WATCH: FAMU Marching 100 performs at Louis Vuitton Men’s Fashion Show at Paris Fashion Week

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 3:50 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2022 at 5:02 PM EDT
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PARIS, France (WCTV) - It’s a big day for FAMU’s Marching 100 as they performed at the Louis Vuitton Men’s Fashion Show at Paris Fashion Week, in one of the biggest stages in the world, the Louvre Museum.

The Florida A&M University’s Marching 100 Band made a triumphant entrance at the Louis Vuitton runway, electrifying the attendees with their high energy performance.

Led by Drum Majors Jalen Roberts and Jarvis Rittman, the 35-member contingent of the band opened with “Mighty Rattler” followed by “Rattler to the Bone,” then “Get Up.”

They opened the Louis Vuitton Men’s Paris Fashion Show for the Spring and Summer 2023 collections, walking down the runway alongside the models, followed by the lyrics of Kendrick Lamar.

“I was super excited, super relieved, and just so proud of the students and the level of their performance knowing all the changes we had to make from the initial concept of the show and what the expectations were going to be,” Director of Bands Shelby Chipman said. “We brought Tallahassee; we brought Florida A&M; we brought the Incomparable Marching ‘100′ to Paris by performing all the highlights we perform at Bragg Memorial Stadium and traveling on the road.”

FAMU Marching 100 performed for the first time in 1989 at the Bastille Day Parade, and returned once again more than 30 years later to leave their mark at the French capital.

“That made it special,” Chipman said.

Louis Vuitton held its Spring-Summer 2023 Men’s Fashion Show outdoors in the Cour Carrée, one of the main courtyards of the Louvre museum.

“It was incredible. We saw celebrities. The energy was high. It was an honor and a privilege to be in Paris and to play music for people you see on TV all the time,” Marvin Jean, an euphonium player from Broward County, Florida, said. “We put in so much work, and I am just happy to see it pay off. We left if all out there on the stage.”

Jean, who is a senior music education student, said being able to play in Paris was a dream.

After the performance at Paris Fashion Week, the Marching 100 made a stop at the Eiffel Tower, while entertaining an appreciative crowd of tourists from Mexico, the U.S. and across Europe.

For our continuing coverage at WCTV see below.

PARIS, France (WCTV) - Paris Fashion week began Tuesday, June 21, for the Spring and Summer 2023 collections, and Florida A&M University students preparing to perform had to overcome travel hurdles to make sure they could arrive on time, as many of them were traveling outside of the country for the first time.

“You cannot do a major thing without teamwork,” said Assistant Director of Marching and Pep Bands Darryl L. Baker, who handled the arrangements and worked out the logistics for the trip since they received the invitation to perform at the Louis Vuitton Men’s Paris fashion show. “For the shining stars of the school, the Marching ‘100,’ to be able to do this, it’s great.”

In the weeks leading up to the trip, Baker said he woke up daily by 3:59 a.m. because Paris is six hours ahead, so they could discuss the details for the travel to Paris, four days of rehearsals and the band’s performance at the Louvre Museum.

The invitation was extended to 35 students and 10 staff members, but 24 of them did not have passports.

“I was worried about passports,” said Baker on Monday, as the students rehearsed at a venue along the Seine River in Paris. “I knew many of the students, and some of the staff didn’t have passports.”

According to the U.S. State Department’s website, a regular passport application can take up to 11 weeks, and even if it’s expedited, it could take anywhere from five to seven weeks. For them to be able to make it, they had to make a special request for emergency passports that could be issued within 3 business days.

However, for each passport application and the cost of the rushed passport fees came to about $500 per person, which would significantly increase the travel expenses. The Band even reached out to officials in Georgia, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, who is a FAMU alumnus, and the office of Congresswoman Frederica Wilson of Miami for assistance, but the Louis Vuitton team came forward and offered to pay for all expenses.

“Louis Vuitton said, ‘We want to do this.’ They asked, ‘What are your issues? If you can get over here, we will take care of you,’” Baker said. “They wanted to have that representation here. It speaks to the legacy of the FAMU Marching ‘100′ that they were willing to invest in this group of American students.”

The Marching “100″ performs at 2 p.m. Paris time (8 a.m. Eastern) Thursday at the Louvre. The Band will appear in a video that is scheduled to air at 1:45 p.m. (7:45 a.m. Eastern). The event is in-person and also can be seen online.

You can view WCTV’s previous coverage on this story below.

PARIS, France (WCTV) - Florida A&M University says its Marching 100 Band has been invited to perform during Louis Vuitton’s Men’s Paris Fashion Week Show. The band will perform on June 23, at the world-renowned Louvre Museum in Paris, France, according to a press release.

“It’s wonderful for the Marching 100 to return to Paris for the Louis Vuitton fashion show as they did for Bastille Day in 1989,” FAMU President Larry Robinson said. “The Marching 100 is symbolic of the excellence of FAMU students and the expertise and care of our Music Department faculty and staff.”

The Marching 100 performed in the 1989 Bastille Day Parade to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, under the leadership of founder William P. Foster, the university says.

“We can’t wait to see them wow the city of Paris once again,” Robinson said.

Director of Bands Shelby Chipman said he received the invitation over the phone and was hesitant at first.

“I picked up the call and the gentleman said he was representing Louis Vuitton,” Chipman said. “I’m just so excited for our students to have this opportunity.”

Chipman said they had seen the band’s videos and wanted them to perform at the Men’s Fashion Week Show.

Returning to Paris a second time is even more special for Chipman, since he originally performed with the band in 1989 at the Bastille Day Parade.

“It’s a credit to our band, students and to our institution to do everything to promote the FAMU brand,” he said.

The band will be flying out for rehearsals during this all-expense-paid trip on June 19 to perform at Men’s Fashion Week in Paris.

The Marching 100 is known as the “best marching band on land,” and they have recently performed at the 2021 NFL pregame concert in Tampa last September and the 2021 NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta.

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