6 HBCU bands revealed for 2023 Honda Battle of the Bands

ASU Stadium
ASU Stadium(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 4:14 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Fans have voted and selected the six marching bands that will perform at the 2023 Honda Battle of the Bands, which showcases marching bands and dance teams from Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Returning to a live event for the first time since 2020, the HBOB will be held at Alabama State University’s football stadium on February 18, as it marks 18 years of celebrating Black culture and musical excellence.

According to Honda officials, the schools represented by the following bands will receive an institutional grant from Honda to support their music education programs, in addition to an all-expenses-paid trip to the Invitational Showcase:

  • Alabama State University - 7th appearance
  • Langston University Marching Pride - 4th appearance
  • Morgan State University Magnificent Marching Machine - 1st appearance
  • Savannah State University Powerhouse of the South - 7th appearance
  • Texas Southern University Ocean of Soul - 3rd appearance
  • Virginia State University Trojan Explosion -10th appearance

Officials added that Honda invited all HBCU marching bands to participate in the HBOB event. After fans nationwide cast more than 100,000 votes online, the final six bands were chosen through a voting process that included HBOB fans, HBCU band directors and students, and representatives from Honda. The four bands with the majority of the votes automatically guaranteed their spots in the lineup, while the other two bands were selected by the HBOB committee, Honda officials said.

“Congratulations to all of the finalists! Honda is excited to carry on the HBOB tradition of bringing together students, alumni and fans to recognize the talents of these spectacular marching bands and dance teams,” said Yvette Hunsicker, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility and Inclusion & Diversity at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “For over 30 years Honda has supported HBCUs in their unique and critical role of providing higher education and opportunities for advancement to the Black community, so hosting HBOB on an HBCU campus for the first time feels like coming home.”

The upcoming marching band showcase will mark the first time the event has been held on an HBCU campus. It will be hosted by ASU alum, comedian and radio host Rickey Smiley along with Prairie View A&M alumna, comedian and actress Loni Love.

”It is an honor to host the iconic Honda Battle of the Bands event, which has a long history of inspiring and energizing fans of music and Black culture across the country,” said Smiley. “HBOB is a one-of-a-kind experience for these talented student musicians and will be an unforgettable day for everyone.”

Anyone interested in attending the HBOB Invitational Showcase can find tickets here.

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