HBCU bands

The 5th Quarter: Howard University’s Showtime Marching Band

Behind the scenes with the band as it prepares for a home game against North Carolina Central University

The 5th Quarter in the world of football games at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) takes place after the game, when the bands of the two opposing schools battle each other for bragging rights to the best musical performance. These displays of musical showmanship, from the choreographed routines to the song selection, require a lot of practice and work by every member of the team. The Undefeated takes you behind the scenes to show what goes into pulling off those amazing performances.

Drum major Jordan Washington leads Howard University’s Showtime Marching Band during practice on Oct. 6.

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Director of University Bands John E. Newson seems satisfied toward the end of practice on Oct. 5. North Carolina Central University’s band is much larger than Howard’s band, and he wants to make sure his squad comes correct.

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Howard’s band warms up with some of their standards before heading outside to march during practice.

André Chung for The Undefeated

Erik Cooper spins his tuba to clear some of the saliva before the band starts marching during practice on Thursday night.

Jalissa Douglas, the trumpet section leader, warms up her section before they start marching during practice on Thursday night. Christian Adkins, also on trumpet, stands by. Howard University’s Showtime Marching Band is part of a long tradition of outstanding bands at HBCU’s. The band practices in the days leading up to a home game against North Carolina Central.

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Kyonna McFarlane (left) on cymbals during practice; GianCarlo Jerry (right) sweats heavily from marching in the thick DC humidity while playing his horn.

The band takes the field during practice on Oct. 6.

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Band members celebrate at the end of practice.

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A bass drum with the band logo.

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Dancers and the band warm up in the band room before their game against North Carolina Central University on Oct. 7.

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Trumpet player Briana Anderson relaxes with her headphones on before the game on Oct. 7.

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Members of the band make their way to the field for the halftime performance.

Regi Smith on clarinet shows out while the band is in the stands during the game on Oct. 7.

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The band marches on the field during the pregame show.

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WASHINGTON,DC – October 7, 2017: Drum Major Jordan Washington leads her band during the halftime show. Howard University’s Showtime Marching Band is part of a long tradition of outstanding bands at HBCU’s. The band practices in the days leading up to a home game against North Carolina Central. (André Chung for The Undefeated)

Former band members Scarlette Cella (left) and Xavier Hendon cheer on the band during the second half as it battles North Carolina Central.

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Drum major Jordan Washington leads the band on the 50-yard line during the halftime show.

Dance captain Felecia Utley leads her team during the halftime show.

André Chung for The Undefeated

Drum major Jordan Washington leads the band once they get back to the stands.

André Chung for The Undefeated