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  • Jada John-Ali

Band on the road: preparing for our first performance

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

To create an HBCU style marching band program in the north is a challenging task, period. It is just not a part of our everyday culture. But!!!! We have some of the best musicians and brilliant creative minds you'll ever find right here in our home. So why can't OUR young people also experience the joys of band life? Who's to say that because we are northern that we can't do "showstyle"?


All across northern states there are organizations like Big Apple Leadership Academy for the Arts, Inc. bringing showstyle marching bands to life like The Empire Marching Elite. But these programs tend to struggle with growth and retention. So we decided to launch a program with the intention of normalizing showstyle marching band culture in our region. Why? Because our young people deserve it.


You've got to imagine how difficult it is to pull together 150 musicians and dancers of all different skill levels and experiences, put them in a single room, and tell them to play or dance. Working to find our chemistry, build our skills and our books, and create our coalition culture has been simultaneously challenging and fulfilling.


Our first performance together is on Saturday, November 27th, when we take on Brooklyn's 2nd Annual Santa Land Parade. Our young people have been working hard to prepare, and we're excited for our big day!


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