|Derek Webber, director of Promotions and Operations for Urban Sports and Entertainment Group, (first on right) presents Julian White, director of bands and chairman of the Department of Music, and Provost Cynthia Hughes Harris with the official plaque inviting the Marching "100" to participate in the Honda Battle of the Bands.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Marching “100” has been chosen as part of the 2009 lineup of marching bands for the seventh annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase scheduled for Saturday, January 24, 2009 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Ten Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching bands have been chosen to participate through a combination of online voting by fans and a selection process involving HBCU band directors and university presidents. The 2009 lineup includes the following:
• Florida A&M University and North Carolina A&T State University, representing the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC);
• Virginia State University and Fayetteville State University, representing the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA);
• Tuskegee University and Kentucky State University, representing the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC); and
• Jackson State University and Texas Southern University, representing the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC);
• North Carolina Central University and Edward Waters College, both independents.
HBOB is the largest and only national scholarship program that showcases the proud heritage of HBCU college marching bands. As an annual, national scholarship program emphasizing music education, the 10 bands selected to participate in this year’s Invitational Showcase will be awarded $20,000 by American Honda for their music scholarship programs — a $10,000 increase over last year. They also will receive an additional $1,000 grant for their participation in the Celebration Tour, HBOB’s pre-qualifying event series. In total, $244,000 in scholarship monies will be granted to HBCU music programs through this program for 2008-2009.
The 2009 Invitational Showcase will continue its legacy and distinction as “the Super Bowl for Black College Bands” when it welcomes more than 2,200 HBCU student-musicians to the Georgia Dome in January. This year, Honda Battle of the Bands welcomes four new bands and looks forward with anticipation to the return of HBOB’s longest running participant, Virginia State University, and the goliath of all marching bands – 420 member-strong Florida A&M University.
“The Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase not only celebrates the pageantry and showmanship of America’s HBCUs, but also works to expose people, young and old, to the power and importance of music and higher education,” said Marc Burt, senior manager, Office of Inclusion and Diversity for American Honda. “Music education has been shown to have a strong correlation with high academic achievement, and American Honda has been humbled to bring an event that combines both. Our overarching objective is that this program continues to grow in stature and significance.”
The Honda Battle of Bands HBCU Recruitment Fair will return this year for the fourth year in a row. This event, held prior to the main event in the Georgia World Congress Center, presents young people with the opportunity to meet with marching band and admissions recruiters from all around the country to discuss their unique music programs and distribute information about admissions requirements, academic programs and scholarship opportunities. Last year, 34 schools exhibited and nearly 2,000 young people attended.
Interested high school students and their parents are welcome to visit the Honda Battle of Bands HBCU Recruitment Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the day of the event to learn more about the nation’s black colleges, their music programs, scholarships and admissions requirements.
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, personal watercraft, lawn mowers and engines at its eleven 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 19 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 Honda Battle of the Bands seven years ago as an effort to support HBCU music programs.
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