FAMU Marching ‘100’ Overcame Logistical Hurdles To Make Paris Journey

By Andrew Skerritt

Florida A&M College’s Marching “100” Band arrived in Paris Sunday morning to organize for his or her efficiency on the Louis Vuitton Males’s Vogue on Thursday.

However for the group to cross the Atlantic required teamwork and cooperation from directors, employees, dad and mom, alumni, and Louis Vuitton executives to beat sizable logistical hurdles given the tight deadlines.

“You can’t do a significant factor with out teamwork,” stated Assistant Director of Marching and Pep Bands Darryl L. Baker, who dealt with the preparations and labored out the logistics within the weeks for the reason that Band obtained the invitation to carry out. Baker credit the President’s Workplace, Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities’ Dean Valencia E. Matthews, Ph.D., the Workplace of College Development, the Workplace of Worldwide Schooling and Improvement, the Provost’s Workplace, alumni, and elected officers for guaranteeing that the journey happened.

Rattlers in ParisBand members rehearse on Monday

“Everyone got here collectively,” Baker stated. “Think about the superb issues FAMU can do after we all work collectively.”

In Could, Marching Band Director Shelby Chipman, Ph.D., obtained the primary e mail from a consultant: Would the Incomparable Marching “100” Band be desirous about touring to Paris to carry out dwell on the Louis Vuitton Males’s Vogue Present within the legendary Louvre museum? It marked a return to Paris for the Band that carried out within the 1989 Bastille Day Parade.

The producers of the occasion wished to incorporate a dwell marching band. That they had seen movies of the Marching “100” performances and wished one of the best. Chipman counseled Baker for doing “superb job coordination numerous features of the journey with stakeholders in Tallahassee and Paris.”

Contracts and logistics wouldn’t be an issue. Director of Woods Nicholas Thomas, Ed.D., would work on the preparations of the tunes producers chosen. Percussion Assistant and Choreographer Tova Pretty would work on the routines. However different paperwork might jeopardize the journey, Baker initially feared.

Baker & ClarkMarching 100 Band Employees Darryl Baker and Nicholas Thomas on the Band rehearsal in Paris on Monday.

“I used to be fearful about passports. I knew most of the college students, and a few of the employees didn’t have passports,” stated Baker on Monday as the scholars rehearsed at a venue alongside the Seine River in a Paris suburb. FAMU is residence to many first-generation faculty college students who’ve by no means traveled overseas and didn’t possess a passport. The all-expenses-paid invitation was for 35 college students and 10 employees members. Amongst these chosen to journey, 24 lacked a sound passport, together with 20 first-time journey paperwork, Baker stated.

Time was scarce. A routine passport utility by mail takes eight to 11 weeks, whereas an expedited utility by mail takes 5 to seven weeks, in response to the U.S. State Division web site. College students might acquire an expedited passport if worldwide journey is inside three enterprise days, however they needed to make an in-person appointment in a metropolis equivalent to Miami or Atlanta, which had a delegated workplaceA few of the college students have been in South Florida and Atlanta.

Past the expense of touring to the appointment, there was the price of the rushed passport utility -$250. First-time passports price $165, plus $60 for the expedited service price. Identical-day service was one other $35. Louis Vuitton executives agreed to cowl the expense of expediting the passports.

“Louis Vuitton stated, ‘we wish to do that.’ They requested, ‘what are your points? If you will get over right here, we’ll care for you,’” Baker stated. “They wished to have that illustration right here. It speaks to the legacy of the FAMU Marching ‘100’ that they have been prepared to speculate on this group of American college students.”

Band officers initially reached out to officers in Georgia however then turned to U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a FAMU alumnus, for help. Lawson’s Workplace related Band employees with the workplace of Congresswoman Frederica Wilson of Miami.

Wilson’s scheduler, Joyce Postell, additionally a FAMU alum, helped arrange 24 appointments for first passport purposes and renewals on the Monday and Tuesday forward of the June 18 departure. College students needed to discover transportation to get to these appointments.

Sebastien ZephirSebastien Zaphir

When Sebastien Zephir, a junior elementary schooling, and trumpeter, first heard in regards to the journey, he was “very afraid” his lack of a passport would price him the possibility of a lifetime.

“Nobody had traveled outdoors the U.S. in my household, apart from my mother. I’m being a frontrunner for my brother,” stated Zephir, the son of a Haitian immigrant. Throughout a break in rehearsal, Zephir described the expertise as surreal. “Each time I lay down, I can’t imagine I’m in Paris. It’s superb.”

Whereas the shortage of passports was being resolved, there was different paperwork to course of. David Self within the FAMU Common Counsel’s Workplace handled the producers on the contract.

College Worldwide journey required kinds to be crammed out and signatures from the dean, provost, and president. The Workplace of Worldwide Schooling and Improvement requested for kinds to be submitted 35 to 40 days earlier than journey. Nevertheless it was lower than three weeks between when Chipman introduced the plans on the June 3 Board of Trustees assembly and the Band’s scheduled June 18 departure.

“For the shining stars of the varsity, the Marching ‘100,’ to have the ability to do that, it’s nice,” stated Baker. Within the weeks main as much as the journey, Baker was woke up each day by 3:59 a.m. e mail from his French counterparts (Paris is six hours forward), as they mentioned particulars of the Band journey to Paris, rehearsing 4 consecutive days after which performing on the Louvre museum.

“It’s work, however it doesn’t make me really feel like work,” Baker stated. “It makes me really feel good.”

The Marching “100” performs at 2 p.m. Paris time (8 a.m. Japanese) Thursday on the Louvre. The Band will seem in a video that’s scheduled to air at 1:45 p.m. (7:45 a.m. Japanese). The occasion is in-person and in addition will be seen on-line.

Paris Vogue week begins Tuesday, June 21 for designers to point out their male spring 2023/summer season 2023 ready-to-wear collections.

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