Special to the Democrat
Published 3:39 p.m. ET Dec. 31, 2018
Before performing in the historic parade, the FAMU Marching 100 perform a few songs in Southern California.
Nate Chute, IndyStar
Members of Florida A&M University’s Marching “100” performed outside First A.M.E. Church of Los Angeles on Sunday, as they counted down before their appearance in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade Tuesday.
The event at FAME was one of seven public appearances since the band touched down in California last week. The band’s trip to Los Angeles was supported by Los Angeles-based philanthropists and FAMU alumna Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, who were among hundreds of worshippers and neighbors watching the parade march toward Murray Circle, which is named for FAMU alumnus and FAME Pastor Emeritus Rev. Cecil “Chip” Murray.
Murray graduated in 1951 and reflected on his time spent in Tallahassee after listening to the band sing and play a variety of familiar songs, such as “Total Praise” and ”Do Whatcha Wanna.”
“Even then the marching band was huge. It was the Marching ‘100’,” said Murray. “They not only played well, but they demonstrated well, and they were marching well. That started the movement in major universities throughout our nation.”
FAME’s Senior Pastor J. Edgar Boyd presented FAMU President Larry Robinson, and FAMU Director of Bands Shelby Chipman, drum majors and band directors and staff with a citation from the Los Angeles City Council members and FAME.
Murray added, “They are a blessing because the Atlantic joins the Pacific. They have quite a few grads of Florida A&M here in California. They are not strangers. It is a real joy that they would allow us to be the host as one of the great bands of the nation.”
The band left the church and headed to another performance at Bandfest at Pasadena City College’s Robinson Stadium. Twenty bands performing in Tuesday’s parade gave the crowd a sneak peek of their unique sounds and dance moves.
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses first African-American President Gerald Freeney greeted Robinson and Chipman after the band marched off the field and received a standing ovation.
“They bring such enthusiasm and so much excitement,” said Freeney. “This year’s theme, the “Melody of Life,” talks about music. We know music is the universal language. The way they performed today, you just turned somebody’s day from bad to good. The music was outstanding, and Dr. Chipman has been outstanding.”
FAMU alumni, who traveled from cities, like Miami, Tallahassee and Atlanta watched from the stands.
“I’m very proud to see the Rattlers out here and see the phenomena that other people have to witness them (band members) for the first time,” said Robinson. “It’s really inspirational to think that these 200-plus students can make so much of a difference in the lives of so many people.”
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Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News