By HARMEET KAUR
Howard University’s marching band has taken part in presidential inaugurations before. But during Wednesday’s inaugural parade, they escorted one of their own.
The renowned Showtime Marching Band accompanied Vice President Kamala Harris – an alumna of Howard University – to the White House shortly after she took her oath of office, along with President Joe Biden.
“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,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick in a statement.
“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.”
The band performed a special drum cadence, and was represented by members of the drumline, the Flashy Flag Squad and Ooh La La dancers, according to a news release from Howard University. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, less than a third of the full band was in attendance.
“We are proud to unite safely as a band to represent Howard University, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and all HBCUs across the country,” Kelvin Washington, the Howard University band director, said in a statement. “It’s a very gracious opportunity for us, and we’re very thankful for it.”
Several HBCUs, including Howard, also participated in a Battle of the Bands during an inaugural event on Tuesday.
Harris is the nation’s first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president. She is also the first graduate of a historically Black college or university, a badge she’s worn with pride.
“It was that steady pulse of her Alma Mater’s legacy that propelled her forward, and it is that same rhythm that will carry her onward as she undoubtedly will become one of the most influential vice presidents in the history of our nation,” Frederick said.
The drumline of the University of Delaware, Biden’s alma mater, also performed at the inauguration.