GSU band featured in ESPN magazine - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

GSU band featured in ESPN magazine

Posted: Updated:

GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Grambling State University's World Famed Tiger Marching Band is no stranger to publicity, so when a recent phone call came from ESPN, Larry Pannell considered it normal.

"We're no strangers to ESPN," said Pannell, the director of the bands. "For me, it was just another typical telephone call. They knock on this door so much."

The week before Grambling State University's December graduation, Pannell received a phone call from ESPN. They needed 10 band members to travel to New Orleans on Dec. 23 for turnaround photo shoot at a famous and popular club called Tipitina's. ESPN provided band members and two faculty members with their own tour bus. The bus was equipped with a living room, 12 beds inside, each with its own DVD player, and more. Pannell and band members said they felt like celebrities.

New Orleans musician Trombone Shorty, whose birth name is Troy Andrews, is featured in the photograph with New Orleans Saints wide receiver Kenny Stills and defensive end Cameron Jordan. It's a part of the magazine's fantasy halftime show package, providing readers with seven musical choices to see which act they would love to see during a Super Bowl halftime show.

This is not the first time the band has received national attention, and not the first time they've been featured by sports media.

ESPN, the world leader in sports and sports entertainment, needed a band that would complete ESPN The Magazine's music issue, which hits the stands Feb. 3. With the 48th Super Bowl scheduled for Sunday night, ESPN reached out to GSU's marching band to make the issue complete.

Grambling has played a central role with the Super Bowl's halftime history and the magazine's music issue "had to tell that story," said Rob King, ESPN's senior vice president for editorial, print and digital media.

"We did research into the history of Super Bowl halftimes," said King, "It became clear that anything we did had to include the robust presence of the Grambling State Band."

After receiving the news from Pannell, senior Zachary Turner said he treasured the opportunity before it happened. "It means a lot knowing that this is my last year here with the band to represent the World Famed," said Turner, who is seen holding his saxophone with his hand pointed in the air in the two-page photo spread feature in the magazine. "It is a lot of good exposure for our university, and HBCUs in general."

In 1967, GSU's marching band performed at the first Super Bowl after the American Football League played the National Football League in the championship game before there was a single professional football league. All together, the World Famed has performed at four Super Bowl half time shows. The last Super Bowl half time performance that the band performed in was in 1998 at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif.

"When you first walked on the bus, there was a living room," said Tèsia Thomas. "It made you feel like a celebrity going on a tour because, it was much better than riding a charter bus."

In the ESPN magazine photograph, Thomas, a sophomore majoring in social work, is standing adjacent to New Orleans Saints wide receiver Kenny Stills, holding her saxophone. "We were able to network with Trombone Shorty, and he also exchanged numbers with us."

Though this wasn't anything new for Pannell, he said "for the students, GSU, the State of Louisiana it was indeed a joy and we have an appreciation for being chosen."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • West Monroe woman charged with bigamy

    West Monroe woman charged with bigamy

    Sunday, April 20 2014 2:37 PM EDT2014-04-20 18:37:50 GMT
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A Ouachita Parish woman has been arrest for bigamy after one of her husbands filed a complaint.
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A Ouachita Parish woman has been arrest for bigamy after one of her husbands filed a complaint.
  • Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after gear fails

    Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after gear fails

    Sunday, April 20 2014 3:31 PM EDT2014-04-20 19:31:47 GMT
    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Malaysia Airlines says a flight heading to India made an emergency landing in Kuala Lumpur after it was forced to turn back when its right landing gear malfunctioned.
    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Malaysia Airlines says a flight heading to India made an emergency landing in Kuala Lumpur after it was forced to turn back when its right landing gear malfunctioned.
  • Broadcaster Sunny Meriwether, 62, dies Saturday

    Broadcaster Sunny Meriwether, 62, dies Saturday

    Sunday, April 20 2014 3:04 PM EDT2014-04-20 19:04:00 GMT
    MONROE, La. - (KNOE 8 News) - Broadcaster and former KEDM news director Sunny Meriwether died Saturday at the age of 62.
    MONROE, La. - (KNOE 8 News) - Broadcaster and former KEDM news director Sunny Meriwether died Saturday at the age of 62.
  • Cypress Inn shut down due to structural issues

    Cypress Inn shut down due to structural issues

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:58:50 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A Monroe landmark restaurant is closed by the state of Louisiana.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A Monroe landmark restaurant is closed by the state of Louisiana.
  • Columbia woman arrested for operating meth lab

    Columbia woman arrested for operating meth lab

    Saturday, April 19 2014 4:04 PM EDT2014-04-19 20:04:09 GMT
    COLUMBIA, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A Caldwell Parish woman was arrested Friday night for operating a meth lab.
    COLUMBIA, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A Caldwell Parish woman was arrested Friday night for operating a meth lab.
  • Gomez, Snider ejected after Brewer-Pirates brawl

    Gomez, Snider ejected after Brewer-Pirates brawl

    Sunday, April 20 2014 3:53 PM EDT2014-04-20 19:53:09 GMT
    Brewers CF Carlos Gomez and Pirates OF Travis Snider were ejected from a game Sunday afternoon following a third-inning brawl.
    Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez and Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Travis Snider were ejected Sunday after a shouting match quickly escalated into a full-scale brawl.
  • Fire destroys home, being called suspicious

    Fire destroys home, being called suspicious

    Fire destroys home, being called suspicious

    Saturday, April 19 2014 5:54 PM EDT2014-04-19 21:54:37 GMT
    CALHOUN, La. (KNOE 8 News) - An early morning fire on Saturday that sent two to the hospital destroyed a Calhoun family's home. Giving little details into the investigation, crews are calling the fire suspicious. And police and investigators are getting two different stories.
    CALHOUN, La. (KNOE 8 News) - An early morning fire on Saturday that sent two to the hospital destroyed a Calhoun family's home. Giving little details into the investigation, crews are calling the fire suspicious. And police and investigators are getting two different stories.
  • Monroe man second arrest in Lil' Snupe murder

    Monroe man second arrest in Lil' Snupe murder

    June 25, 2013 10:44 PM 2013-07-08 21:21:39 GMT
    WINNFIELD, La. (KNOE 8 News ) - Update: Winnfield Police have made a second arrest in the continuing investigation of the homicide death of Addarren Ross, aka "Lil Snupe". 
    WINNFIELD, La. (KNOE 8 News ) - Update: Winnfield Police have made a second arrest in the continuing investigation of the homicide death of Addarren Ross, aka "Lil Snupe". 
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KNOE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.