The Top Ten HBCU Bands
By Lauren Miller, eHow Contributor
updated: November 6, 2010
Many spectators flock to football games between historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) for the halftime shows. Known as the "fifth quarter" among HBCUs, halftime shows feature precision drills, elaborate dance routines, flashy drum majors and drumline face-offs between team marching bands. Popular movies and music videos feature some of the most famous HBCU bands. The best college bands also influence the marching style and musical selections of many high school bands.
Known as "Showtime," the Howard University Marching Band represents one of the most prestigious HBCUs. The Washington, D.C.-based school's band marched in the parade for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Florida A&M University
With over 400 members, the FAMU "Marching 100" is one of the largest marching bands in the nation. It is considered to be one of the best marching bands in the country. The Miami Herald called the FAMU's band "the marchingest, playingest, band in the land." FAMU accolades include invitations to several presidential functions including inauguration parades for both President Obama and former president Bill Clinton.
The Southern University band known as the "Human Jukebox" receives frequent invitations to perform at National Football League games and participated in President Obama's inauguration parade. Film director Spike Lee included the band in two of his movies and the band was featured in a segment of ABC's "Nightline in 2004.
Clark Atlanta University provided the setting for the movie "Drumline" and the school's band was prominently featured in the film. "The Mighty Marching Panther" band has appeared in commercials and in many famous parades. Clark Atlanta is a frequent participant in the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational, the premier showcase of HBCU bands.
North Carolina Central University
Known as the "Marching Sound Machine," the North Carolina Central band participated in the 2010 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational. The band also frequently performs in famous parades and government functions.
Prairie View A&M University
Legendary band director George Edwards led the Prairie View A&M University's "Marching Storm" for several years even in the face of the football team's long losing streak of 80 straight games. The band performed at the inauguration of former president George W. Bush in 2001. The British Broadcasting Corporation profiled the band in 2007.