Call it the marching band equivalent of taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Only in this case, the music itself won’t be heard, at least not if Ballou High School’s Majestic Marching Knights have a say about it.
NBC Washington reports that the band, which “performed Destiny’s Child’s ‘Lose My Breath’ at George W. Bush’s second inaugural parade in 2005, and stepped along Pennsylvania Avenue as they played James Brown’s ‘I Got You (I Feel Good)’ at Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade eight years later,” will sit out the inauguration of Donald Trump.
Ditto for Dunbar High, Eastern High, and the Howard University marching band. (Spokesmen for Dunbar and Howard said, respectively, that their programs were “rebuilding” or “facing budgetary constraints,” but for the most part it sounds like sour grapes.)
NBC provides some nostalgic footage of band members’ reactions following Obama’s second inaugural parade in January 2013 (below), but I think it would far more instructive to hear the teens explain their reluctance this time.
The article ends with the reminder that if no D.C. bands participate in the inauguration next month, that “many young musicians from across the country will be eager to take their place.”