Alabama A&M Band impresses spectators at ‘The Honda’
ATLANTA – Fans of marching band drills from across the United States experienced the high-stepping energy of the Alabama A&M University Marching Maroon and White Band at the twelfth annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase.
The showcase was held in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Jan. 25. Eight of the nation’s premier marching bands from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) entertained the excited crowd.
Widely known as “The Honda,” the Honda Battle of the Bands celebrates and acknowledges the superior talent of black college marching bands and the one-of-a-kind experience earned from membership. Eight bands advance to the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase.
Each of these eight marching bands received a $20,000 grant from Honda to support the music program at their schools. In addition, Honda funded an all-expense paid trip to Atlanta for the showcase.
Along with Alabama A&M, bands that performed in the showcase were Alabama State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Morehouse College, North Carolina A&T University, South Carolina State University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Winston-Salem State University.
Marching band enthusiasts were entertained for three hours in the Georgia Dome. Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Big Sean performed his hit singles during half-time.
The 2014 battle of the bands’ theme was “Best Yourself.”
With about 230 members, the A&M Maroon and White Band has an impressive history. A&M was named “Band of the Year” by the Birmingham Grid Forecasters in 1983, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1994, along with consecutive years in 1996 through 1999.
In 2005, the band performed at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. In 2006, Alabama A&M was the lead band for the 117th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.