Grambling participates in inaugural parade - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Grambling participates in inaugural parade

Grambling marches during the parade. Grambling marches during the parade.

The Grambling State University Marching Band was one of many groups chosen to perform in the president's inauguration parade.

Grambling is the only historically black college participating.

"I answered the cell phone, and she said this is from President Barack Obama's inauguration committee. We're calling from the Pentagon to let you know you are one of the units chosen to be in this inauguration parade," said GSU Director of Bands, Dr. Larry J. Pannell.

The band had only a few weeks to perfect their music and get in shape to march 1.5 mile parade route while carrying their instruments.

"A lot of preparation and a lot of hard work. Learning the music, learning the steps, and how we want to perform well in front of the President," said Drum Major Prince Gray Jr.

The band members say it's quite an honor because only 1 band from each state is chosen to play in the parade.

In the past, the Grambling band has played for Presidents Nixon and George W. Bush. They also played in Obama's first inauguration parade, but for most of the members in the band right now it's the first and probably only time they'll ever get a chance to play for a President.

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