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FAMU Marching 100 Band Performs at Super Bowl

By Lynn Hatter

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-884542.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – The New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts to claim Super Bowl victory this year, but before any trophies could be awarded, one Super Band took the field. It was only five minutes, but the Florida A&M University Marching 100 put on a show for the 74-thousand fans crowded into Dolphins Stadium.

FAMU's Director of Public Relations, Pam Tolson, summed up the experience, saying, "The energy was high. I mean, my adrenaline was just overwhelmed. I mean, to be down on the sidelines at a Super Bowl game was just truly outstanding. It's hard for me to put it in words right now. But it was truly wonderful."

That experience is now in the minds of the 400-plus members of the Marching 100 as they treated the Super Bowl crowd to a pre-game show dedicated to the late Michael Jackson. The sound of the stadium was so loud that Joe Bullard, the voice of the Marching 100, could barely be heard over the screaming fans.

"And now, a tribute to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson!" Bullard bellowed above the sound of screaming fans and the ricochet of sticks on drums.

The loudest cheers came as the band spelled out SAINTS and COLTS on the field. Adrenaline was still high even after the performance, and members like Chastity Smith, who marches on the flag corps, say if they get another call next year, they would do it all over again.

"The adrenaline rush came when I saw all those people in the stands. When I saw those people then I got pretty excited. I liked the feeling. I didn't get nervous, but I enjoyed myself. I wish we could do it again."

The odds for that are in the band's favor. This is its fifth Super Bowl appearance, the third one in the last five years. According to the National Football League's website, that puts the Marching 100 in with a select few other groups who can make that claim.