NCCU’s Marching Sound Machine Selected for the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade

North Carolina Central University formally announced the unexpected selection of its Marching Sound Machine band for the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. Under the directorship of Jorim E. Reid, North Carolina Central University will take part in the famous New Year’s Day parade considered to be one of this country’s triple crown of marching band honors.Sound 1

“There is Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Trophy for most outstanding college or university band, and the Tournament of Roses Parade,” said Reid. “The Rose Parade was in my 15-year plan. I didn’t intend to submit an application for another seven years.”

But Reid’s success over the course of his initial eight years as director at NCCU, particularly his band’s five consecutive appearances at the annual Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB), gained the attention of Rose Parade officials. The rumor was that he should take a chance and apply.

Indeed, NCCU simultaneously announced the band’s selection, for the sixth year in a row, to perform at the HBOB Invitational Showcase scheduled for January 30, 2010, in Atlanta, Ga. The Georgia Dome concert likely will draw 60,000 fans to watch presentations by the eight historically black college or university (HBCU) bands that tallied the most votes out of a field of 45 contestants.

For the Tournament of Roses Parade, bands are selected based on their musicianship, marching ability, and showmanship. Reid emphasizes musicianship above all else. “It’s all about their skill as musicians,” said Reid. “We don’t want to blast our audience but rather, engage them with a high quality listening experience.”

Drum Major Donald Parker, III, a senior in music education, expressed his satisfaction that “the trials and tribulations we go through” had been rewarded.

Now, the band will ramp up practices and the university will gear up to raise the approximately $2,000 per student it will cost to attend the California events. Part of the Rose Parade experience for the musicians includes assistance with float preparation, and performance at Bandfest during the three days prior to New Year’s Day, 2011. For them, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. NCCU is precluded from applying again for another four years.Sound 2