Howard University has announced that their Showtime Marching Band will escort Vice President-elect and alum Kamala Harris at the 59th presidential inauguration on Wednesday (Jan. 20).
“It is our esteemed honor to be involved in the historic inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,” said Howard President Wayne A. I. Frederick in a press release. “Throughout her career, the vice president-elect has carried her Howard education with her, ensuring that she adhere to truth and service and inspiring her to achieve unprecedented levels of excellence.”
He continued, “It is perfectly fitting that the Showtime Marching Band, the ensemble that captures and reverberates the heartbeat of our institution, should accompany her on this last leg of her journey to the White House.”
During the parade, the band will perform a special drum cadence accompanied by the Flashy Flag Squad and Ooh La La dancers. Only one-third of the band will be performing due to coronavirus safety precautions.
“We are proud to unite safely as a band to represent Howard University, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and all HBCUs across the country,” said Kelvin Washington, Howard’s band director. “It's a very gracious opportunity for us, and we’re very thankful for it.”
This is Washington’s third inauguration parade, so he says he’s prepared to adjust to the more minimal band participation. “I had the pleasure to perform as a student at Southern University in 1980 for former President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, then as associate director of the Howard University Band for former President Barack Obama and now this one would be my third,” he said.