By Andrew Skerritt
Florida A&M University’s Incomparable Marching “100” Band is scheduled to appear at the Louis Vuitton Men’s Paris Fashion Week Show.
The invitation is for 35 band members and 10 accompanying staff to perform at the June 23 show at the world-renown Louvre museum in Paris, France.
“It’s wonderful for the Marching “100” to return to Paris for the Louis Vuitton Fashion Show as they did for Bastille Day in 1989,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. “The Marching “100” is symbolic of the excellence of FAMU students and the expertise and care of our Music Department faculty and staff. We can’t wait to see them wow the city of Paris once again.”
The Marching “100” performs before the 2021 Homecoming game (Photo/AJ Shorter)
The Marching “100” Band, under the leadership of founder William P. Foster, performed in the Bastille Day Parade to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution. Among the group of students who were in the French capital was current Director of Bands Shelby Chipman, Ph.D. He received the invitation during a call from an international telephone number on May 31. Initially, Chipman was hesitant about answering.
“I picked up the call and the gentleman said he was representing Louis Vuitton. They’ve seen our videos, and they wanted us to perform at the Men’s Fashion Show in Paris,” Chipman said. “I almost dropped the phone. I’m just so excited for our students to have this opportunity.”
Returning to Paris a second time is personally poignant for Chipman. His last performance with the Marching “100” Band was at the Bastille Day 1989 Parade.
“It’s a credit to our band students and to our institution to do everything to promote the FAMU brand,” Chipman said.
During the all-expenses-paid trip, Band members will conduct rehearsals June 19, 20, 21, and 22 and perform at the show on June 23. They are scheduled to return home the following day.
Known as the “best marching band in the land,” the Marching “100” performed for the 2021 NFL season-opening pregame concert in Tampa last September. The band also performed at the 2021 NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta.