The University of Delaware Marching Band will perform on the presidential escort of Joe Biden, the 46th inaugural President of the United States.
Photo courtesy of UDaily / THE REVIEW
Associate News Editor
The University of Delaware Marching Band (UDMB) will perform on the escort of Blue Hen President Joe Biden after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States at the dedication ceremony on Wednesday.
“It is a tremendous honor for the University of Delaware Marching Band Drumline Battery to be one of only two civil groups to attend the opening events in person on Wednesday,” said University President Dennis Assanis. “We are excited to share our UD pride with the world and we will cheer all of our students as they help celebrate this amazing milestone for a colleague at Blue Hen.”
The UDMB was briefed by the Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC) earlier this month about its performance at the event. The other civilian group present will be the Howard University Drum Line – in honor of their alumna, the elected Vice President Kamala Harris.
The drum lines of the two universities will accompany Biden and Harris to the White House after their swearing-in and start a virtual “Parade Across America” event according to PIC. The performance will only include the brass band’s drum line area instead of the entire ensemble – a precautionary measure to limit the number of people at the event.
Of the total of 300 members of the UDMB, 35 artists, including freshmen and graduates, will travel to Washington, led by the brass band director Heidi I. Sarver and the deputy director Jim Ancona.
“Members of the UD marching band have experienced a lot of emotion since receiving our invitation to be part of the president’s escort,” said Sarver. “It’s not just an honor; it’s pretty humble too. “
Sarver said the opportunity to attend the event in person is “incredibly meaningful to the students”.
“What an honor it is to represent this great program and the university on such a national and international level,” said Keith Blake, one of the Delaware drummers who will perform at the inauguration. “It is really a humbling experience to be part of this really wonderful demonstration of democracy and to be able to escort one of our own blue chickens to the White House. The love and support for us and this program has been overwhelming. “
The Drum Line will perform two selections from their repertoire: first, the “Blue Hen Cadence”, a tribute to the university mascot and the state bird of Delaware. The second selection, “EMC Hype,” is a piece composed by UDMB’s former assistant Eric M. Carr, who is currently a sergeant and tenor drum player in the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.
“I’m very excited to see my alma mater perform at the housewarming ceremony,” said Carr. “I will not be there in person, but proudly watch from home. The fact that my composition is being performed makes this even more special. “
Although the UDMB is no stranger to appearing for the elected president, they have performed several times, for example at the “Welcome Home” ceremony at the end of Biden’s second term as Vice President and the encouragement “Biden is back” the university – The band practiced diligently as they didn’t have a fall season due to COVID-19.
“We spent the weekend rehearsing about eight hours a day,” said Ancona. “We have to get our chemistry back, train and train our bodies, and we have to make the game balanced and coordinated. What usually takes several weeks in a marching band season, we try in a few days and it’s much colder. “
Sarver and Ancona took the band to the 2009 opening ceremony and said they knew what to expect with the high nerves and tight security.
“We are essentially in the midst of the military bands and honor guards,” said Ancona. “There is definitely a tremendous sense of pride and awe.”