—between 1880 and 1910—is considered by many to be the “golden age of the brass band in America” (Schafer 1977: 2).

Due to the general popularity of brass bands, the widespread availability of black military-trained musicians, and an overabundance of cheap military wind instruments in the post-Civil War period, the marching band tradition also flourished in African American communities. Many African American benevolent societies and organizations formed bands to help raise money for their own causes....

In her interviews with members of Florida A&M’s first marching band, Jacqui Malone discovered that many black college bands during the early 1900s were adopting the performance style of the popular black minstrel bands (1990: 63). Nathan B. Young, Jr., one of the original members of Florida A&M’s first, sixteen-piece marching band (1910 to 1915), elaborated on this relationship for Malone...

The minstrel bands were supermusicians and the amateurs would follow behind them and watch them. And they began to learn and imitate what the minstrel bands did. . . . In the last three years we were beginning to use syncopation. But in the early days we played straight band music from the books put out by the Germans. Of course the black musicians put on curls and did things, especially with the trombone. So the moment they started to play, they put in personal touches. You could tell whether it was a black band or a white band in the early days. . . . The minstrel shows came in and they influenced us. The black school bands were playing more like minstrel bands as the time went on. (Young 1988; in Malone 1990: 64)

The commingling of band traditions helped raise the bar on musicianship. “Many minstrel men joined army bands and the army bands in turn gave the minstrels better musicians,” says W.C. Handy. “Everything was on the upgrade musically speaking” (Handy 1947: 65).

Predominately black educational institutions continued to see slow but steady growth in their music programs over the next half century. These programs included concert, symphonic and marching bands; choirs; and jazz ensembles. The highly syncopated, foot-stomping, body-moving rhythms that had defined the music of black military bands, provincial and municipal brass bands, minstrel bands, and concert bands over the past century were slowly morphing into a new band tradition on the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the South. By the 1960s, the collective style of black college marching bands had firmly taken root as a distinctive performance tradition that was unlike their predominately white college band counterparts."

Thanks to all the band members & band auxiliary members who are featured in these videos. Thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post.

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1 comment:

  1. One of the things that I find interesting about these historically Black university bands & their auxiliaries marching into stadiums is how they incorporate chanting-and sometimes call & response chanting-with their entrance marching into the stadium or a band competition.

    Also, it's significant that in many of these historically Black (African American)university marching bands and in other YouTube videos of these bands, the members for most of the horns, drums, and cymbal units include females as well as males. And the females in those musical units are dressed the same as males. However, in all of these videos that I've watched, the auxiliary units of dancers appear to be made up bathing suit or bikini costumed young women.

    Compare this with the practices of South African Gospel brass bands. In almost all of the videos that I've seen of these bands, females don't play the same musical instruments as the males. Usually women play tambourines or some other small percussion instrument behind the central, male only units of drums and horns. In In one video that I included in a two part series on that South African musical tradition*, a line of young women playing flutes was included in the central unit of male musicians. Those female flutists were dressed in a very conservative (for United States' taste) style as the female auxiliary of women that followed the main groups of musicians. That said, I should also note that I think all the drum majors in the United States historically Black colleges & universities (HBCU) marching band videos that I have seen have been male.