The Marching Tar Heels welcomed the N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University marching band for a Katy Perry-themed half-time show collaboration at the UNC vs. N.C. A&T football game on Saturday.
Jeffrey Fuchs, director of UNC’s university bands, said it was a no-brainer to collaborate with the Blue and Gold Marching Machine.
“It is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Fuchs said. “When we saw that A&T was on the schedule, we started the process in motion to make sure that we could collaborate.”
UNC color guard member Akilah Williams shared in the excitement.
“A&T has a pretty well-respected band, especially in the black community,” Williams said. “So it was really cool to be able to see them in person.”
The two bands combined their differing styles of marching for the performance. The Marching Tar Heels practice a corps style, which is based on military marching with the use of a color guard, Williams said.
“We focus more on precision with the formations and making sure that the music is right and sounds good,” Williams said. The Marching Machine is a show style band, often seen in bands from historically black colleges and universities, said Lamon Lawhorn, assistant director of bands at A&T.
“Typically HBCU bands play popular or radio tunes and HBCU performances incorporate some type of dance routine towards the middle or end of their show,” Lawhorn said.
The bands did most of the preparation for the performance separately. After less than two hours of combined practice, Fuchs and Lawhorn both felt that the performance was well received by the audience.
“I think it went exceptionally well,” Lawhorn said. “Most students here are still talking about it; people that I know from other universities are still talking about it.” read more