It’s dinner time at the cafeteria and suddenly conversation is interrupted as the band marches by on their way to practice on the football field. The drum major, Genera Ervin, a senior engineering mathematics major, is in front leading the march as the students step to the beat of the drum line.
“Genera is so serious,” remarked Tiffany Moses, a senior human performance and wellness major. “They look so militant.”
As those who pay close attention to the Superior Sound Marching Band know, the band members take their roles with the group seriously. To perfect the music and the steps, they must practice day and night.
At Saint Augustine’s University, as at many historically black colleges and universities, the band is a focal point of campus life. The band not only performs at football games; they also help boost school spirit by performing at pep rallies.
Many band members see themselves as ambassadors for the school.
“The band represents the school on and off campus,” said Zechariah Jackson, a past member of the band who played the alto saxophone. “This helps recruit more students for the band and makes the school look good.”
For band members, the sacrifice is worth it.
“There is a sense of accomplishment after the season is finished,” Ervin said. “I look back at how much we did and I feel like an elite person.”
For senior visual arts major Sara Collins, a trombonist, participating in the band actually helps with academics. “It helps me stay focused and disciplined,” she said.
To some students, the band’s discipline is impressive.
“I believe the band is so serious because marching bands have adopted a lot of military styles,” Moses said. “They are militant in a sense of how they march, how they use direction commands, and even how they have a sense of hierarchy and a chain of command like the military does.”
— By Cianna Fisher