NEW ORLEANS-- The McDonogh 35 Roneagles Marching Band carries the history as the first high school for African-Americans in the city and being a top-rank band didn't happen overnight.
Lawrence Rawlins, Director of Bands explained, "We've had phenomenal band direction throughout the years, my pops was in the band 1963 drum major, under Alvin Batiste, the great Alvin Batiste. Then we had, of course Lloyd Harris, the genius, then Mr. Herman Jones, a couple of others and right before I came here it was David Jefferson. You're talking about 100 years of excellence man"
Tuba player Christopher Perkins said the heart of the 35 band is what you hear, "I think we are who we are because of our sound."
And it takes work to get that sound according to drum major Joseph Parker, "Practice, perfect practice, discipline, and clean. Being clean and not overpowering yourself."
The McDonogh 35 band produces that awesome sound from a group of great students, according to the director.
It's satisfying! Just to have the kids to go out and produce the instruction that you give," said Rawlins.