College Day Live: PVAMU Band to Visit DHS

DeSoto High School Principal Shares Her PVAMU Legacy Ahead of a Visit from the Band, The Marching Storm
Posted on 09/23/2021
PVAMU Band 2019

As the DeSoto High School seniors and staff experience the sights and sounds of the renowned Prairie View A&M University’s band,” The Marching Storm” this Friday at 9:30 AM at DeSoto Eagle Stadium located at 600 Eagle Drive, there are some DeSoto Eagles who will remember this Historically Black College and University (HBCU) College Day Live experience from a more personal lens.

Monica Smith, the new principal of DeSoto High School, is known for her educational ranks at multiple schools across the Dallas area. However, her leadership legacy began before the launch of her professional career. On Friday, she will get a chance to reminisce on her history-making moments as the first female drum major of the Prairie View A&M Marching Storm. Smith will welcome her infamous college band to the district's new athletic field and introduce her faculty and students to the roots of her leadership.

Just like the flashy drum majors of the band today with nearly 300 members, Smith led the marching band of more than 200 fearlessly across the field and in their famed dance routines for three seasons.

“I went to Prairie View A&M University in 1990 and played the clarinet in the band. During the summer of my first year, I auditioned for the drum major and maintained that position until I graduated,” shared Smith who is extremely proud of her place in the school’s history. “I normally return every year and march with the alumni band during the homecoming parade and marching band during the game.” 

Smith PVAMU’s legacy continues with her son who is a 2019 Prairie View A&M graduate. Her daughter currently attends the University and is in her senior year. 

Smith is committed to helping students achieve their highest potential. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to work with several students and even drove and helped move in with a former student, who is now a nurse in Houston. 

In addition to the university’s band, the Prairie View A&M University Black Fox dance team will also perform during the university’s visit to DeSoto High School.


Regina Tucker, the award-winning DeSoto High School Fine Arts instructional leader and dance team sponsor will get to see her Prairie View legacy group, the Black Foxes, perform on her turf.

“I was recruited out of high school to play the flute in the band and missed dancing, so I auditioned to be a Black Fox the following year,” said Tucker. 

Like Smith, Tucker’s son is following in her footsteps.

“My son is currently a tuba section leader with the Marching Storm and will be here on Friday as well,” Tucker said. “Last year, he volunteered to help me teach a dance routine to the Desoto Band and prepare them for the HBCU field show during the season’s playoff games that I do each year.”

For several years, the Prairie View A&M University's Marching Storm band travels to Dallas for the annual State Fair Classic in which both the band and football team face their friendly rivals from Grambling State University. 

In recent years, they've turned the visit into a full-blown tour, visiting local high schools all across the metroplex, and DeSoto High School remains one of their stops.

DeSoto ISD LETS GEAR UP Program Director Robin Johnson-Ford said the visit gives students inspiration and connection to the future. 

"It helps them to see what they can be after high school and how they can achieve their dreams. The visits also allow them to see former students in action and this can further inspire them to attend college, build relationships and network, and be the person that they desire to be,” said Johnson-Ford. “From the band director to the college president or dean of education, these visits open up many doors for students and allow them to seek to reach their highest potential.”

The esteemed Prairie View A&M University Band, The Marching Storm will visit DeSoto High School on Friday, September 24 at 9:30 a.m. 

Following the 30-mins of performance, select students will have more informational sessions with the band and other university staff. 

This year, at least four DeSoto graduates who are current Prairie View A&M University students are also expected to be in attendance and recognized by their former teachers and campus.

*Content supported by Keedra Lindsey, LETS GEAR UP