TALLADEGA -- It appears the Talladega College Marching Tornadoes band has been invited to participate in President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, but college officials are not confirming and social media is offering a mixed response on whether the band should perform.
News of the invitation spread on multiple social media outlets in the days leading up to the Christmas holiday.
Websites such as Facebook, HBCUDigest.com, Bandhead.org, noegaf.com, lipstickalley.com and campuslately.com all have sparked conversation over whether the band should decline or accept the invitation.
Some are excited for the opportunity and for the band to gain national exposure on such a major stage.
“I am a proud alumni of Talladega College!!!! With that being said, let's us all be proud of the Talladega Marching Tornadoes for participating in the inaugural parade. Let this opportunity show why #HBCUsMATTER. This is a great opportunity to show the world the beauty of Talladega College and the pride of our HBCU. Let's support our Band and the great TC. We represent Talladega College as alumni not the administration. Remember we are the Alpha Lyrae Vega of them all!!!” a Facebook post reads.
Some believe the band has been given a chance to be part of history, and should take advantage of the opportunity.
“It's a Presidential Inauguration, a high profile event. It's a great experience for the band,” posted a user on Bandhead.org.
However, many invited performers have outright refused to participate in the presidential ceremonies, including, Elton John, Celine Dion, KISS, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and Bruno Mars.
Likewise, several HBCU supporters are calling Trump’s inauguration divisive and believe the Marching Tornadoes should make a statement by not performing.
“Why are they supporting a man that promotes violence, a rape culture,racism and bigotry?” the Facebook post reads. “Why put those students in that atmosphere along that parade route! Shame on Talladega College president and director of bands for making the worst decision!”
The band is under the direction of Miguel Bonds.
The Marching Tornadoes is an award-winning band that has performed at significant events, including the Queen City Battle Of The Bands in Charlotte, North Carolina, and during a recent New Orleans Saints game.
The Daily Home was unsuccessful Wednesday in its efforts to get college officials to confirm whether they’ve received an invitation to perform and whether they’ve accepted.
NOTE: This post was edited Dec. 29, 2016, to remove a Facebook comment at the request of the commenter.