A near capacity crowd rocked the Georgia Dome at the 14th annual Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) Invitational Showcase. The annual marching band event for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) provided eight top marching bands with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver a dynamic performance on a national stage, while earning grants and positive attention for their respective institutions.
This year’s HBOB participants included:
- Alabama A&M University, Marching Maroon & White
- Alcorn State University, Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite
- Bethune-Cookman University, Marching Wildcats
- Jackson State University, Sonic Boom of the South
- The Lincoln University (PA), Orange Crush Roaring Lions
- Prairie View A&M University, Marching Storm
- South Carolina State University, Marching “101”
- Tennessee State University, Aristocrat of Bands
Highlights of the Invitational Showcase included dynamic mixes of music new and old, and dance choreography on a whole new level. Despite being one of the smallest bands and a first-time participant, the Lincoln University Orange Crush Roaring Lions dazzled the crowd with a bold performance and unique trumpet solo. Breathtakingly difficult formations defined the 2016 performances, including a #1 sign from Bethune-Cookman and an eye-of-the-storm hurricane from Prairie View. For the first time in Invitational Showcase history, in addition to a mass band featuring nearly 2,100 student musicians, all eight drumlines performed to close the show.
During the event, Honda honored Ms. Barbara Andrews, a middle school teacher and South Carolina State University alumna, for going above and beyond to support her students and community. In addition to supporting her own students, Ms. Andrews has raised awareness of lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease, and supported South Carolina State University students impacted by the illness. As the 2016 Honda Power of Dreams Award winner, Ms. Andrews was presented with a surprise $15,000 grant on the field to support her dream of establishing a scholarship fund so students and families don’t have to choose between school and their medication.
“Ms. Andrews’ selfless dedication to her students, to her Alma Mater and to those in need is a true example of the spirit and strength of the HBCU community,” said Steve Morikawa, Vice President, Corporate Relations and Social Responsibility, American Honda. “Honda has supported the nation’s HBCUs for more than 25 years, and is proud that so many fans joined us to celebrate student musicians and academic excellence.”
Other quick notes:
– #HBOB hits number two Twitter trending topic in the United States and #4 globally bringing incredible visibility to the nation’s HBCUs
– Honda awarded more than $200,000 in institutional grants to participating colleges and universities
– For the first time in its history, HBOB was live-streamed on Campus Insiders, reaching all 50 states and 40 countries
– Hometown legend Ludacris returned to HBOB to perform for the second time; Musiq Soulchild made a surprise guest performance
No mention on JSU former band director Dowell Taylor being honored by Honda Battle of the Bands… that’s HBCU Sports for ya…