Kamala Harris to be escorted by Howard marching band on Inauguration Day

'It is our esteemed honor to be involved in the historic inauguration.'

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Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be escorted by the drum line from her alma mater, Howard University, at the 59th presidential inauguration on Jan. 20. 

Howard University announced in a statement on Monday (Jan. 18) that the Showtime Marching Band will accompany Harris and perform a special drum cadence for the parade.

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“It is our esteemed honor to be involved in the historic inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick. “Throughout her career, the vice president-elect has carried her Howard education with her, ensuring that she adhere to truth and service and inspiring her to achieve unprecedented levels of excellence. It is perfectly fitting that the Showtime Marching Band, the ensemble that captures and reverberates the heartbeat of our institution, should accompany her on this last leg of her journey to the White House.”

The Showtime Band will be scaled back for safety precautions amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden is also set to be escorted by the marching band for his alma mater, the University of Delaware. Both universities will reportedly feature only the drum line sections of their marching bands. Howard University’s statement noted that the Showtime Band will include the Flashy Flag Squad, and Ooh La La dancers in the inauguration parade.

“It’s not just an honor. It’s also quite humbling,” said Heidi I. Sarver, marching band director for the University of Delaware. “Being able to participate in this American tradition firsthand is incredibly meaningful for our students. This particular inauguration is very personal to our Blue Hens as we celebrate our alum, President-elect Joe Biden, as the new leader of the free world.” 

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“We are proud to unite safely as a band to represent Howard University, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and all HBCUs across the country,” said Kelvin Washington, band director for Howard University. “It’s a very gracious opportunity for us, and we’re very thankful for it.”

In related news, the U.S. Capitol complex temporarily locked down Monday during a rehearsal for Biden’s inauguration after a fire in a homeless encampment roughly a mile away sent a plume of smoke into the air and caused security concerns in an already jittery city.

theGRIO previously reported, law enforcement officials said there was no threat to the public and the fire was not believed to be a threat to the inauguration. Local firefighters put out the blaze quickly. The evacuation of some participants and the lockdown were ordered by the acting chief of Capitol Police in an abundance of caution, officials said.

Biden was not participating in the rehearsal, nor were other VIPs who will attend Wednesday’s ceremony.

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