Following weeks of national scrutiny and commentary over its decision to appear in the inaugural parade for President Donald Trump, the Talladega College Marching Tornadoes Marching Band made its appearance in Washington D.C. yesterday afternoon.
Members of the band said they were unwilling to miss history on account of the controversial president, and some said the trip represented far more than a political occasion in their lives.
“Look at what we came from,” said Bernard Norris, a freshman band member via telephone from the bus en route to Washington, D.C. “Some of us grew up in bad situations — me being one of them. This is not just so we can be on TV, this is so we can … say that we’ve been somewhere that’s very important on this huge stage.”
More than 11,000 people donated nearly $670,000 to the band to defray travel costs for the performance, a total school officials called the largest fundraising effort in the college’s history.