ATLANTA -- Four years ago, Dr. Chester Phillips never imagined the Georgia State University band would be performing in the next Presidential Inauguration.
That's because four years ago, his band didn't even exist.
"We founded the band in 2010, and right away we set a long list of goals we'd like to accomplish," Phillips said. "On that list was to get ourselves involved in a national parade. When we saw Inauguration coming up in 2013, we thought: this is an ideal moment to meet that goal."
And that's exactly what they did.
Tuesday night, Dr. Phillips led his 140-plus member band in their final practice before departing for Washington, DC. The students spent nearly two hours in the mostly rainy weather, playing and replaying their selection: "Living in America."
"The moment we step foot off of the bus will probably be the moment the nerves kick in for everybody," said senior Shaun Evans.
For many of these students, Monday's performance will be a long time coming.
"Many of the students in this group were in the founding group, they're charter members and they've been in it since its infancy," Phillips said.
"They remember that first performance back in September 2010, so it's a big payoff for them to see where we've come."
The marching band will be toward the middle of the parade lineup.Students will depart for Washington, DC early Friday morning.