Honda Battle of the Bands

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The Honda Battle of the Bands (sometimes abbreviated The Honda or HBOB) is an annual marching band exhibition in the United States which features performances by bands from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Sponsored by the American Honda Motor Company, the Invitational Showcase takes place in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia in late January.

The Honda Battle of the Bands Celebration Tour takes place between the months of September and November at regular season football games, although Honda Battle of the Bands (and its abbreviations) is often intended to refer only to the invitational showcase, which first took place in 2003. Seemingly contradictory to the name, Honda's "battle" is not a competition in the traditional sense; that is, no winner is crowned during the event. Rather, the bands compete for the favor of the audience, each other, and the greater community.

The event is the most popular collegiate marching band event in the nation, drawing over 50,000 fans and spectators annually.[1]

Participation[edit]

The fictitious BET Big Southern Classic from the 2002 film Drumline was based on the HBOB.

The Honda Battle of the Bands program includes two components — the Voting Process, which runs September through October, and the "Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase".

Voting: The first band will be selected by popular vote (i.e. the top overall vote-getter will be selected regardless of category). The next three bands will be selected, one from each category by a weighted vote of 1/3 from institution president, band director and online opinion poll from category I, II and III. The categories being 128 instruments or less, 129 instruments up to 160 and 161 or more. This count is total instrument count, no auxiliaries, drum majors, etc. but will include percussion.

Mercedez-Benz Stadium
a. Online Opinion Poll at hondabattleofthebands.com -- 1/3 weight
b. Band Directors’ Votes -- 1/3 weight
c. Presidents’ Votes -- 1/3 weight

Note: Presidents and Band Directors are not permitted to vote for their own institutions. American Honda and Urban Sports & Entertainment Group will select the final four bands based on, but not limited to:

a. Showmanship
b. Social Media Buzz
c. Years of previous participation in the Celebration Tour

Once all the votes are tallied, a total of 8 bands are invited to perform their carefully choreographed, halftime time routines in front of 50,000+ fans.

History[edit]

Started in 2003, 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 more than $205,000 in grants to participating marching bands during the program period and facilitates a HBCU recruitment fair preceding the band showcase.

The following HBCUs have participated in the Honda Invitational Showcase:

Year CIAA MEAC SIAC SWAC Independents
2003[2] Johnson C. Smith Florida A&M Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Tuskegee Grambling Morris Brown, Tennessee State[3]
2004 Johnson C. Smith, Virginia State Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M Clark Atlanta, Tuskegee Alabama State, Prairie View A&M Savannah State, Tennessee State
2005 North Carolina Central, Virginia State Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M Clark Atlanta, Tuskegee Alabama A&M, Prairie View A&M Langston, Savannah State
2006 North Carolina Central, Virginia State Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M Clark Atlanta, Tuskegee Jackson State, Prairie View A&M Central State, Langston
2007 NC Central, Virginia State Bethune-Cookman, Norfolk State Albany State, Clark Atlanta Alabama State, Prairie View A&M Central State, Langston
2008 Virginia State, Shaw Bethune-Cookman, Norfolk State Albany State, Tuskegee Texas Southern, Arkansas–Pine Bluff North Carolina Central, Winston-Salem State
2009 Fayetteville State, Virginia State Florida A&M, North Carolina A&T Kentucky State, Tuskegee Jackson State, Texas Southern Edward Waters, North Carolina Central
2010[4] Virginia State Florida A&M Albany State, Clark Atlanta, Tuskegee Prairie View A&M, Southern North Carolina Central
2011 Virginia State, Winston-Salem State Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State Albany State, Clark Atlanta Jackson State Tennessee State[3]
2012 Virginia State, Winston-Salem State Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State Albany State Jackson State, Prairie View A&M Tennessee State[3]
2013 Winston-Salem State Bethune-Cookman, North Carolina A&T Albany State Alcorn State, Jackson State Edward Waters, Tennessee State[3]
2014 Winston-Salem State Bethune-Cookman, North Carolina A&T, South Carolina State Morehouse Alabama State, Alabama A&M, Arkansas–Pine Bluff None
2015 None Bethune-Cookman, North Carolina A&T, Howard None Alabama State, Jackson State, Southern Talladega, Tennessee State[3]
2016 Lincoln (PA) Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State None Alabama A&M, Alcorn State, Jackson State, Prairie View A&M Tennessee State[3]
2017 Winston-Salem State Bethune-Cookman, North Carolina A&T Benedict College Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Alcorn State, Texas Southern None
2018 None Bethune-Cookman, North Carolina A&T, Hampton Miles College Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Prairie View A&M Tennessee State
2020 None Florida A&M, North Carolina A&T Benedict College Jackson State, Grambling State, Prairie View A&M Hampton, Tennessee State

In 2018, Honda announced that the Battle of the Bands would be on a one-year hiatus in 2019, due to Super Bowl LIII being held in Atlanta. The event resumed in 2020.[5]

In 2020, Honda announced the Battle of the Bands will be on a one-year hiatus in 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[6]

Trivia[edit]

  • The fictitious BET Big Southern Classic from the 2002 film Drumline was similar to the HBOB, with the main difference that the Big Southern Classic was a competition with a declared winner. The HBOB is an invitational showcase and there are usually no official winners.
  • In 2014, HBOB declared an official winner for the first time and it was North Carolina A&T's marching band. HBOB has only declared an official winner once in the history of the event.[7]
  • With 13 appearances, Bethune-Cookman University's marching band leads with the most invitations to the HBOB.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-02-04. Retrieved 2016-02-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ In its inaugural year, Honda did not invite two bands per conference.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Tennessee State competes in the Ohio Valley Conference which is not an HBCU conference, and as such is considered an independent.
  4. ^ Starting in 2010, Honda only invited 8 bands to perform.
  5. ^ "2018 Honda Battle of the Bands". www.hondabattleofthebands.com. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  6. ^ https://hondanews.com/en-US/honda-corporate/releases/release-18cab713621d84ad9098d113e8000223-statement-from-american-honda-motor-co-inc-regarding-2021-honda-battle-of-the-bands
  7. ^ https://relations.ncat.edu/pubs/alumnitimes/2014/jan30/bgmm-honda-winner.html

External links[edit]