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Tennessee State University Marching Band at 2022 Rose Parade

I first got the opportunity to see the Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands thrill the crowd on Wednesday at the Band Fest at Pasadena City College. They were the final band and it had rained pretty steadily all afternoon.

Before their performance, I told one of their band directors that Florida A&M had been the best band I'd seen over the years. He promised they would perform well and that I had just given them an incentive to really work it out because FAMU is TSU's biggest rival.  ​

When they lined up on the field and started to perform, the rain stopped and they gave a special show. 

On the morning of the Parade, things felt a little different than usual. There were as many people as usual, but there was an abundance of Utah University fans at the parade. I had never seen people show up for a school like that. 

On the west side of the corner of Orange grove and Colorado, there was a sea of African American ladies all wearing blue and gold. I found out that they were the ladies of the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority. I had never seen that at the parade before either.

The parade got off to a good start and the first familiar face I saw was John Muir High School's Principal of the Year, Lawton Gray riding in the Pasadena Unified School District's vehicle. 

Parade Grand Marshal Lavar Burton was somehow on CP time and late to his car. He somehow missed the entire TV Corner. I only got pictures of him on a moped and the back of his head in the car

Then a little while later, TSU hit the corner and I saw the ladies of Sigma Gamma Rho stand up because they knew what the expect. The Aristocrat of Bands didn't disappoint. By far they were the best band to pass me that day. their lines were straight and they sounded amazing. Full of class.

In my eyes, FAMU is still holding it down. My advice to the next HBCU is, don't be scared to be you when you hit TV Corner. You got to shine.

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