Magnificent Marching Machine marches all the way to NBA All-Star Weekend

Morgan State University’s marching band continues to make history as they perform in the inaugural NBA HBCU Classic game during NBA All-Star weekend.


Jordan D. Brown

30 members of the Magnificent Marching Machine will accompany the men’s basketball team at the NBA HBCU Classic this Saturday in Cleveland.

Jordan D. Brown, Editor in Chief

The Magnificent Marching Machine prepares for another historic performance as they join the men’s basketball team in the inaugural NBA HBCU Classic game.

30 members of the university’s pep band will perform during the men’s basketball game against Howard University on Saturday in Cleveland. Howard’s marching band will perform at the game as well.

Several members of the band, such as Justin Fabiyi-King, drum major of the band and senior information systems major, are ecstatic for the historical performance.

“We get the opportunity to perform and represent Morgan State in the first ever NBA HBCU Classic, making history so I think that’s really a blessing,” Fabiyi-King said. 

“This event is a great opportunity to showcase our university and talent to such a diverse audience. I’m a huge fan of the NBA so being able to attend All-Star weekend is like a dream come true.”

The band prepared for Saturday’s performance these past weeks with rehearsal sessions up until the big day.

Malcolm Mobley, senior electrical engineering major and sousaphone player said, “The band is actually cutting time out of our concert band rehearsal time and using it for pep band to make sure we have everything in order and fully memorized before we leave.”

The band left early Friday morning and traveled to Cleveland by bus as they prepare for a once in a lifetime performance.

The inaugural NBA HBCU Classic grants an opportunity for athletes and band members at both Morgan and Howard to showcase their talents.

This opportunity is not the first time the Magnificent Marching Machine made history as an HBCU band. 

In 2019, the band was invited to perform in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and became the first HBCU to ever perform in the parade.

“Macy’s was great! I’ll never forget that experience for the rest of my life,” said Mobley. “When I have grandkids they won’t hear the end of it! We saw a bunch of celebrities, explored Manhattan, had a pool party at the hotel, and sounded really really good during the parade performance!”

Eva Wise, junior multiplatform production major and mellophone player, said her Macy’s parade experience was thrilling and looks forward to the same feeling at the All-Star weekend.

“The Macy’s Thanksgiving performance was really fun, it was different,” Wise said. I felt really empowered and I got chills all over my body doing it. It felt good to be out there and represent Morgan.”

The Magnificent Marching Machine hopes to have another historical performance representing their school on one of the largest platforms.

The band will perform at 2 p.m. on Saturday during the men’s basketball game. They are set to perform a variety of songs such as Ole Morgan Spirit, I’m So Glad, Lucid Dreams by Juice Wrld, Right Above it by Lil Wayne and more.

The 30 piece ensemble of the band will be led by Eugene Diggs, assistant band director, and joined by Morgan’s cheer and dance teams. 

Diggs said, “I think it’s always a good opportunity when the band gets to perform on national television, especially live and to be the one of the first bands featured in an event like this is definitely a great opportunity for the kids.”

Tune into the band’s performance and the NBA HBCU Classic game on TNT and ESPN2 this Saturday. 

Jewel Champbell contributed to this article.