12.14.2008

Cincinnati LGBT Band Members Tapped for Obama Inaugural Parade

Queen City Rainbow Band members slated to march as part of national contingent

Several members of Cincinnati's lesbian and gay marching band will take part in the historic first march of an LGBT band in the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, prior to the swearing in of President Elect Barack Obama. The marching band, itself, will be comprised of band members representing lesbian and gay marching bands from around the country. The marchers are members of bands which make up the Lesbian and Gay Band Association.

Cincinnati resident, Lisa D’Amore, who is the current president of the national organization, tells me that the organization participated in both Clinton inaugurals, back in 1993 and 1997, but the unit was seated and did not march. The band performed “America the Beautiful” during the 1993 Clinton festivities, to which the new president gave them a big “thumbs up.”

2009 will be the first time, she says, that the combined band will get to show off its marching stuff. The national organization was formed 26 years ago, while some of the founding member bands have been in existence for nearly 30 years. The Queen City Rainbow Marching Band and Color Guard was formed in 2002, and consisted of just 5 musicians and two flag twirlers. Today the band has 35 marching members with a 7 member flag corp. The Rainbow Band performs at many functions and events throughout the year in Cincinnati and Kentucky, and can be seen every year leading off the Cincinnati Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade which takes place in June, which for those of you who don’t know, is LGBT pride month.

Ms. D’Amore tells me that there won’t much time for sight seeing or taking in other events. Members, she told me, must pay their own way to DC as well help defray the costs of the trip. She says members have to get to Washington by Saturday, undergo grueling rehearsals on Sunday and Monday, march on Tuesday and return home on Wednesday. Tuesday is the really long day for band members. D’Amore says inauguration day will begin at 3am so that the band can take its place in the lineup on time.

Ohio has two other LGBT marching bands; The Capital Pride Band in Columbus, and The Blazing River Freedom Band in Cleveland. Both of these bands formed in 2003. In addition, Indiana has The Pride Indy Marching Band and Color Guard which formed in 2005. If you’d like to know more about the LGBT bands and organization click here.
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