Meet Vanilla Funk: A white drum major at a predominantly black high school

He can kick it

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBMA/CNN/Gray News) – In the halls of Jefferson Davis High School, Justin Heideman is just like any other student.

But when the 17-year-old senior takes his place as the head drum major for the marching band, he becomes something unique – a white student leading a predominantly black band.

There’s no missing him. He’s front and center.

"You really can't help but see color,” said band director Brandon Howard. “Everybody that's not here with us on a daily basis stands out to them automatically. He is the first thing that they see."

The band calls him Vanilla Funk and he’s taking social media by storm.

A video featuring his moves has more than 2 million views.

"It went berserk, and I was like, ‘Oh wow. This is going nuts,’” Heideman said. “I had 800 followers that morning. I went to work and came back, and I had 10,000."

Justin said the attention has been overwhelming but is only possible with his drum major squad and fellow band members.

"Without this band, I wouldn't be the viral sensation,” he said.

Justin wants to march at the next level and expects to major in communications or education and music.

He's applied to Jackson State, Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Troy and Auburn.

All are schools with exceptional marching band programs.

Keep stepping, Justin. Keep stepping.

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