On Saturday, January 30, eight selected bands chosen by voters, competed at the Honda Battle of the Bands in Atlanta, GA at the Georgia Dome. The featured schools were Alabama A&M, Alcorn State, Bethune Cookman, Jackson State, Lincoln University, Prairie View A&M, South Carolina, and Tennessee State University.
The Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) was created in 2003 to showcase and support the talents and efforts of band programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Honda annually awards more than $205,000 in grants to participating marching bands during the program. The voting process for the bands begin in September and runs through October. Once all the votes are calculated, eight bands are invited to perform in front of thousands of fans. During this competition no winner is selected, however bands compete for the favor of the audience.
The 2016 invitational showcase included field show performances to popular and old school songs. It also included special guest performances from Ludacris, Musiq Soulchild and the Dancing Dolls from Lifetime’s hit show “Bring It” who performed with Alcorn State’s band.
This was Alcorn’s second time making an appearance at the HBOB and the fans were not disappointed. “The total Honda Battle of the Bands experience was a success. The students did an excellent job and enjoyed themselves in Atlanta,” said Alcorn’s Assistant Band Director Melton Harvey.
Another phase of this event was the high school recruitment fair which was held the morning before the competition. This was a good opportunity for high school students to get more information about colleges of their interest, the band/auxiliary programs at these universities and it was also a good opportunity for the universities to market their programs and expand the overall student population and increase the band size.
Overall, this competition was a good opportunity for college musicians to network with people from different schools and to come together to showcase the art of music and drilling to wow the crowd. Sophomore music education major Ricky Bullock from Jackson, MS said, “as musicians we need to connect with each other and this event is an excellent opportunity to do just that.”