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NCCU band hoping to march in Obama's inaugural parade

Posted January 8, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Members of North Carolina Central University's band say they hold out hope that a last-minute bid will let them march in President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural parade.

The NCCU marching band gave a rousing welcome to the then-candidate when he spoke at their football stadium Nov. 1, 2007, while stumping for the Democratic nomination.

"I want to thank the outstanding marching band," Obama said that day.

NCCU bidding to march in inaugural parade NCCU bidding to march in inaugural parade

Obama shook hands with band members after the rally, and some students took the chance to ask him if they could be in the inaugural parade if he won the election, band director Jorim Reid said.

"The students stated that (he told them that)if he's elected, he would look to getting the group into the parade," Reid said.

Reid said he didn't hear that promise himself, but he filled out the paperwork to apply for a slot in the parade, and students got excited about the prospect.

Then, shortly before the December holidays, a letter came from the Presidential Inaugural Parade Committee – saying that the band hadn't been selected to perform on Jan. 20.

"It's a really historical event we would all like to be a part of, and not being a part of it so far is really disappointing," NCCU freshman Adam Sobers said.

Reid said he was concerned about students' disappointment, but he found a clause that allows members of the Presidential Inaugural Committee to select a band to add to the lineup. So he wrote letters pleading the band's case to all the committee members, politicians from Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue to Sen. Hillary Clinton, and former Obama campaign staffers he worked with during the November 2007 visit.

"I feel that I have to do this for them, at least try," Reid said. He said he wants his students to have the chance, as he did, to march in an inaugural parade and "to find out what's like to like to be in Washington, what America is."

Officials with the inaugural committee said they were looking into what transpired during Obama's visit to NCCU.

The committee received a record number of applications to participate in the parade, officials said. And of the 1,300 applicants, only 90 could be picked.

NCCU band members said they would make every effort to be marching in the streets of the American capital Jan. 20.

"It doesn't matter if they call us on the 19th," NCCU senior and drum major Donald Parker said. "I will run. I will run to D.C. to actually get a chance to do this."


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  • ccs1920 Jan 8, 2009

    I hope this doesn't happen. As a resident of N.C. I would be embarrassed for them to be seen on TV.

  • dws Jan 8, 2009

    a valuable life lesson for the band: there are very few people in this world that you can completely trust, and politicians do not fit in the trusted category

  • VT1994Hokie Jan 8, 2009

    Well. What did you expect? He wanted some votes!!!!!! He has only just begun to to do more of the same!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!H
    e is the least qualified to lead us than all others that ran.

  • Vietnam Vet Jan 8, 2009

    Let me see... A politician breaking a promise?? And we're upset about this why? Why on earth would we be upset over normal behavior!!!

  • ProudConservative2 Jan 8, 2009

    Gotta say unless the marching band has improved a LOT since I attended NCCU then they don't need to march in that parade. They put on a great step show, but the playing was so out of tune it was out of state.

  • cool_rocker999 Jan 8, 2009

    Like previous comments have stated, get used to it!! I did not vote for him because of his lies and I like others could see through him. I will support him because he is our president but it does not change the fact that he lied about almost everything to get elected and a majority of people bought in on it.

  • PaulRevere Jan 8, 2009

    Since my last comment didn't make the proverbial cut on GOLO (rolling eyes), let me just say this. He lied to you! Let me do it in a cheer: L.I.E.D. he ain't go no alibi! He lied! Yeah, yeah he lied!

  • Wolfpack12 Jan 8, 2009

    what?! Obama promising things and then not delivering? No way! Better get used to it, small things like this are just the beginning. What the heck wrong with America to elect someone like him?

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jan 8, 2009

    Whether you voted on Obama or not, he will be your president. Learn to accept things you cannot change. This you cannot change. The majority rules. This is history. Deal with it for the next four years. Hello, he may do another four. :)

  • obamasucks Jan 8, 2009

    Amen, PACKFAN08! And every one of them deserve everything they get. LOLOLOL "YES YOU CAN!"