Top Black College Marching Bands Prepare to 'Take The House' in Atlanta

Excitement Builds as Georgia Dome Becomes the Stage for the Third Annual Honda

Battle of the Bands

Nov 15, 2004, 00:00 ET from American Honda Motor Company

    ATLANTA, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- From the first whistle, to the
 show-stopping, spectacular grand finale, fans will be on their feet as the
 Honda Battle of the Bands rolls into Atlanta's Georgia Dome January 29th.  Now
 in its third year, the exhilarating show promises to dazzle as this year's 10
 Historically Black College and University marching bands, nominated from a
 field of 40 participating HBCUs, have been selected to perform at the Honda
 Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase.
     Putting a well-deserved spotlight on a variety of HBCU marching styles,
 this year's top 10 feature tremendously talented show bands, bands noted for
 their drumlines or brass sections and even a number of ensembles best known
 for their dance teams and live halftime surprises.
     As they take the field, these acclaimed black college bands will showcase
 the rich diversity of African American musical heritage and culture with fresh
 routines, riveting choreography and contemporary song selections ranging from
 the best in R&B, funk, Hip-Hop, classical and jazz -- something for fans of
 all ages.  The colleges now set to "march on the Mecca" in the largest and
 only national scholarship program showcasing the pageantry, heritage and
 showmanship of black college bands are:
      -- North Carolina Central University and Virginia State University,
         representing the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA);
      -- Bethune-Cookman College and Florida A&M University, representing the
         Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC);
      -- Clark-Atlanta University and Tuskegee University, representing the
         Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC);
      -- Alabama A&M University and Prairie View A&M University, representing
         the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC); and
      -- Langston University and Savannah State University, both independents.
     HBCU commissioners, presidents, band directors and fans judged the 40
 participating bands on showmanship, musicianship and fan interaction during
 the Celebration Tour, which took place during the college football season.
 School officials were not permitted to vote for their own school.
     "We have a lot of people of different generations to entertain, so we have
 to both reach back, and stay current.  That's the thing that motivates
 creativity," said Warren Duncan, band director of the 144-member Tuskegee
 University "Marching Crimson Pipers" of Tuskegee, Alabama.  "Our (band's)
 appeal is very broad.  You have to bring what's current, as well as to educate
 our new audiences about the music from 'back in the day.'"
     As sponsor of the Honda Battle of the Bands, American Honda Motor Co.,
 Inc. will award $140,000 in grants to the HBCU bands.  Each of the
 participating schools also earned a $1,000 grant for their performances during
 the Celebration Tour.
     The Invitational Showcase is acknowledged as the "Super Bowl" for marching
 bands, and as one of the hottest tickets in town.  General admission to the
 event is $10 and tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster or the Georgia Dome
     "In keeping with tradition, alumni and fan support of this one-of-a-kind
 event has been phenomenal," said Barbara Ponce, manager of Emerging Markets
 National Advertising for Honda.  We're proud to celebrate not just the
 academic excellence and rich cultural heritage of these institutions, but to
 help provide an opportunity for the kind of unity and camaraderie that the
 Honda Battle of the Bands event promotes," she added.
     Honda's long-term commitment to HBCUs was established 15 years ago when it
 introduced the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, a program designed to showcase
 the academic gifts and prowess of HBCU students.  For more information about
 the Honda Battle of the Bands, visit .

SOURCE American Honda Motor Company