The brand new Wilberforce University Marching Band will take its rhythmic, high stepping, HBCU style to participate in the Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans, Louisiana next week.
The 147 member WU band, under the direction of Dr. Virgil Goodwine, will perform in New Orleans beginning Saturday, February 18th. The history of the Mardi Gras Parade, complete with marching bands and rolling floats, began in 1857 as a secret society called the Mistick Krewe of Comus. The first year WU marching band was selected to participate after several YouTube videos caught the attention of nationally known college band captains with connections to the Mardi Gras.
“I built a band program at a high school, actually for an entire district in Michigan. To do it again is, at this college level is history repeating itself just at a higher level,” said Dr. Virgil Goodwine, WU band director. “I’m only doing what I’m supposed to do. I am supposed to raise the bar wherever I go.”
Dr. Goodwine says for historically Black college and university marching bands (HBCUs), the Mardi Gras Parade invitation compares to being asked to participate in the Rose Bowl Parade. This is the first year that Wilberforce has had a marching band and its reputation as a quality, upper tier program has grown quickly through the college band performance arena.
The Wilberforce Band Mardi Gras Parade performance schedule is Central Standard Time (CST)
Sat., February 18th Krewe of Tucks Parade start time 12:00 PM
Sun., February 19th Krewe of Bacchus Parade start time 5:15 PM
Mon., February 20th Krewe of Orpheus Parade start time 6:00 PM
Tues., February 21st Krewe of Zulu Parade start time 8:00 AM
Dr. Virgil Goodwine