It takes more than just marching and rhythm to be a member of the Southern University Human Jukebox.
“It takes a lot of dedication,” said Dovan Willis, the trombone section leader.
How much dedication?
“I’d say at least 30 to 35 hours a week. Now, this is a fulltime job. You got to love it,” said Director of Bands Nathan Haymer.
Haymer said these students definitely love it. They work all year to get to this moment.
“It’s a friendship. It’s a kinship. It’s a fellowship. It’s even a relationship,” Haymer said. “Everything rides on this.”
The band is preparing for the Battle of the Bands competition against Grambling State, just before the Jags take on the Tigers at the Bayou Classic. This is where both of the bands showcase their best skills and see who comes out on top.
Last year, Grambling won, but this year, the Jukebox is ready to bring it. Drum Major Keith Morgan said that takes lots and lots of practice.
“I step out, my little 17 seconds. I figure out what I want to get done, and I just constantly practice it,” Morgan said.
Clarinet player Myrikle Jackson said it’s worth it.
“The people’s faces and the cheering and the back binds of our drum major and leaving it all on the field,” Jackson said. “It’s going to be nice.”
“Being able to move people with our music is an amazing feeling,” Willis said.
“To know that I’m an advocate for my university means a lot to me, and representation through the band,” Morgan said. “It’s always a pleasure. It’s always an honor.”
It is going to be a busy week ahead for the Human Jukebox. The band will head to New Orleans on Thanksgiving day. Battle of the Bands will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Friday at 6 PM, then the Bayou Classic is set for Saturday, November 28th.