The very soul and spirit of every historically black university is conveyed through its marching band. From the deep, rich sounds of the tubas, the elegance of the majorettes down to the exuberant dance routines of the drum majors, black college life would not be the same without its bands. With that in mind, no marching band comes close to uplifting its fans like the Prairie View A&M University “Marching Storm”. The band’s high octane, in-your-face routines are unmatched. The Marching Storm stands out from the rest of the pack with its theme-oriented halftime pageants, innovative drum routines and professional musical sound.
Through its performances, the nationally regarded Marching Storm and their renowned, classy dance troupe, the “Black Foxes”, has had the privilege of sharing the spirit and culture of Prairie View to a wide range of audiences and venues. The band has participated in high profile events such as the inaugural parades of George W. Bush, Jr. as governor of Texas and President of the United States, Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif, the Battle of The Flowers Parade in San Antonio, Texas, the opening of Houston’s Reliant Stadium and a live nationally televised audience on CBS’s “The Early Show” in January 2001. The Marching Storm has continued its tradition of excellence with performances at the 2009 Thanksgiving Halftime Show for the Houston Texans, Superbowl 45 Halftime Show with the Blackeyed Pea and Usher, and the 2011 MTV Woodie Awards Show.
As a result of its past success, the Storm’s popularity stretches from coast to coast as they were selected through a nationwide vote to participate in the annual Honda Battle of the Bands on six occasions. During January of 2004, the Storm received a standing ovation from a capacity crowd for its performance in the Georgia Dome during the second annual Honda Battle of the Bands contest in Atlanta. In July of 2006, the Storm also performed during the annual ESSENCE Music Festival held in Reliant Stadium.
The Black Foxes
With all of the aforementioned achievements it could be easy for a band of this magnitude to rest on its laurels. However, the band has astonishingly been in existence for 80-plus years! The great success that the band has experienced can be attributed to its tremendous work ethic. For a monument to stand the test of time to the degree that the Marching Storm has, truly takes sacrifice, dedication, and extreme hard work. In addition to work ethic, a strong leader is also needed and that’s where former head band director George Edwards (1948-2009). For 24 years, Edwards, commonly referred to as “Prof”, transformed the band from a small ensemble to a national icon known as the “Marching Storm.”
Since the passing of Prof. Edwards in May of 2009, Dr. William McQueen has taken the helm as Head Director of the Marching Storm. Under his leadership the Storm was honored to perform for the Houston Texans after Thanksgiving Day game at Reliant stadium. Additionally, on January 31, 2010, the “Marching Storm” performed at the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Georgia where the Storm dazzled the audience with it exciting brand of precision and showmanship. In 2011 the Marching Storm was honored to perform at Superbowl 45 with Blackeyed Pea and Usher, and were guest performers at the 2011 MTV Woodie Awards show.
The Bones N Los Angelis
The band staff assisting Dr. William McQueen include Prof. Larry Jones, (Director of Percussion), Mr. Mark Gordon, (brass), and Ms. Danyale Taylor (director of the Black Foxes) and Ms. Shanita Parker, (Staff Assistant).
Several of the Marching Storm’s prominent alumni include the likes of Terry Ellis (member of the Multi-Platinum recording group EnVogue), Virgin Records singing group IDEAL and Ricky LaFontaine of the Richard Smallwood Singers. In addition, the Storm also has several alumni directing award-winning high school bands across the state of Texas.
“Are you ready for The Storm?”
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