Fans, students and alumni packed the Georgia Dome on Saturday adding to the energy generated by dynamic performances by eight of the nation’s top marching bands from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) at the one-of-a-kind “House Party,” known as the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase.
An electrifying performance by Grammy Award-winning R&B singer Brandy and American dance music singer and songwriter, Crystal Waters, added additional spark to the Honda Battle of the Bands presented by Verizon Wireless and official banking sponsor SunTrust Bank, which celebrated its 11th annual Invitational Showcase.
The unparalleled pageantry, musicianship and camaraderie of the HBCU marching band experience was on full display with spirited performances by Albany State University, Alcorn State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Edward Waters College, Jackson State University, North Carolina A&T University, Tennessee State University and Winston-Salem State University.
The Showcase also hosted a dance-off between participating HBCU dance teams which used songs selected by fan vote via social media. Additionally, fans helped amp up the “house party” theme in two dance contests presented by official presenting sponsor, Verizon Wireless: one for individual fans to show off their best moves on the Georgia Dome field; the other for couples who wanted to dance in an iconic “Soul Train” line-style contest.
Two lucky fans also left the Georgia Dome as proud owners of brand new Honda vehicles. One of the three finalists in the Honda Battle of the Bands Sweepstakes became the owner of the award-winning 2013 Honda Accord. Adding to the excitement, the crowd was surprised when a second lucky fan in attendance received a new 2013 Honda Civic.
“The Honda Battle of the Bands not only provides a national stage to showcase the talent of these outstanding student musicians, but also the success of the music education programs at each school,” said Marc Burt, assistant vice president, Office of Inclusion and Diversity for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Honda is honored to support these programs with grants that each school receives for participating in the program.”
The Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase is the largest and most popular music event of its kind. Widely known to fans as “The Honda,” the Showcase not only serves as a platform to highlight and celebrate the heritage and showmanship of HBCU marching bands, but also stands as the only national music scholarship program dedicated to supporting HBCU music education programs.
The eight qualifying marching bands each earned a $20,000 grant for their school’s music education programs, along with an all-expense paid trip to perform at the Invitational Showcase in Atlanta.