Marching bands in the Washington, D.C., area are opting not to apply to be part of the inaugural parade for president-elect Donald Trump.
Ballou High School’s Majestic Marching Knights played Destiny’s Child’s “Lose My Breath” at George W. Bush’s second inaugural parade in 2005 and James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)” at Barack Obama‘s second inaugural parade in 2013, but they have not applied to be part of the parade this year, with the principal saying that the band was taking a break after several other performances.
Dunbar High School, which marched in 2009 for Obama’s first inauguration, will also be sitting out the parade, with the principal saying that the band is rebuilding this year. Howard University, which marched in Obama’s first inaugural parade, cited budget problems and too few members for why they were not participating.
In fact, a D.C. Public Schools spokeswoman said that she was not aware of a single band in the D.C. area that had applied to be part of the parade.
“We didn’t get the response that we got the last time, with Obama. Some groups responded, but with some groups it was crickets,” Music Celebrations International marketing director Luke Wiscombe said. “We’re seeing a little less enthusiasm to be a part of this event.”
However, University of Maryland band director Eli Osterloh noted that politics might not be the only reason for the crickets: it’s an unwritten rule in the band world that any band that was able to play at such an event waits 10 years before playing there again to give other bands a chance.