Southern University is affectionately known to have the best band in the nation. Including over 200 members, the band is historically a heritage driven band. Among the SWAC marching bands, Southern University Human JukeBox is ranked #4 in the nation, according to USA Today.
While many focus on the band as a unit, the life of a member of the Human JukeBox can be a bit busy. “The biggest thing is time management. Having a planner and calendar is my biggest asset when balancing band, school, and personal life. Especially when managing your time by the hour,” said Johnny Lopez, Southern University tuba player.
According to Lopez, balancing school and extracurricular activities can be a bit of a struggle. “The band members are the most hard working students on and off campus. Depending on the objective of the night, we do not leave practice until the assignment is understood,” said Lopez.
The hard work and dedication that the band puts in is real, especially if practice doesn’t end until past midnight. Additionally, being a part of the band gives the students a chance to experience things they’ve never experienced.
“Traveling with the band, experiencing the events, performances, crowds cheering you on. That is the best feeling ever,” said Lopez when asked about the impact that traveling with the band has left with him.
Many members of the Human JukeBox are not from Louisiana, but according to Lopez, being a member provides many new students with the opportunity to gain new experiences. “Most students coming from different parts of the world don’t always get that experience. The band gave me an experience I would have never gained in Charlotte, North Carolina where I am originally from. Being a part of the Human JukeBox has been the biggest blessing of my life. It’s been able to provide me with better discipline structure and better at managing my time.”
Being a part of the band gives you a once in a lifetime experience to be a part of campus life and experience it in a way that no other student can. Being a member of the Jukebox is a lifestyle, and for people like Johnny, it’s like living the dream.