Top HBCU Bands Selected for Honda ShowcaseATLANTA
From a field of 43 historically Black college and university (HBCU) marching bands, 10 have been selected to perform at the second annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase, Jan. 24 at the Georgia Dome. With all the votes tallied, the schools set to march in the only national program showcasing the pageantry and showmanship of HBCU bands are: Representing the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association — Johnson C. Smith University and Virginia State University; representing the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference — Bethune-Cookman College and Florida A&M University; representing the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference — Clark Atlanta University and Tuskegee University; representing the Southwestern Athletic Conference — Alabama State University and Prairie View A&M University; and independent representatives — Savannah State University and Tennessee State University.HBCU commissioners, presidents, band directors and fans judged the 43 participating bands on showmanship, musicianship and fan interaction during the Celebration Tour, which took place during the college football season. As sponsor of the Honda Battle of the Bands, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. will have awarded $143,000 in grants to marching bands as part of this program (see Black Issues, Oct. 23).“We have received an overwhelming response from people around the country who want to attend this unique and exciting event,” says Wendell Bugg, manager of American Honda Corporate Affairs and Communications. “This national program was created to celebrate, support and recognize the excellence of the Black college bands, which have long been an important part of HBCU culture. It’s not about competition, but rather the camaraderie that exists between the HBCU bands and their fans.”Band selection for the Invitational Showcase was based on an on-line fan opinion survey (33.3 percent), as well as opinion surveys completed by HBCU presidents and conference commissioners (33.3 percent) and band directors (33.3 percent). School officials were not allowed to vote for their own school. Each of the 10 Invitational Showcase participants will receive a $10,000 grant.For more information, visit the Web site <www.hondabattleofthebands.com>.
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