'Drumline Live' plays the Lied Feb. 9

"Drumline Live" will storm the Lied Center for Performing Arts stage for a 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9 performance. Ticket prices start at $30 for adults and $15 for youth.

The performance will feature the precision and energy present in marching band programs across the southern United States. The versatile group of musicians and dancers bring an explosive energy and athleticism to an eclectic mix of sounds.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities are institutions of higher learning established before 1964 with the intention of serving the African-American community. There are more than 100 historically black colleges in the United States, located almost exclusively in the southeast. These colleges were established after the Civil War as places of dignity and hope where young people had an opportunity to become professionals instead of maids or laborers.

Along with the private black colleges and universities founded later by the American Missionary Association and the Freedmen's Bureau, these reconstruction era schools became the backbone of higher education for African Americans.

It was in these bastions of higher education that the tradition of the show style marching band was born. The tradition began more than 50 years ago at Florida A&M University, which has been long considered the nation's preeminent black college marching band school. These marching bands began, as most do, as support for the college football team. They have since grown into a sport of their own, featuring characteristic high stepping, funky dance rhythms, and exciting musical repertoire ranging from classical to Top 40.

Celebrations of Historically Black Colleges and Universities marching culminate in competitions such as the Big Southern Classic and the Bayou Classic. These competitions draw audiences of roughly 60,000 fans each. Films such as "Drumline" have led to a recent expansion in the popularity of show-style marching bands.

A pre-show talk one-half hour before the performance, will be led by Lincoln High School band director Chris Watson. The talk, free to ticket holders, will be in the Lied Center's Steinhart Room. Space is limited.

— Matthew Boring, Lied Center for Performing Arts