The three-year-old Georgia State University Marching Band has been selected to perform in the parade for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama, Jan. 21.
“It’s extraordinary,” said Chester Phillips, assistant professor of music and director of athletic bands at the university. “We just are so excited that three years of hard work has paid off with such a high honor. Our selection is due to the students' outstanding work and the collaborative efforts of everyone involved.”
The band began forming in 2009 prior to the start of football at Georgia State. Band officials designed uniforms, selected instruments and assembled staff to work with students as they prepared for kickoff in September 2010 at the Georgia Dome.
“We’ve been working diligently every season since then to raise our level of entertainment, energy and excellence we give to the audience,” Phillips said.
The university applied for participation in the parade by submitting video of the marching band, audio recordings, photos, a narrative about the band and its history, and letters of support from the Georgia Congressional delegation, Gov. Nathan Deal and former Ambassador Andrew Young, the namesake of the university’s School of Policy Studies.
Inauguration officials received more than 2,000 applications from groups wishing to participate in the parade.
Marching band members will report to rehearsals prior to the first week of classes, which start Jan. 14, Phillips said. The band will travel to Washington, D.C., Jan. 18, and the parade begins at 2:30 p.m., Jan. 21, after the inauguration ceremony and president’s luncheon.
Preparing for the inaugural parade isn’t that different than preparing for other performances. There are high expectations for excellence, Phillips said.
“Our motto is ‘Entertainment through Energy and Excellence,’ and we’re going to hold to that whether we’re marching on a football field or marching down Pennsylvania Avenue,” he said.
A list of organizations participating in the inaugural parade is available at 2013pic.org/about/parade. For more about the Georgia State Marching Band, visit marchingband.gsu.edu.