40 Percussionists, Instrumentalists and Dancers to Bring the Marching Band Tradition to the Theatrical Stage

By David Wedekindt

Release Date: January 24, 2011 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Center for the Arts at the University at Buffalo will present the return of Drumline Live, on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre, located at the Center for the Arts, UB North Campus.

Drumline Live kicks off its second U.S. tour following its extremely successful 70-performance international tour two years ago. Drumline Live's energetic cast has honed its precision and energy with years of training in marching band programs across the southern United States.

This versatile group of musicians and dancers brings an explosive energy and athleticism to an eclectic mix of sounds. Equally at home with the hottest contemporary hip hop, R&B, classic Motown tunes and the rousing sounds of the great brass tradition, DRUMLINE LIVE is thrilled to share the American Marching Band experience with a wider audience.

Performers originate from more than one dozen Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). These are institutions of higher learning that were established before 1964 with the intention of serving the African American community. There are more than 100 historically black colleges in the United States, located almost exclusively in the Southeast.

It was in these bastions of higher education that the tradition of the show style marching band was born. The tradition began over 50 years ago at Florida A&M University, which has been long considered the nation's preeminent black college marching band school. HBCU marching bands began, as most do, as support for the college football team. They have since grown into a sport of their own, featuring characteristic high stepping, funky dance rhythms, and exciting musical repertoire ranging from classical to Top 40.

Celebrations of HBCU marching culminate in competitions such as the Big Southern Classic and the Bayou Classic. These competitions, which draw audiences of roughly 60,000 fans each, are a testament to the popularity of the sport. But it is only recently, with films such as "Drumline," backed by a flurry of high profile marching band appearances that this tradition has begun to capture the imagination of the American public.

Tickets for DRUMLINE LIVE are $32.00, students (any school) $22.00. Tickets are available at the Center for the Arts Box Office (Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) and all Ticketmaster locations including ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets call 1-800-745-3000, in Canada, call 416-870-8000. For group sales, call 716-645-6771. For more information call 716-645-2787.