(MMOT50) – This week, The Prairie View A&M University “Marching Storm” dropped new music on their YouTube Channel. Renditions of “I AM” by QC/Capital Recording Artist Lil Baby along with throwback tune “Rep Yo City” by the King of Crunk himself, Lil Jon.

Within the HBCU band community, many have applauded the Storm on their presentation, their song selection, their execution of these arrangements and other praises. Aside from the dope wide angle drone shots, the sick color grading, a separate discussion is ongoing, one that has been circling within the HBCU band world for a while in recent years. In a day and age of band and social media being synonymous, you can no longer hide your band, you can’t hide the good, nor the bad. The only way to do so is to stay undocumented all together, a path many bands choose year after year.. unfortunately. Out of sight, means out of mind, means out of relevancy, which means out of recruits, now you’re out of funding, out of a job….. pardon the digression. No one wins by hiding your program, more to come on that topic in future articles.

To the point being made, online presence is something most bands understand that you cannot avoid, something that must be embraced. As it relates to PV’s new clips, many have raised speculation that their audio has been doctored to improve the overall sound quality of the presentation. Doctored can be defined as simply adding more volume output to the mix to adding in a host of additional effects to enhance an audio signal. EQing, compression, limiting, gain increase or reduction, reverberation, are just some of the starting points in mixing a signal professionally. Audio engineering is creating the sound stage for your listeners. I am not here to confirm or reject any these notions, rather I am here to offer my readers unbiased insight from a lover and fan of this culture. (So get used to it)

My two word response to those accusations, true or not: So What??

Check it out. Image is everything. Bands are in the business of selling their sound. Your sound is your business card. Not your accolades, not your past trophies received, not your LIT Band Director’s personality and reputation. In the world of marching band, spoiler alert…audio matters. From potential members to potential sponsors, the overall image of a band is the deciding factor whether a certain band will be pursued by that HS senior looking for a band home or that corporation seeking to invest in your program. Often times as band heads, we operate in a vacuum and refuse to see that bigger picture. A picture that should matter to all of us if we are REALLY about the advancement of this thing we love. The Band World is small, the sport of band is even smaller. What’s not small is the market. The global market and demand for band, specifically HBCU band is enormous.

To the Marching Storm and any other band facing similar criticism from the peanut gallery, keep your band’s knife sharp. That’s all you have to do. Show up and deliver. Eyes (and ears) will be on you HARD. It’s their intent to prove the band world right that you can’t deliver in person. It’s your job to prove them wrong.

#PushTheCulture

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2 COMMENTS

  1. As someone in the storm this was a shady article to even begin with. We worked hard in the cold, in the rain, even with a pandemic going on. We record everything outside due to the pandemic. It’s crazy how everybody calm it was indoors yet nobody was there. We need to do better black people and stop tryna be shady all the time.

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