What’s this We Hear about a Brouhaha?

Brouhaha Marching Band to ‘Let the Good Times Roll’ on D.I. this Mardi Gras                                       

By Charlie Morrison

This coming week the world will celebrate the annual week of madness, marching, and music known as Mardi Gras, and this year for the first time ever Daniel Island will be marching alongside the rest of the revelers. Thanks to the folks at the Black Tie Music Academy and a few key sponsors, Daniel Island will be home to our own Mardi Gras celebration and parade headlined by the V-Tones band along with the Academy’s own “Brouhaha Marching Band.”

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The Brouhaha Marching Band at a recent practice session

The Brouhaha Marching Band is an informal outfit of face-painted, kazoo toting youngsters and adults who, for the last few months have been practicing every Friday under the tutelage of Black Tie co-owners Kris Manning and Braeden Kershner. The group is free to join, open to everyone, features musicians of all experience and skill levels and in the spirit of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras marching band tradition, favors flair and fun over all else. For band founder Manning, the marching band is all about allowing Daniel Island to express itself.

“Right now, it’s very challenging for folks to express themselves,” begins Manning in an interview with the Daniel Island News. “We want to make sure both the kids and their parents are immersed in both music and art. When they walk in the door for the thirty minutes they are here or the hour they are here they just let it all go, and it’s awesome.”

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Black Tie Music Academy Co-owners Kris Manning (left) and Braeden Kershner (rainbow hair) lead the Brouhaha band in practice each Friday afternoon 

Braeden Kershner

The base beats and melodies to be served us by the marching band will be played by Black Tie instructors, including Manning, Kershner, and Arnold Gottlieb, with each additional member adding whatever they want to the group on top of that.

Some play kazoos, some spoons, some drums, and some band members don’t play at all, choosing instead to add to the group by marching in costume, tap shoes or with a puppet. The collective effect is as Manning calls it, “expression in organized chaos.” 

“A lot of folks can’t conceptualize what the heck this is but when they see it they say ‘ah, ok, I want to bang a drum or I want to show up on roller skates wearing a football helmet and playing a kazoo,” continues Manning. “I just want them to know ‘you can do whatever you want, you can feel any way you want.’”

brou·ha·ha (noun) – [broo-hah-hah]: 

Excited public interest, discussion, or the like, as the clamor attending, Some sensational event; An episode involving excitement, confusion, turmoil, etc.

For Manning, the creative outlet that the Brouhaha Marching Band offers was born of the need for some unhinged, yet good, clean fun on Daniel Island. And she wasn’t the only one who felt that way. When Manning began approaching the community to pitch the event to potential sponsors, she was met with open minds and financial support. Sponsors who’ve signed up to support the event include the Daniel Island Community Fund, Peace, Love and Hip Hop, and the Daniel Island News.

The Mardi Gras parade and celebration will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the evening on “Fat” Tuesday, January 28, at the Guggenheim Park on Daniel Island.

The event will kick off with a sidewalk parade from the Brouhaha Marching Band and continue on with a party in the park headlined by the V-Tones. The event is free to the public, and food and drink specials from area restaurants will be available.

“I went to the POA (Daniel Island Property Owners’ Association), and said ‘hey nothing’s going on for Mardi Gras on the island can we do a big thing?’” says Manning. “I explained to them what we’re trying to do, which is have people express themselves, have a really good time, and kick off the Brouhaha Marching Band, because this is something that’s going to survive after this event so this is just introducing it to the community.”

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Black Tie Music Academy Co-owner Kris Manning, with a dragon puppet she    incorporates into the “organized chaos” of the Brouhaha Marching Band

“We thought, let’s do something here because Daniel Island, there are fun people here. You don’t see them running up and down the streets yet, but you will,” she continues.

The Black Tie Music Academy’s Daniel Island location is located at Seven Farms Drive, #305. For more information on the Academy or the Brouhaha Marching Band, log on to the organization’s website at http://www.blacktiemusicacademy.com or contact Kris Manning directly by phone at (860) 305-7975 or by email at kris@blacktiemusicacademy.com.

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