Black College Bands ‘Get Paid’ to Showcase Talents
Marching bands from eight historically Black colleges brought their unique, high-stepping, energetic musical performances to the Atlanta Georgia Dome in January as part of the inaugural Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase.
The Honda Battle of the Bands is the first national program of its kind to showcase the musicianship, pageantry and showmanship of Black college marching bands. Each band received $10,000 from American Honda Motor Co., Inc. for its participation. Marching bands from Grambling State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Florida A&M University, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, Clark Atlanta University, Morris Brown College and Morehouse College participated in the showcase.
The showcase highlighted the eight schools, which were judged to have demonstrated the greatest showmanship, musicianship and fan interaction throughout the Honda Battle of the Bands Celebration Tour. Band selection for the Invitational Showcase was determined by an online fan opinion survey, as well as opinion surveys completed by HBCU presidents, conference commissioners and band directors.
As sponsor of the Honda Battle of the Bands, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. awarded $125,000 in grants to marching bands during the program period.
Black marching bands received national attention with the release of the movie “Drumline” in December, which featured Morris Brown College’s Marching Wolverine Band and the fictitious Atlanta A&T University.
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