Talladega College band on inauguration: 'Forget the politics... We are musicians'

Story highlights

  • The band will perform "Living in America" and "Happy" during the parade
  • Donation website has raised nearly $630,000 so far

Talladega, Alabama (CNN)Alex Liddell Jr. sang an Al Green song as he sorted through recently dry-cleaned uniforms -- deep crimson with Carolina blue accents -- for his marching band's biggest performance ever.

Liddell, the tuba section leader of The Great Tornado marching band of Talladega College, studied a notebook of names and matching uniform numbers. He was pleased at the progress.
But there was still much to do on Tuesday, the day before the band from the historically black college in Alabama would depart to perform in President-elect Donald Trump's inaugural parade in Washington: Sort room assignments. Practice parade songs. Fine-tune the arrangements and choreography.
    The school's decision to have its band participate in Friday's parade has drawn criticism from some alumni and others.
    But the fact that it's going to perform on a national stage is something few would have imagined when it was created in 2012 as an attempt to bolster enrollment and get the college name out there.
    The Talladega College marching band will perform in the presidential inauguration parade on Friday, January 20.