Maj. Sherri Tombarge
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Band Travels to New Orleans for Mardi Gras

FullTextImage/img/@altThe combined Regimental Band and Pipe Band prepare to march in the presidential inaugural parade last month. (VMI Photo by Kevin Remington)
LEXINGTON, Va., Feb. 5, 2013 – The temperature will swing 40 degrees, but the spotlight will stay on VMI’s musical ambassadors. In less than a month the VMI Regimental Band and the Pipe Band will go from a national stage in the frigid cold of Washington, D.C., to a national stage in the warm Gulf weather of New Orleans.

The band will perform in the Mardi Gras’ Krewe of Endymion parade on Feb. 9. The Endymion parade, one of the largest parades leading up to Mardi Gras, starts at 4 p.m.

Forecasts call for partly cloudy skies and a high in the 70s in New Orleans for the Saturday’s parade. The uniform for cadets will be coatees without the overcoat.

According to Maj. Burt Mitchell, director of the pipe band, the more than 100 cadets and six staff officers from VMI will travel to New Orleans on two Air Force cargo jets, and they will stay aboard the USS Mesa Verde, which will be berthed at a pier adjacent to the French Quarter.

On Jan. 21, the VMI band marched with the entire Corps of Cadets in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. The temperature in Washington, D.C., eventually rose into the 30s, making cadets glad they were wearing their heavy wool overcoats.