'Marching Orders' Q&A

Tell me about the Netflix series? What is it about? What is the meaning behind it?
Alonzo Davis, trombone player: "Marching Orders" is a Netflix series that is about the greatest band in the land, the Bethune-Cookman Marching Wildcats. It shows behind-the-scenes [what] it is like to practice as a Marching Wildcat. it shows what we have to go through being a Marching Wildcat and balancing our social life and our education."
Clayton Ford, clarinet player: "The show is a showcase of the work the Marching Wildcats put into every show that we do. Though every moment isn't shown, the end product is the pinnacle of what can be done with the pride for ourselves, the Marching Wildcats,
Bethune-Cookman University and Mr. Donovan Wells."
Chante Weems, clarinet player: "Our show, Marching Orders, is about how we function as a band on a daily basis. It takes hard work and dedication to have what it takes to be in our band. We work under strict leadership which keeps us up to par."

What was behind the decision to do the show?

Alonzo: "The Marching Wildcats have accomplished many things such as music videos, TV appearances and several appearances at the Honda Battle of the Bands ...maybe 13th or 14. (We are the) the No. 1 HBCU band. People get curious about how we stay No. 1 so it would make sense to have
a series dedicated to our process and showing what it takes to be a Marching Wildcat as well as what it takes to be Bethune-Cookman student."

Ford: "The exposure of HBCUs in a positive light in recent years such as academic and athletic success has propelled social media into rise of black excellence. With each day that passes, we see more positive examples of people that look like us (that) depart their alma maters and accomplish what our ancestors could have never even dreamed about centuries ago. With that being said, bands have usually been the core or heart of an HBCU. It is only natural that the best band out of many others would be chosen to be set on an international stage."

Weems: "For some time now, HBCUs have had a reputation that seems to be
falling. We want to show things that are good about our schools and put light on us. Having a show come out about our band gave us shine. We are a well-disciplined organization and we show that. As we show respect, it'll fall back onto our school, then give credit to our HBCUs."

How do you feel about it? Do you think it was a variety of opportunities for everyone to shine? 

Alonzo Davis- "To me, I feel like it was more circled around all the auxiliaries. Yes, the band had its moments where it showed us marching and playing and learning music but mostly it shows what it takes to be a part of the 14k Dancers and Sophisticats Flags.


How do you feel about it? Do you think it was a variety of opportunities for everyone to shine? 

I don't think it was surrounding the entire band and what every single section has to go through because to insure we sound the way we do when the band comes together. Everything is different within every section even though the end result is the same, the learning curves and dealing with every single person is different . And I don't feel like the series showed everything or even half of what goes on in that damn room."
Clayton Ford- "The show was not bad by any means. However, I felt like the entire band deserves to be highlight if there were to be a second season. There are many sections in the band such as piccolos, clarinet, saxophone, and more. The auxiliaries' and drum majors' roles are vital to the program, but I had a feeling of incompletion in terms of showcasing the entire band. The work behind each staff member is a must for the public to see. Without them, the band would not be as great as we are now." 

Chante Weems- "I personally love the fact that we have our own show. We get to look back on those memorable times. When it first aired, I heard that majority of the episodes were about our 14 Karat Gold dancers, our Sophisticat Flags, and not too much of the band. I preferably wish there were more shots of the band but I still enjoyed watching our dancers and flags."