Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) marked its return to Atlanta, with dazzling performances by eight of the nation’s top Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) marching bands and a special set by R&B singer-songwriter Tank. A crowd of more than 58,000 HBCU fans, students and alumni were on hand to witness the celebration of HBCU culture, musical talent and pageantry.
The 17th anniversary HBOB theme, “Be the Dream,”highlighted the power that dreams have to inspire a brighter future. The show opened with a soulful performance by all eight bands, as more than 2,400 musicians and dancers joined together on the field. Additional highlights included Florida A&M’s tribute to Atlanta, Tennessee State University reminding fans to vote, and welcoming the first female band director to conduct at HBOB, Dr. Nikole Roebuck of Grambling State University.
This year’s Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase participants included:
- Benedict College, The Marching Tiger Band of Distinction – second appearance
- Florida A&M University, Marching 100 – seventh appearance
- Grambling State University, Tiger Marching Band – second appearance
- Hampton University, The Marching Force – second appearance
- Jackson State University, Sonic Boom of the South Marching Band – ninth appearance
- North Carolina A&T State University, Blue & Gold Marching Machine – seventh appearance
- Prairie View A&M University, Marching Storm – ninth appearance
- Tennessee State University, Aristocrat of Bands – ninth appearance
Honda awarded $200,000 in grants to this year’s participating bands to help support their music education programs, and covered the bands’ travel and accommodation expenses for the event.
Recruitment Fair Encourages High School Students to Think about College
In addition to the marching band performances, Honda hosted an HBCU College Fair to connect high school students with representatives from over 50 HBCUs. Designed to go beyond just exposing young people to the opportunities offered by the institutions, the college fair enabled prospective students to meet with admissions recruiters and marching band representatives to discuss admissions requirements and scholarship opportunities. This year’s college fair hosted 6,500 attendees.
Honda’s Three-Decade Commitment to HBCUs
Honda has been committed to supporting the success and dreams of the nation’s HBCUs for 30 years. Through initiatives like Honda Battle of the Bands and Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, as well as financial support from the American Honda Foundation, Honda has been able to impact the lives of nearly 200,000 students and award over $12 million in grants in support of HBCU education programs and facilities improvements.