TSU’S Aristicrat of Bands supports Tampa cleanup efforts

TSU band members help in cleanup in Tampa following Hurricane Irma. (Submitted photo, TSU Media Relations)

TSU band members help in cleanup in Tampa following Hurricane Irma. (photo, TSU Media Relations)

(TSU News Service) – In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the City of Tampa assisted residents without food or power due to the storm.

Simultaneously, the city prepared to host the FAMU Tampa Football Classic. The college game brought only 17,102 in the huge Raymond James Stadium, likely due to travel obstacles and life disruptions for fans caused by the hurricanes.

Steady offense and another strong performance by the defense lifted the Tennessee State University Tigers (3-0) to a 24-13 football victory over the Florida A&M University Rattlers (1-2) on Saturday night in the FAMU Tampa Classic.

The day before the big game, TSU’s The Aristocrat of Bands participated in the city’s clean up efforts.

“I am really elated to be able to help the people of Tampa in their time of need,” said Eyonchrisshea “Shea” Dumas, a majorette in the band and a senior healthcare administration and planning major. “The band has always emphasized community service and I am really looking forward to help.”

According to city officials, the band members helpedin cleanup efforts in Cypress Point Park and Gadsden Park, which sustained widespread damage when the city was hit by 85 MPH winds when Irma landed.

“The band program is a well rounded program where we encourage our students to be Aristocrats both on and off the field,” said Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of bands. “Promoting academic success, service projects in the community and overall great people, is the band’s norm.”

Meg Heimstead, artistic supervisor of creative arts in the Tampa Department of Park and Recreation, said the city is grateful for the band’s help.

“A huge thank you to the band for helping the City of Tampa clean up after the storm,” Heimstead said. “I can’t tell you how much we appreciate it.”

The Aristocrat of Bands has performed in more than 15 nationally-televised NFL half-time shows, three presidential inaugurations and has appeared and performed in a variety of television, movie and concert venues. The band was the first collegiate band to perform the halftime show in the 51-year history of the Pro Football Hall of Fame game. Last year, it performed on the lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.