Nov. 11, 2016


 NCA&T Drumline

Until you’ve attended an Historically
Black College or University (HBCU), it’s tough to really understand
just how amazing the experience is. That’s what the students of North Carolina
Agricultural and Technical State University
(North Carolina
A&T) told students at Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School – and
that’s why it is so important for IPS students to meet these special visitors!


Cold Steel, the drumline of North Carolina
A&T’s Blue and Gold Marching Machine, is in Indianapolis for an international percussion festival. Crispus
Attucks Assistant Principal Ricardo Reid is a North Carolina A&T alum and a
former member of the Machine, so he knew just how amazing it would be to bring
a taste of Southern marching band style to his students.


“They have a different type of percussion
drill down there,” Reid told the hundreds of students packed into the Attucks
auditorium to see Cold Steel perform. “HBCUs are a totally different
experience, and we’re here today to give you an education on what it’s like in
the South.”


Students were treated to Cold Steel’s
full competition show, including all of the pageantry, technical skill, dancing
and fun you’d expect from one of the nation’s top drumlines. After the
performance, the drummers met one-on-one with Attucks students to talk about
why they love North Carolina A&T and their band experience. They even
taught our students some of their favorite moves!


Indianapolis has an active community of
HBCU alumni eager to share their memories and experiences of their alma maters,
with their rich histories, diverse communities and mentoring opportunities
minority students might not find at other institutions. But for our students,
sometimes it’s seeing a group of people who look like them having the time of
their lives on a stage that really sends the message home. Cold Steel member
Ashley Horne grew up in Greensboro, N.C., home of North Carolina A&T, but
says she didn’t realize how important attending an HBCU was until she started
her college career at another school.


“I spent my first three semesters at UNC
Chapel Hill, and it was nothing like this,” Horne said. “It was a big band,
about the same size as the Machine, but they just didn’t have the passion for
it. HBCU marching bands are awesome. They’re really passionate about it and
they really put in the work, and it all shows when we’re at our competitions,
games and other events. It’s really enriching and adds to your college


As an ambassador for North Carolina A&T,
Horne says she’s glad to have the opportunity to share her excitement for HBCUs
with students who might not otherwise look into these rewarding, historic
collegiate experiences.


“I think it’s really important to explore
all of your possibilities,” Horne said. “HBCUs offer a totally different
environment; it’s not something you can really describe, but you have to come
check it out!”