One of Florida’s Historically Black Universities is enjoying stardom by landing a once in a lifetime deal with the entertainment online streaming giant, Netflix.
In a series of short, documentary-style episodes, the Daytona based Marching Wildcats showcase the ups and the downs of auditioning and being a member of the band, the flag corp and the 14-carat gold dancers.
The New York Times called the project, “…absorbing and compelling.” decider.com said, “…shows just how absolutely awesome a marching band show can be…A 13-minute first episode packed with kinetic music and try-out drama? Yes. Stream it, stream it right now.”
Viewers get to meet the incoming class who is trying to keep the legacy alive as they are directed and schooled by the seniors who are determined to make sure they do. Led by band director Donovan “The Devil” Wells, the Wildcats take it to the field every performance, risking college scholarships and national fame each time they perform.
“Nobody works as hard as we do,” says Band Director Donovan Wells, in the series opener. “Nobody pays attention to the details as much as we do.”
Head Drum Major Bree’shawn Watson described what it feels like to step on the field to perform. “It’s like a rush. When you hear the crowd cheering and you recall all of the hard work you put into the performance, it’s just a rush.”
This isn’t the first time the Cookman Wildcats have graced the big screen. In 2002, B-CU had a significant part in the movie “Drumline” starring Nick Cannon and Zoe Saldana. The Marching Wildcats have also been showcased in major sporting events from the Super Bowl to NFL games.
The Marching Wildcats arrived in Orlando last week to meet with local media outlets. Decked out in the schools primary colors of maroon and gold, with serious faces and instruments in hand, the Drumline sounded-off during top-rated local morning news shows.
When asked about their rival, FAMU’s decision to accept their first female Drum Major, Watson said, he has respect for that because women work just as hard.
For now, fans can get their HBCU band fix on Netflix while waiting for the ultimate HBCU band experience during the Florida Classic which is held in Orlando in November.
Marching Orders is a series of 12 episodes and is available now on Netflix and was made in conjunction with Stage 13 and Gigantic Productions.