DeKalb County educator, grads to shine in Beyonce's documentary on Coachella

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Beyoncé made history with her Internet-breaking Coachella performance last year, and the megastar is making headlines again as fans await the release of her behind-the-scenes documentary, chronicling the pop culture phenomenon.

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"Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé" will be released on Netflix on April 17. The singer became the first African-American woman to headline the California-based music festival. Her performance also became the most-viewed live performance on YouTube in Coachella's history with more than 458,000 viewers around the world at its peak, according to a news release from the site. The singer paid homage to the culture of historically black colleges and universities in the U.S. during her set, backed with a full ensemble of dancers, a marching band as well as black fraternity and sorority life themes.

Some viewers in metro Atlanta may recognize several musicians on stage with 'Queen Bey.'

DeKalb County Schools Music Coordinator Don P. Roberts served as a consultant for the show. Roberts, a former band director for Southwest DeKalb High School and consultant for the Drumline movies, sat down with FOX 5's Marissa Mitchell to talk about his experience working with Beyoncé and her team.

He said, once on board with the project, he rounded up about 30 musicians who had experience playing in HBCU marching bands. The group rehearsed for nearly a month with the star in California.

"They already had the steak, we just brought the seasoning and the spice," Roberts said. "We made it with flavor and you got that true, authentic HBCU culture that came out at Coachella." 

He said all performers had to remain quiet about their involvement in the weeks leading up to the show. In fact, some didn't even know why they were traveling across the country until they got there.

"The biggest thing was keeping it a secret, especially in this day of social media ... I was told you can not tell the band who it is until you get to California. So, we had to basically tell a few white lies," Roberts joked. "...It seeped to a few but, for the most part, the guys did not know that they were performing for Beyoncé until we got to L.A."

Since Coachella, Roberts continues to make music with his company, Drumline Live, which is a touring band and theatrical production. 

Mitchell also spoke with musicians who worked with Roberts on Coachella, including DeKalb County-based grads, musicians and educators Kadeem Chambers, Matthew Ashraf, Wayne Westley and Rashaad Horne.

Link to "Homecoming a Film By Beyoncé" Trailer:

Don  P. Roberts on working with Beyonce's team and keeping the show a secret


Kadeem Chambers on being excited to work with Beyonce and her team


Matthew Ashraf on how performing with Beyonce helps him motivate his students


Wayne Westley on what he hopes people will get out of Beyonce's "Homecoming" Documentary


Rashaad Horne on reliving the experience of performing with Beyonce in Coachella