On Wednesday, Howard University’s Showtime Marching Band will play a prominent role during the inauguration festivities.
After Howard University Alumni Kamala Harris is sworn in as the vice president of the United States, the band will escort her from 15th street Northwest to the White House.
Howard University’s Flashy Flag Squad and Ooh La La Dancers will be joining the band’s drumline.
Flashy Flag Squad Captain Essence Blake, a Howard University senior, said she cannot wait to perform.
“I am extremely excited,” she said. “This is an honor and a privilege to be able to escort Kamala Harris.”
The band had also played during the 2009 inauguration for President Barack Obama. The band will, however, have to adapt to some changes this year.
According to the university, the band would only be about a third of its size as a measure to avoid the spread of coronavirus. Blake said N-95 masks were issued to bandmates to wear under their uniform masks.
“We’re feeling safe and good,” she said. “All the bandsmen have taken COVID tests to make sure that they’re okay.”
The band will perform a special drum cadence during the inauguration.
Blake said she has already been getting calls from family and friends about the university’s upcoming performance.
“Twenty or 30 years later, I can tell my nieces and nephews and my children and grandkids like, ‘Hey, you know, I was marching on the inaugural escort for Kamala Harris.'”
Kelvin Washington, the Howard University Band Director, spent Monday training the band for its upcoming appearance. This will be the third opening in which he has performed. Washington said the band from Howard was ready for the event.
“I can honestly say I have learned how to maneuver through the situation to make everything happen,” he said.
Wayne Frederick, Howard University’s President, said he is also excited to see the university’s band perform.
“It is perfectly fitting that the Showtime Marching Band, the ensemble that captures and reverberates the heartbeat of our institution, should accompany [Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris] on this last leg of her journey to the White House,” he said.
President-elect Joe Biden’s alma mater will also be featured in the ceremony. The University of Delaware Drumline will escort Biden to the White House.
The @HowardU Showtime Marching Band will escort VP-Elect @KamalaHarris during Wednesday's #Inauguration festivities. @eyeondc dug through the @wusa9 archives and found footage of when Howard appeared in President @BarackObama's inauguration in 2009… pic.twitter.com/E4ztQJ3QFF
— John Henry (@JohnHenryWUSA) January 19, 2021