Tuskegee marching band to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Segment set to air on Monday, Feb. 18; check local listings for broadcast
The Ellen DeGeneres Show is set to get some Tuskegee flavor during its annual Presidents Day show. The Tuskegee University Marching Crimson Pipers Band was selected to appear on the Emmy Award-winning television talk show after the band's superb performance at the 2008 Honda Battle of the Bands in Atlanta in January. The show is hosted by comedian and actress Ellen DeGeneres.
"Apparently we did very well," said Tuskegee band director Warren Duncan. "We were chosen by our peers. I'm excited for the students. They deserve this."
The Crimson Pipers Band was one of only 10 historically black college bands chosen from more than 40 to participate in the Honda Battle of the Bands. Among those elite 10, Tuskegee's band was selected to appear on the nationally syndicated talk show.
Twenty-seven band members and two staff members will travel with Duncan to Los Angeles on Wednesday, Feb. 13, to tape the segment, which is scheduled to air on Presidents Day (Monday, Feb. 18). In the Tuskegee, Ala., market, the segment is scheduled to air at 1:30 p.m. on WSFA-Channel 12.
"It's very exciting ... one of the highlights of the year," said Crimson Piper drum major Preston Martin, a fourth-year architecture major.
This is the fourth year The Ellen DeGeneres Show has featured an HBCU band following its appearance in the Honda Battle of the Bands.
"Honda has selected Tuskegee's ‘Marching Crimson Pipers' because we feel that their performance in this year's Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase best epitomized what HBCU marching bands, and marching band culture is all about," said Ronald E. Childs, national director of publicity for the Honda Battle of the Bands.
"On and off the field, Tuskegee's band represents the University, fellow students, administrators and alumni well."
Founded in 1881, Tuskegee University is home to about 3,000 students from more than 30 countries. The campus is spread across 450 acres that reach out to encompass another 4,500 acres of forest and agricultural experiment/research station spaces. Tuskegee University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral, professional, master's and bachelor's degrees. The University was recently named the No. 1 historically black college or university in the state of Alabama and No. 6 nationally by U.S. News and World Report.