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Home > News Briefs > 2010 Honda Battle of the Bands

Honda Battle of the Bands a hot ticket in Atlanta

Huge crowd expected at showcase of eight top HBCU marching bands

The Florida A&M Marching 100 will perform last at the 2010 Honda Battle of the Bands. ATLANTA, January 23, 2010 — More than 1,800 student musicians and 60,000 fans will converge in Atlanta's Georgia Dome for the 8th annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase. The event will feature eight Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching bands in a high-energy exhibition beginning at 3 PM on Saturday, January 30.

This year's showcase will feature seven-time Invitational Showcase veteran Tuskegee University, as well as first-time showcase participant Southern University. Band sizes range from the small but powerful 120-member ensemble of Clark Atlanta University, to the 400-member goliath of Florida A&M University.

2010 Honda Battle of the Bands Lineup

The Honda Battle of the Bands seeks to celebrate music, community and creative expression through the world's largest and best-known HBCU marching band showdown. Each band will have the opportunity to perform for 12 minutes. The "great eight" bands will perform in the following order:
  1. Clark Atlanta University "Mighty Marching Panthers" (Atlanta, Georgia)
  2. Virginia State University "Trojan Explosion Marching Band" (Petersburg, Virginia)
  3. North Carolina Central University "Marching Sound Machine" (Durham, North Carolina)
  4. Prairie View A&M University "Marching Storm" (Prairie View, Texas)
  5. Southern University "Human Jukebox Marching Band" (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
  6. Albany State University "Marching Rams" (Albany, Georgia)
  7. Tuskegee University "Marching Crimson Pipers" (Tuskegee, Alabama)
  8. Florida A&M University "Marching 100" (Tallahassee, Florida)

To ensure that all fans in the Georgia Dome have a chance to see bands from the "front," half of the bands perform facing one direction and half face the other. These four bands will face the press box: Virginia State University, Prairie View A&M, Albany State and Florida A&M. The other four bands will face the opposite side of the stadium.

Competition among bands to earn an invitation to the Honda Battle of the Bands, which is fondly referred to as "the Super Bowl for Black College Bands," was stiff. The eight participating bands were chosen from a group of 45 bands and were judged on their showmanship, musicianship and fan interaction. Online fan votes accounted for one-third of the selection criteria, with votes from HBCU band directors and HBCU school presidents accounting for the remaining two-thirds. Band directors and school presidents were not allowed to vote for their own institutions.

All participants gathered for the grand finale at the 2009 Honda Battle of the Bands. "The Honda Battle of the Bands is designed to showcase the amazing talents of student musicians and celebrate the musical prowess represented at our nation's HBCUs," said Marc Burt, Senior Manager, Office of Inclusion and Diversity for American Honda. "This event is not only about entertainment, it's also about highlighting the importance of music education and shining a spotlight on vital skills which are learned through band participation like effective communication and teamwork. Honda is proud and honored to be able to bring this enriching experience to every marcher on the field and every band fan in the stands."

Marking its eighth year, the Honda Battle of the Bands is the only national scholarship program that showcases an important facet of HBCU heritage and culture — music education. The eight winning band programs chosen to participate in this year's Invitational Showcase will be awarded $20,000 by American Honda for their music programs in addition to the $1,000 grant they received for participation in the pre-qualifying fall campus event tour. Through this program Honda is awarding a total of $205,000 in scholarships to HBCU music programs for the 2009-10 academic year, and since the beginning of the program, has awarded grants in excess of $1 million.

This year's show features a special guest performance by Ludacris, the Atlanta native best known for his extensive musical library and performances in the Oscar-winning film Crash, and the Academy Award-nominated film, Hustle & Flow. The National Anthem will be performed by a talented local vocalist selected through a promotional radio contest.

Grants, Internships and More

North Carolina Central University will be back to perform for the huge crowd in 2010. As the largest and most highly anticipated musical event of its kind, the Honda Battle of the Bands serves as a platform to shine a rare spotlight on the pageantry, pride and showmanship of HBCU music and culture. It is also the only national music scholarship program of its kind. For the 2010 program, the 45 participating HBCU marching bands in the "Road To the Honda" qualifying program were each awarded a $1,000 grant for their music programs, with an additional $20,000 awarded to the eight winning institutions selected by national opinion polls to participate in the Invitational Showcase.

In addition, the event will include the announcement of the third annual Honda Battle of the Bands Fox Music Experience award winner. The Fox Music Experience provides one lucky Invitational Showcase student musician the opportunity to spend a few weeks in the summer interning on the Twentieth Century Fox studio lot in Los Angeles learning film and television music production first-hand. Also, for the fifth year in a row, the HBOB program also will include the Honda Battle of the Bands HBCU College Recruitment Fair.

Group and individual tickets for the show can be purchased at the Georgia Dome Box Office, or for just $10 and $12.

For more information on the Invitational Showcase, Fox Music Experience music internship program and HBCU Recruitment Fair, visit

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., was founded in 1959 as the U.S. sales and marketing subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Honda currently produces automobiles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, lawn mowers and engines at its nine major U.S. manufacturing operations, using domestic and globally sourced parts. Honda has a long-standing commitment to the support and success of the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities that began more than 20 years ago with the establishment of the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, a program designed to showcase the academic gifts and prowess of HBCU students. American Honda established the Honda Battle of the Bands eight years ago as an effort to support HBCU music programs.

Images courtesy of Honda Battle of the Bands.

Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published or redistributed without permission.

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