By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service
December 28, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s world famous Marching 100 band is in Los Angeles this weekend.
The Marching 100 traveled by bus to Atlanta before catching a flight to Los Angeles early Friday morning. The band is playing in the Tournament of Roses Parade prior to the Rose Bowl game.
A final pep talk and a final practice took place before they departed. It was a cultivation of a year’s worth of preparation for one of the most prestigious events in college football.
The band’s performance will be seen by millions of people, so everything has to be perfect.
"Excellence is a standard and perfection is a goal,” said Myrcele Neal-Scott, President of the Marching 100.
For many of the students, the New Year’s Day parade won’t be their first time playing for such a large audience, but the large stage presents a new feeling.
"At least half of us haven't flown before or even left the east coast,” said Marching 100 Vice President Naomi Cuellar. "So, that experience alone and then realizing how large the Tournament of Roses Parade is and all of the history about it, I think that has been blowing my mind."
Seven years ago, the band was steeped in controversy after one of its members was killed in a hazing ritual. Now, students and staff say they’re ready to show the world how far they’ve come.
"We're trying to continue the excellence in musicianship, the excellence in marching, the highest of scholastic achievement,” said Anthony Foster, son of the Marching 100’s founder, Dr. William P. Foster.
"As a new band and new face for the university, the diversity shows that we are moving forward,” said Drum Major Aaron Torres. “In the year of 2018, everything's changing and we're changing right along with it.”
During the parade, the Marching 100 will play music from Aretha Franklin, Star Wars and a secret dance tune, which they say is sure to connect with the audience.
The band’s first stop in Los Angeles will be a pregame performance before the Lakers face off against the Clippers Friday night.