More than a dozen Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumni, including former members of the Marching “100” band, are showcased in “Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” just released on Netflix.
The film includes highlights of the 2017 FAMU homecoming, performances by former band members and creative input by FAMU alum Don P. Roberts, founder of “Drum Line,” the traveling live show. FAMU graduate Alan Floyd is a top manager for Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment.
Roberts, a 1985 FAMU graduate and former classmate of Marching “100” band Director Shelby Chipman, Ph.D., selected a dozen FAMUans to perform with Beyoncé at Coachella in 2018.
They include Tallie Brinson, Brandon Cunningham, Issac Carter, Rashaad Horne, Lomario Marchman, Jason Price, Naderah Munajj, Trafford Rolle and Brian Snell, Jarmal Terry, and Wayne Westley.
Slater Thorpe, a former Marching “100” drum major, announced for Beyoncé at the Coachella concert and in the movie, Roberts said.
Having been a consultant for the hit movie, “Drumline,” Roberts found Beyoncé’s performance was just as impressive in terms of its cultural importance.
“I thought the movie “Drumline” was the most impactful project as relates to HBCU culture, but more than 15 years later, Coachella ranks right up there with it,” said Roberts, who believes FAMU should offer Beyoncé, who didn’t attend college, an honorary degree. “Coachella is so impactful on the culture and the history of HBCUs, bands, sororities, and fraternities, just in general.”
That message wasn’t lost on FAMU students. Many of them stayed up late to see the documentary as it was released just after midnight Wednesday.
Myrcele (pronounced Miracle) Neal-Scott, president of the Marching “100”, saw the documentary with a group of other band members who were in Torrance, Calif., to perform at the closing ceremony of the 30th annual Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament.
Seeing former Marching “100” band members who they looked up to performing with Beyoncé was powerful, Neal-Scott said.
“It was inspiring and humbling,” said the graduating senior from Pompano Beach, Fla.
Performers wearing FAMU apparel were featured prominently in the film trailer released last week. So as the Neal-Scott and her fellow music students eagerly awaited the section of the documentary featuring the Marching 100 and FAMU, excitement kept building. Then the big moment arrived.
“Everyone went crazy when it got to the FAMU part,” said Neal-Scott, a music student who plays the euphonium. “It made us feel FAMU is the number one HBCU.”
Photo Credit: Don P. Roberts