Purdue ‘All-American’ Marching Band to make summer visit to Colombia

March 17, 2015  

Bands Colombia

Purdue University’s “All-American” Marching Band has been a draw on campus, around the state and even nationally and internationally. The band will travel to Medellín, Colombia in August to perform (Purdue University Bands photo)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University’s “All-American” Marching Band will perform in the Feria de las Flores (Festival of Flowers) from Aug. 4-10 in Medellín, Colombia.

Colombia is one of the world’s largest exporters of fresh cut flowers. During the Festival of Flowers, citizens use fresh flowers to construct elaborate floats that are carried on their backs throughout the parade. The parade celebrates the end of slavery in Colombia, with the floats representing the people that slaves carried up the mountains on their backs.

Purdue’s “All-American” Marching Band will participate in a variety of performance, cultural and school engagements beyond marching in the festival during their visit. Its members will also help build floats alongside Colombian citizens and engage with young musicians to inspire and teach them the importance of performance arts as part of a thriving economy.

With more than 350 students who are pursuing non-music degrees at Purdue, the “All-American” Marching Band has had several international experiences. Included were trips to Beijing and Dublin, where it performed in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In its 128-year-plus history, the band was the first to break military ranks to form an image on the football field in 1907; it has served as the official band of the Indianapolis 500 since 1919; was the first band at a university without a music school to win the Sudler Trophy in 1995; and was the first Big Ten band to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Students in the “All-American” Marching Band pursue academic non-music degrees while performing in Purdue Bands & Orchestras’ 23 ensembles. 

Contact: Jay Gephart, 765-494-0770, jsgephart@purdue.edu 

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