SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY, LOUISIANA-- Southern University's Human Jukebox is exceptional indeed. For over 72 years, the marching band has used "show style" marching to bring music into the heart of HBCU tradition. But there is a cost for greatness. To have a large program, you need a large budget.
Southern University's Alumni Band formed in 2012 as a collective of passionate musicians who come out of jukebox retirement to raise money for the current band. In doing so, they help to buy band and dancing doll uniforms, book vouchers and help the band with travel expenses. Next year the current band has a grand honor of playing in the 2020 Tournament of Roses Parade in Anaheim California. Travis Richard is the president of the alumni band and says, "this year we have 165 participants, which is the largest alumni band we've had."
Over the years Southern's band has evolved and the vast array of alumni band members are a reflection of that. They range from recent graduates to "Jukes" who were in college during the 70's and earlier.
This year marks a milestone as the immaculate figureheads at the front of Southern's band are dancing dolls. This year marks 50 years of dancing doll tradition. 50 never looked so good.
Brittney Mills is an alumnus from the class of 2008 and says that she remembers looking up to the 90's dancing dolls saying, "they hold a type of elegance and high class sophistication. I said, one day as a child that I am going to be on that field. It's almost every little girls' dream to be a dancing doll."
Once the glory of being in the "Best Band in the Land" is over even then the story continues for alumni band members because doing something you love to help the next generation is a beautiful opportunity.
Band prepares students for the real world, a secret Jukebox graduates know and a truth current students will learn.
The Southern University Alumni Band needs help to raise money to send the Human Jukebox to the Tournament of Roses Parade, as well as helping band students in college. To help you can donate by texting JUKEBOX to 56512.
The Bayou Classic parade starts Saturday at 9:30am. Kickoff to the game is at 4:00pm.