Words: Alastair James; pictures: Twitter/@umichband
A marching band at the University of Michigan in the US has celebrated its LGBTQ community with an amazing half-time show you could compare to Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and J-Lo/Shakira.
The halftime show (not for the Superbowl) took place at the university’s homecoming event on Saturday 25 September and was dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the university’s Spectrum centre, which provides support and education around LGBTQ issues.
The show, played in front of a full house of roaring supporters, included music from artists such as Lady Gaga, Kim Petras, and Madonna.
“Love is love”
In video footage posted by the Michigan Marching and Athletic Band, the display opens with Diana Ross’ classic anthem ‘I’m Coming Out’ and Lady Gaga’s tribute to self-love, “Born This Way’.
As the performance gets underway the marching band spells out “Spectrum,” before forming a series of hearts across the playing field.
— Michigan Marching & Athletic Bands (@umichband) September 27, 2021
Throughout the rest of the show, the band spelled out the words “Love Wins” and “Family” in a truly stunning display of organisation and teamwork.
Speaking to The Advocate about the process of organising the show, the university’s marching band director and professor of conducting John Pasquale said the show took eight months to plan and rehearse.
“The point we were trying to make is that love is love. And love wins.”
Part of the process, he says, was approaching LGBTQ students and asking what songs represent them and their experiences.
“We are unequivocally supportive of our students and [we] just wanted to make as public of a statement in that regard as possible, and we put the show in the biggest performance venue in the world that day,” Pasquale adds.
Clarinet player, Rachel Zhang, who is LGBTQ, helped with the performance said she wanted to help show who many people are supportive of the LGBTQ community.
She said: “Having the band be so willing to put forth the halftime show like this hopefully is a strong message of hope and love and support.”
The full performance can be seen below.
The Attitude October issue is out now.