On October 10, 2015 Alcorn State University’s Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite Marching Band (SOD) hosted its first annual Battle of the Bands at Spinks-Casem Stadium. The event played host to high school bands in the area as well as high schools from Louisiana and East Mississippi. Students, family and friends came out in numbers to support the students as well as enjoy an atmosphere of music and fun.
Alcorn’s Head Band Director, Dr. Renardo Murray, says the purpose of events such as the Battle of the Bands is to bring in support of SOD as well as promote music education in the community.
Murray stated, “We want people to come out to an event that’s family oriented where they can have a great time. This event promotes something positive for our students and allows the community to see how important music education is in schools.”
The battle was set up between eight high school bands from Natchez High School, Jefferson County High School, Canton High School, Hydleburg High School, Holmes County High, Pine Bluff High School, Belaire High School and General Trass High School from Lake Providence, Louisiana. The competition was broken down into different divisions for each category. General Trass High School took home the first place trophy for Best Drum Majors. The Youth Dance Teams, the Pretty Pink Panthers and The Untouchables went head to head in a stand battle showdown with the Pretty Pink Panthers taking home first place.
In the final division Pine Bluff High School went up against Belaire High School for the grand prize with Belaire taking home the first place trophy for Best Field Show.
“This was a really great battle and the scores were close. I think the kids did a fantastic job. In my opinion everyone is a winner,” Murray said.
Gevante Titus, a senior Music Education major and Drum Major for the Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite says events such as the Battle of the Bands can give students the push to learn more about music.
Titus stated, “I think it puts a thought in everyone’s mind dealing with music. Music is something that everyone knows about but maybe not as in depth as others but this event can push a person to want to learn more or even become a Music Education major.”
Murray says next year’s agenda for the Battle of the Bands’ competition is to keep the same tempo as this year’s competition.
“We want to come back to the same place and bring more bands and maybe a few artists. We want to get students out to the campus and take what we’ve started and build from there,” Murray said.