In June 2003, 28 musicians took to the streets of downtown Columbus in what was the Columbus Pride Band’s first Pride march. To understand the enormity of this accomplishment one need only look to the roots of the band and its unique, humble beginnings. In 1999, a lone trumpet player showed up on a dare at the Bat-N-Rouge softball charity event. He assisted the FDS Hygiene cheerleaders in exhorting the crowd and providing encouragement to their team by blaring out the familiar sounds like “Charge” and “Eat ’em Up Raw Raw Raw.” The following year, the trumpeter and his percussionist friend organized a 13-member pep band that took Bat-N-Rouge by storm. By Pride 2002 the group numbered 25+ and rented a Yellowbird school bus to transport members on a progressive pep rally to five different bars and then on to a grand entrance at the softball fields.
That brings us to 2003. Although there was a general consensus among members as far as taking the next step and performing in the Pride Parade, some leaned toward riding on a flatbed truck, a la Aladdin Shrine Band/Circleville Pumpkin Show parade, while others were adamant about marching. The marching contingent won out and, as the saying goes, the rest is history.
Since then, the band has grown to over 100 musicians and, in addition to the Pride Parade, the Columbus Pride Concert band presents two concerts a year. Members also perform in ensembles such as pep band during OSU football season, Holiday Brass at German Village Lights, hired events including drag shows and weddings, and more. The band’s sound, musicianship, and participation have continued to grow each year, as has its audience.