There are 488.5 miles between Durham, North Carolina, and Dayton. For many band members from North Carolina Central University, these were their first miles ever traveled by plane.
Band director Thurman Hollins led the 28-student band to UD Arena Wednesday, March 15, where NCCU played University of California Davis in the First Four. But, getting there was only part of the fun.
“I’m into the student experience when it comes to our brand program,” Hollins said. “Playing music is always fun, but so is getting the opportunity to travel, meet other people and see different cultures.”
Most students in the band are from North Carolina, but when asked what they think of Dayton, snow and food were the first two words that came to mind.
When the windchill dropped below freezing, band members said a burger from the Oregon Express in downtown Dayton was there to warm their stomachs in preparation for the performance.
“This is my first time at the NCAA Tournament,” said Mariah McClendon, a sophomore band member. “I have really enjoyed seeing other bands, other teams and everyone coming together for basketball.”
Watch a small clip of the NCCU band playing right here.