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While artists like Beyonce, Jay Z and Jennifer Hudson all have been rumored to be performing at Barack Obama‘s inauguration, the Hampton University Marching Band is one of the first acts confirmed to be invited to perform.

Hampton University is a Historically Black College in Virginia with a proud tradition of great marching bands.

The following is a release from the Presidential Inaugural Committee:

Monday, in keeping with its commitment to hold inaugural events that celebrate our common values and reflect the diversity and history of our great nation, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s Inaugural Committee officially extended an offer to the T.C. Williams High School Army JROTC, the Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets, and the Hampton University Marching Force to participate in the 56th Inaugural Parade.

Members of the organizations will join representatives from across the country and our Armed Forces in the historic parade down Pennsylvania Avenue following President-elect Obama’s swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the Capitol.

“I am honored to invite these talented groups and individuals to participate in the Inaugural Parade,” said President-elect Obama.  “These organizations embody the best of our nation’s history, diversity and commitment to service.  Vice President-elect Biden and I are proud to have them join us in the parade.”

Organizations wishing to participate in the parade submitted an application to the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee (AFIC), which then assisted the Presidential Inaugural Committee in reviewing all of the groups’ applications.  All told, 1,382 organizations applied to participate, setting a new standard for interest in marching in the parade.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee was assisted in its selection process by a group of experienced military musicians, who utilized their expertise to help assess the presentation skills of marching bands, musical acts and drill teams.

All participants in the Inaugural Parade are responsible for paying for their own lodging and transportation to and from Washington, D.C.  The Committee has been working closely with area governments and civic organizations to facilitate access to affordable accommodations and would like to encourage citizens from across the country to reach out and help the T.C. Williams High School Army JROTC, the Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets, and the Hampton University Marching Force raise the necessary resources to participate in this historic event.

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