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The Full Story


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A musical explosion poured out of the nondescript white building on Wilberforce University’s campus. Just past the door, dozens of students crammed into the one-room space for Tuesday night’s band practice.

Mallets banged on bass drums, their sound reverberating off the walls. The students, their backs arched from carrying the weight of the drums, swayed back and forth. 

A line of sousaphone players tapped their toes with the beat. At once, the brass and woodwind sections all stood up and started to dance. “Let’s go!” they all shouted, raising their instruments in the air and stepping from side to side. The staccato of drumsticks tapping away punctuated the room.

Introducing Wilberforce University's Hounds of Sound.

For the first time in the university’s 167-year history, the nation’s oldest private historically Black university has a marching band. 

Today, the band is 147 students strong and is already on its way to national recognition in just its first year.

In February, the Wilberforce Hounds of Sound were invited to march in the Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. An organizer had seen some of the band’s performances on YouTube and was impressed.


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