See You In ATL At The Honda HBCU Battle Of The Bands
The Eight HBCU Bands to participate at the 16th Annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase include:
- Alabama A&M University, Marching Maroon & White Band (Southwestern Athletic Conference) – fifth appearance
- Alabama State University, Mighty Marching Hornets (Southwestern Athletic Conference) – sixth appearance
- Bethune-Cookman University, Marching Wildcats (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) – 13th appearance
- Hampton University, The Marching Force (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) – first appearance
- Miles College, Purple Marching Machine (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) – first appearance
- North Carolina A&T State University, Blue & Gold Marching Machine (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) – sixth appearance
- Prairie View A&M University, Marching Storm (Southwestern Athletic Conference) – eighth appearance
- Tennessee State University, Aristocrat of Bands (Ohio Valley Athletic Conference) – eighth appearance
The Honda Battle of the Bands was created to celebrate, support and recognize the excellence of Black college marching bands and the unique academic experience offered by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Honda annually awards approximately $200,000 in grants to participating marching bands during the program period.
We had the opportunity to interview two senior band members one from Hampton University and the other from Miles College. They told us exactly what this experience means to them.
Student: Indya Hairston
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Major: Music Education
Indya is the Section Leader of the Sousaphone section as well as the President of the Theta Phi Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority, Inc. She got into marching band because she is at her best when she has music.
Indya Is aware of the role band plays in the positive production, and life-saving ability within the community.
Meaning of HBOB opportunity: She is grateful to have the opportunity to be part of the first Hampton band to participate. It is satisfying to see the results of the hard work she has put in during her previous three years.
Importance of networking and w/ HBOB students: She believes that because they may have different experiences, she may be able to learn things both culturally and musically. It just might result in making lifelong friends.
Student: Bobbi Pritchett
Hometown: Covington, Georgia
Major: Communications with a concentration in Electronic and Visual Media.
Bobbi Pritchett, a native of Covington, Georgia and she started band when she was 10 years old. Marching band has always been a tradition on her mother’s side of the family, so she wanted to keep the tradition alive.
Bobbie is a member of the Theta Sigma Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority, Inc.
We are pretty much the big sisters of the band; we work closely with the band directors, make sure the band is straight with everything they need and help prepare for our mind blowing performances. 😉
What drives you to give so much of yourself and time to the band?
- The love I have for band is unconditional. It honestly kept me out of trouble and kept me on my feet with school. Just being able to sit down and produce music out my horn is a stress reliever. This is something I want to keep going in my family, it’s a positive impact.
What does it mean to get the opportunity to perform at the Honda Battle of the Bands?
- This will be my last performance with the Purple Marching Machine so getting to perform at a huge event in my hometown, in front of my family and friends, with members that I love, means a lot to me.
What is the importance of networking and connecting with band students from other schools at HBOB?
- It is very important; you’re meeting other HBCU members that share the same passion as you, which is band. You never know what a simple hello and small conversation can take you.
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