TSU Aristocrat of Bands heads off to California to march in the Rose Parade

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Posted at 7:10 AM, Dec 28, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — The public is invited to the send off of the Tennessee State University's Aristocrat of Bands' trip to Pasadena, California, to perform in the Tournament of Roses.

TSU is one of only four university bands nationwide invited to participate in the 133rd Rose Bowl Parade on January 1, 2022. It is also the only band from a historically black college or university (HBCU) that will be performing.

"The thing about the aristocrat of bands is like we really try to capitalize on opportunities, big opportunities."

The Aristocrat of Bands knows how to put on a show wherever they go.

"It's a very cool opportunity to be able to just show the world; that world out there what we do here in Tennessee, said band member Tiara Thomas.

This week, students like Thomas and the rest of the TSU Aristocrat of bands is heading to California to march in the Rose parade.

"I'm really excited about what we're able to do and even with the rose bowl, like we're going to be seen by millions and millions of people."

Students and staff got tested for COVID before they hit the road and put in their final preparations before heading to California.

"This is the parade of all parades. So, I think that it's just very exciting, just being able to have something that my generation of band will be able to leave their mark on."

Travion Crutcher says what better way to end his last year at TSU.

"Being able to bring that style over to California. I think a lot of people are just gonna be overwhelmed with joy and just you know, the difference of what they're used to seeing from their colleges there."

The parade was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, but had to cancel because of the pandemic but better late than never.

"This year is the 75th anniversary of the aristocrat of bands. And to culminate our marching band season by having an opportunity to perform in the granddaddy of the mall the Tournament of Roses, the Rose Bowl parade is an awesome, awesome experience for our students," said Dr. Reginald A. McDonald.

In its many years, the band has performed at the White House, and at many other major world and national events, including NFL and NBA halftime shows.

Termed the “West Coast swing,” the AOB’s California visit also includes performances at Bandfest, a two-day exclusive field show for marching bands selected to participate in the Rose Bowl Parade; Disneyland Park; the California African American Museum; as well as a half-time show for the Los Angeles Lakers in the Staples Center.