“SHOWTIME” band escorting Vice President Kamala Harris. Photo Courtesy of JTF-NCR/USAMDW
Howard University’s “SHOWTIME” marching band has an eventful season ahead of them. With lots to look forward to, students of the band share their perspective of the structure and challenges of “SHOWTIME” marching band.
“SHOWTIME” kicked off their fall season marching alongside Vice President Kamala Harris. Following their moment alongside Vice President Harris, The “SHOWTIME” Marching Band will be performing for McDonald’s National Gospel event on Monday, Oct. 4 celebrating September’s Gospel Music Heritage month.
Here you can watch the band live on Sunday, Oct.10 along with other performances featuring JJ Hairston, Maurette Brown Clarke, Patrick Riddick, and D’vyne Worship.
The SHOWTIME Marching Band, Pep Band, and Ooh Lala are full of recruits and passionate hearts. Most of the current band members are HU ‘24 and ‘25 students, so there is opportunity for the new members to improve.
Kelvin W. Washington was appointed as the Director of Howard University Bands in 2019. Director Washington calls on his “go-to people,” the very few juniors and seniors remaining in the band, to help guide and train the new members. He says that “[they] depend a lot on student leadership” to relay instructions to the lower-classmen.
This telephone line of instruction has created many obstacles when it comes to communication among the student performers. This is especially common with the freshman and sophomores as they have never performed with the Showtime Band. Regardless, Howard’s band is efficient and plays exceptionally well.
The community within the band thrives despite the challenges they may face as an ensemble. Maurice Wayde, a junior trumpet player, described the relationship between band members as “basically a family.” They are often together at practice from 5 PM to midnight on some days.
One member of the drumline, Tyh’lana Tomlin, a freshman political science major, said the directors’ passion towards their student-athletes is “kind of like a tough-love situation.” Regardless of the rigorous practice hours and conditions, it is only “to push us forward to better us as people.”
Despite the sense of community the band has amongst their program, many of the members feel underrepresented and lack support from the university. Terrel Watson, a senior marketing major, says, “We don’t get the same benefits that the athletes get in terms of funding, in terms of opportunities, in terms of transportation,” Tomlin said. “That’s because we’re not looked at as student-athletes.”
With a full season ahead of them, there will be ample opportunities to hear the Howard “SHOWTIME” band. You can catch “SHOWTIME” performing this Friday against the Morgan State Bears during the football halftime show.
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