B-CU Marching Wildcats to Perform at Super Bowl
On February 1, the Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) marching band will take the field at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL to perform during this year’s Super Bowl pre-game show. The Marching Wildcats will perform for six minutes at approximately 6 pm, prior to the 6:28 kick-off. As part of its 8-10 song routine, the band will debut new formations designed specifically for this event.
“Having the Marching Wildcats represent the Great Bethune-Cookman University at the Super Bowl is a tremendous honor,” noted B-CU President Trudie Kibbe Reed. “It is a tribute to the dedication and talent of our band director, Donovan Wells, his staff, and our amazing students.”
"We are pleased to have the band participate in the Super Bowl," said Lawrence Randall, the NFL's director of programming. "The band will help get the 70,000 fans in the stadium even more excited for the start of the most-anticipated event of the year."
"For a marching band, there's no bigger stage to play on than the Super Bowl playing field. We're working hard to put on a great show for all the fans," commented Donovan Wells, B-CU band director.
Recognized as “the heartbeat of B-CU,” and one of the top collegiate bands in the country, the Marching Wildcats strive to bring the finest performances to viewing audiences. This year’s edition of the Marching Wildcats boasts 320 band members, along with auxiliary units the Sophisticat Flag Corps and the nationally known 14KT Gold Dancers.
The Super Bowl performance will be the latest of many high-profile events in the last decade, including:
• NFL halftime shows for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
• NASCAR Daytona 500 pre-race show
• ABC Walt Disney World Christmas Special
• MTV Super Bowl Rock N’ Jock Special
• Honda Battle of the Bands
• The Ellen Degeneres Show
• EA Sports Video Soundtrack
• Featured appearance in 20th Century Fox film “Drumline”
• Featured appearance in television commercial for the Cadillac DTS
What does it take to be part of the Marching Wildcats?
The B-CU students who perform as the Marching Wildcats are an elite group of musicians, drum majors and dancers who exemplify talent, hard work and commitment to excellence.
Competition to be part of the band is fierce, with auditions starting in February each year. Once accepted into the program, band students arrive on campus weeks before most of their peers to participate in band training camp – two weeks of three-a-day practices in the band room and outdoors in the Florida heat. During registration week, practices are scaled back to two-a-day, and once classes start, band students practice at least three hours a night, five nights a week, throughout football season.
By mid-November, when the Marching Wildcats perform at the annual Florida Classic, a new freshman in the band will have learned close to 40 songs – plus the intricate formations and choreography for which the band in known.
About Bethune-Cookman University
Founded in 1904 by Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers baccalaureate degrees in 37 majors through six academic schools – Arts & Humanities; Business; Education; Nursing; Science, Engineering and Mathematics; and Social Sciences – and maintains intercollegiate athletic programs and instrumental and choral groups that have achieved national recognition. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of more than 3,400.