It’s a sound that’s synonymous with Carnival Season; the sound of the Marching 100.
St. Augustine Senior Taylor Ranson says, “When I was younger I used to look at the band and think why can’t that be me?”
After years of waiting Ranson claimed his spot. He and roughly 150 others at St. Aug practice five days a week for three hours a day perfecting a sound and a military style march that dates back to the 1950’s.
“Now you’re not just a part of any old band, you’re now a part of the marching 100,” says Senior Lebron Joseph.
The marching 100 will be marching in eleven parades this Carnival Season.
“About 60 miles! We put on the miles marching with the Marching 100,” says Director of Bands Jeffery Herbert.
It’s miles and opportunities the young men crave, but with the restructuring of several schools affiliated to the Archdiocese of New Orleans St. Augustine, a school that is now 6th through 12th grade, may have to leave 6th and 7th graders behind. Herbert says it’s the 6th and 7th graders that have the opportunity to truly fine tune their skills there.
“Being in the band seven years, if they’d like to be a music major or a band director, we have scholarships that will be offered to these kids from various colleges,” explains Herbert, “Even Harvard; we have one in Notre Dame!”
7th grader Kyron Summers says the Marching 100 is opening doors and keeping him focused.
“It makes me feel like I have to push harder to be one of them, become a senior and stay here and go one to the next level of music,” says Summers.
The school will have to either add classes and become K through 12 or drop grades and become 8 through 12 to comply with the Archdiocese of New Orleans. They have until the 2016/ 2017 school year. So far their board still hasn’t decided.