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 box-office. "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 http://www.HondaBattleoftheBands.com .
SOURCE American Honda Motor Company