Virgin’s Richard Branson leads NOLA high school band, prompts backlash

Some were offended, saying only students who have earned the honor should be allowed to wear the uniform.
By: | October 12, 2021

Billionaire Richard Branson said it was an honor and a once-in-a-lifetime experience to don a drum major’s uniform and march ahead of a New Orleans high school band.

But some of the Catholic school’s fans apparently were less enthusiastic about Branson’s appearance Thursday with the St. Augustine High School Marching 100 — the band that integrated an exclusive Mardi Gras parade. The band and Branson paraded to a new Virgin Hotel in New Orleans as part of opening ceremonies.

“I’ve had quite a few exciting experiences in my time, but I’ve never got (a) chance to lead a marching band before — let alone the best marching band in the world,” Branson wrote on his blog Friday.

Aulston G. Taylor, president and CEO of the school, tweeted a letter late Sunday acknowledging that many people have told him only students who have earned it should be allowed to wear the purple and gold uniform.

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