An Inside Look at the Blue and Gold Marching Machine
Published October 22, 2014
Kristen Shipley – Contributor
On a chilly night under the bright lights of the Aggie Stadium, fans wait in anticipation as the minutes on the clock run down during the second quarter. Members of the legendary Blue and Gold Marching Machine (BGMM) at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University huddle in groups to prepare for the halftime show.
Junior, music education student, Kevin Mosley knows this moment all too well. As a drum major in the band, Mosley describes his role as the liaison between the band director and the band to make sure everything flows.
“I do everything from warming up the band, conducting music rehearsals, and representing the band program,” said Mosley.
Mosley has always had a passion for music. When choosing a college, the standard of the University band impressed Mosley.
“When you see the band, it’s like ‘Wow,” said Mosley, who feels the band pushes students to be successful and accountable for themselves and each other.
Being in the band requires a lot of hard work. Practices are held daily, from 4-9 p.m. During practice, the band does a lot of drills to ensure a sharp sound. Not to mention, the band comes about three weeks before school starts for band camp; which includes nothing but band from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.
“Ninety percent of the time, band is life,” said Mosley.
Because they spend so much time together, the band is very close. “It’s really a family atmosphere,” he said.
All their practice pays off; the N.C. A&T band is known across the country and around the world.
“Last year when we went to the Honda Battle of the Bands in Atlanta, it was like ‘Wow, you are from A&T?’ and we are known at other HBCUs too.”
With the excitement of the movie Drumline: A New Beat, premiering 9 p.m. on VH1 on Oct. 27, Mosley reflects on the first one, released about 12 years ago.
“When I came to college a lot was the same: close friendships, practices, and juggling college and the marching band,” said Mosley. “There is even a step from the movie that we actually do.”
Mosley wants other students to know that the band members are students, actively involved, just like everyone else. He also said that the band feeds off the crowd’s energy, so the liver the audience, the better the performance.
“In the essence of Aggie Pride, support the band,” said Mosley. “A hand clap and a cheer goes a long way.”
What should the Aggies expect from BGMM for Homecoming 2014?
“Out of the box. Live. Aggie Pride.”
— Email Kristen at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @perfectlyk