TORRANCE, Calif., – A record number of votes helped select a dynamic lineup of marching bands from our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to perform at the 16th Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) Invitational Showcase on January 27, 2018. The annual event is the culmination of the HBOB program and provides a national platform to highlight a key element in the HBCU community and campus life – the marching band. The invitational showcase will feature extraordinary musicianship, sport, and choreography from eight HBCU marching bands and dance squads who are ready to electrify the city of Atlanta.
With a mix of six HBOB veteran bands and two newcomers, the eight bands slated to perform at the 2018 HBOB Invitational Showcase include:
- Alabama A&M University, Marching Maroon & White Band (Southwestern Athletic Conference) – fifth appearance
- Alabama State University, Mighty Marching Hornets (Southwestern Athletic Conference) – sixth appearance
- Bethune-Cookman University, Marching Wildcats (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) – 13th appearance
- Hampton University, The Marching Force (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) – first appearance
- Miles College, Purple Marching Machine (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) – first appearance
- North Carolina A&T State University, Blue & Gold Marching Machine (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) – sixth appearance
- Prairie View A&M University, Marching Storm (Southwestern Athletic Conference) – eighth appearance
- Tennessee State University, Aristocrat of Bands (Ohio Valley Athletic Conference) – eighth appearance
Honda invited all HBCU marching bands to participate in this year’s program. Of the 39 bands that elected to participate, the “final eight” bands were selected through a voting process that incorporates input from online fans, band directors, HBCU school presidents and representatives from American Honda. In addition to a $20,000 grant from Honda to support their music education program, each of the final eight bands will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Invitational Showcase.
“The Honda Battle of the Bands exists to celebrate, support and recognize the excellence of HBCU marching bands by shedding a public light on a hallmark of HBCU culture,” said Steve Morikawa, Vice President, Corporate Relations & Social Responsibility for American Honda. “The Invitational Showcase is a chance for thousands of talented young musicians to show off their teamwork and dedication with highly anticipated performances in front of a captive community of supporters. Honda is proud to continue to support the HBCU community.”
In addition to performances by the final eight bands, Honda will honor one special nominee with the fourth annual HBCU Power of Dreams Award. Students, alumni, and fans are invited to nominate extraordinary individuals taking action and moving their HBCU communities forward. Nominations can be submitted online at hondabattleofthebands.com/power-of-dreams through October 31.