October 24, 2011 at 10:30 AM EDT
Final Eight HBCU Bands Chosen for 10th Annual Honda Battle of the Bands

The nation’s marching band fans have spoken, and have chosen the top eight marching bands at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for the 2012 Honda Battle of the Bands. Now marking 10 years of celebrating the heritage, showmanship and scholarship of HBCU bands, the Honda Battle of the Bands will bring “The Homecoming” to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for the Invitational Showcase, Saturday, January 28, 2012.

The "Marching Wildcats" of Bethune-Cookman University go airborne briefly as part of their high-step ...

The "Marching Wildcats" of Bethune-Cookman University go airborne briefly as part of their high-stepping performance at the 2011 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase in Atlanta this past January. BCU and seven other top Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching bands have officially earned selection to the 2012 Showcase, taking place January 28th at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (Photo: Business Wire)

Following are the HBCU marching bands that will earn a $20,000 grant for their music education programs and an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2012 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase:

Albany State University “Marching Rams Show Band” (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)
Bethune Cookman University “Marching Wildcats” (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)
Jackson State University “Sonic Boom of the South” (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
Prairie View A&M University “Marching Storm” (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
South Carolina State University “Marching 101” (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)
Tennessee State University “Aristocrat of Bands” (Independent)
Virginia State University “Marching Trojan Explosion” (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association)
Winston-Salem State University “Red Sea of Sound” (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association)

For the eight winning bands, the journey to the Invitational Showcase involved months of practice and training, all in preparation for their Georgia Dome performances, where each band will have 12 dazzling minutes to showcase the musical excellence, distinctive style and superior showmanship that earned them a place in the 2012 Invitational Showcase. The Showcase bands are chosen via online voting, with votes by fans, students and alumni accounting for one-third of the selection criteria, and band directors and school presidents accounting for the balance of the selection process.

This year’s event theme, “The Homecoming,” reflects on the 10th anniversary of the Honda Battle of the Bands and calls for all HBCU marching band alumni, current HBCU students and the many fans of the event to meet in Atlanta for this special anniversary showcase event. The homecoming theme also highlights the importance of marching band culture to black college homecoming celebrations.

“We are excited to be celebrating 10 years of the Honda Battle of the Bands as we continue to support the music education programs of our nation’s HBCUs,” said Marc Burt, senior manager, Office of Inclusion and Diversity for American Honda. “We hope that Black college marching band fans and alumni will attend this year’s Invitational Showcase as we anticipate a great community turnout and even greater performances by the top eight HBCU marching bands.”

The Honda Battle of the Bands website is the sole online destination and clearing house for all HBOB information, updates, polling status, photos and video footage, and is a one-stop resource for all questions about the program. Fans are encouraged to also follow Honda Battle of the Bands on Twitter (@the_honda) and to become a fan of the Facebook page (Honda Battle of the Bands) where they can share memories, photos and engage in trivia, and get updates on the 2012 program. For more information about the Honda Battle of the Bands, please visit www.HondaBattleoftheBands.com.

Honda on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HondaBattleoftheBands
Honda on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/the_honda
Honda on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/hondabotb

About Honda

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, lawn-care equipment and engines at its eleven major U.S. manufacturing operations, using domestic and globally sourced parts. Honda’s long-standing commitment to the support and success of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities began more than 20 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 nine years ago as an effort to support HBCU music programs.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50040031&lang=en

Contacts:

American Honda
Erika Braxton-White, 310-783-3549
erika_braxton-white@ahm.honda.com
or
Flowers Communications Group
Ronald E. Childs, 312-228-8807
rchilds@flowerscomm.com
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