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Drumline Live marches into REH Nov. 16
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Drumline Live marches into Ruth Eckerd Hall Friday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
CLEARWATER - Drumline Live is the dazzling, electrifying attraction created by the music team behind the 20th Century Fox hit movie Drumline. Now, the excitement of show-style marching bands is brought to the Ruth Eckerd Hall stage on Friday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

The extravaganza showcases the precision, energy, and years of training in marching band programs across the southern United States.

This versatile group of musicians and dancers brings explosive energy and athleticism to an eclectic mix of sounds. Equally at home with the hottest contemporary hip-hop, R&B, classic Motown tunes, and the rousing sounds of the great brass tradition, Drumline Live shares this wonderful tradition with audiences across the country.

The Springfield News Sun said “Drumline Live puts the black marching band tradition on the theatrical stage – effectively creating something that could very well out-stomp Stomp and out-blast Blast.”

The tradition of the show-style marching band began in the bastions of higher education known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), institutions of higher learning established before 1964 with the intention of serving the African American community. There are more than 100 historically black colleges in the United States, located almost exclusively in the Southeast.

They were established after the Civil War as places of dignity and hope where young people had an opportunity to become professionals instead of maids or laborers. Along with the private black colleges and universities founded later by the AMA, these Reconstruction Era schools became the backbone of higher education for African Americans.

The show-style marching band was born more than fifty years ago at Florida A&M University, which has long been considered the nation’s preeminent black college marching band school.

HBCU marching bands began, as most do, as support for the college football team. They have since grown into a sport of their own, featuring characteristic high stepping, funky dance rhythms, and exciting musical repertoire ranging from classical to Top 40. Celebrations of HBCU marching culminate in competitions such as the Big Southern Classic and the Bayou Classic. These competitions, which draw audiences of roughly 60,000 fans each, are a testament to the popularity of the sport.

But it is only recently, with exposure from films such as Drumline and a flurry of high-profile marching band appearances, that this tradition has begun to capture the imagination of the American public.

As creator and director Don P. Roberts has observed, “We’ve taken the excitement of an HBCU football game halftime show, increased the intensity by a thousand watts, and created a musical journey that will touch every emotion.”

Reserved tickets priced at $50, $35 and $25 are available at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office located at 1111 McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater, by calling 727-791-7400 and online at www.R­uthEc­kerdH­all.c­om.
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