From the time he was in elementary school until he created the Sounds of Success (SOS) Community Marching Band in February of this year, Antoine Miller, 29, has been in love with bands. Not stage bands; traditional marching bands. With drum majors. And tubas. The SOS Band has nearly 70 members who range in age from 10 to 40 and they practice nearly every day at the Boys & Girls Club in Riviera Beach. Currently, they play somewhere, every single weekend.
“I don’t know, I’ve always just loved marching bands,” said Mr. Miller, who played for the FAMU Marching 100–of course—and is planning to do a documentary on the subject. “And the more I work with young people, the more I see why: bands keep you focused, active, involved. Plus, you learn stuff and have a lot of fun.”
Some of their upcoming events:
- The SOS Band will be perform at the MLK Parade in Riviera Beach on January 19, which starts at 10 a.m. They will march with Mayor Thomas A. Masters.
- Following the parade, the band will also perform in the Battle of the Bands at Suncoast Community High School, which starts at 4 p.m.
- On January 21, it will perform in St. Petersburg., Fla., at another MLK-related parade.
- And it will be the only band from the state of Florida at the African-American Day Parade in Harlem, N.Y. on September 21, 2019.
Watch a video report of the busy band below:
Mr. Miller said he is also planning a Battle of the Bands in Fort Pierce in September. How can he put an event together with a dozen bands? Because he knows everybody in the marching band industry–from Willie Pyfrom, the Belle Glade resident who “taught pretty much all of us in Palm Beach County,” Mr. Miller said, to Timothy E. Nance, who was a band director at J.F. Kennedy Middle School for 22 years before, in 2011, being appointed an assistant principal. Mr. Miller calls them both ‘maestros.’
And remember we mentioned tubas? They cost thousands of dollars a piece and the SOS Band needs five. Got any to donate? Want to make a financial contribution? Click here, use the band’s code, FBMRRKS, and just follow the prompts. And to reach the hard-working Mr. Miller: email@example.com.