Some artists publicly declared they wouldn’t perform if they were asked to do so at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration. Artists such as Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Church, Moby, Jennifer Holliday, and even a Bruce Springsteen cover band have all rejected invitations or pulled out of their performances.
But the Talladega College Marching Tornadoes in Alabama are seeing the experience as an honor and opportunity.
Talladega College President Billy Hawkins told Fox News, "These students have earned this right, they've earned it. It will be historic for them. It will be a lifetime experience they will never forget for the rest of their lives. It's about these students. It's not about politics."
The trip wasn’t without controversy as some alumni of the historically black college didn’t want it linked to Trump. Talladega bills itself as Alabama's oldest private, historically black liberal arts college. The college traces back to 1865, when two former slaves pledged to provide a school for the children of former slaves of the community. The school was founded two years later, in 1867, according to historical accounts on its website.
Others are fully behind the band. As evidenced by a GoFundMe account that has raised more than $640,000 of their $75,000 goal. The extra money will stay within the band program to purchase uniforms, instruments, and scholarships in the future.
"If that's not a blessing I don't know what is because the man upstairs obviously wants us to go," said student Alex Liddel Jr.
One things for sure, it will be a historic day the students will remember for the rest of their lives. Watch the video to see the excitement as they leave for Washington, D.C.