bethune-cookman-university-marching-band_web.jpgTORRANCE, Calif. (BLACK PRWIRE/BUSINESS WIRE) — The Marching Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University is the only band from Florida named among eight bands nationwide to earn a coveted spot in the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase.

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 on Saturday, Jan. 28.

The selected bands will each get a $20,000 grant for their music education programs and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Invitational Showcase.

The others are:

• Albany State University Marching Rams Show Band (Southern Intercollegiate 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 winning bands, the journey to the Invitational Showcase involved months of practice and training in preparation for their Georgia Dome performances

Each band will have 12 minutes to showcase the music excellence, distinctive style and superior showmanship that earned it a place in the 2012 Invitational Showcase.

The bands are chosen via online voting, with votes by fans, students and alumni accounting for one-third of the votes and band directors and school presidents accounting for the rest.

The showcase theme is “The Homecoming,” reflecting on the 10th anniversary of the Honda Battle of the Bands and calling for all HBCU marching band alumni, current HBCU students and the many fans of the event to meet in Atlanta for this special anniversary show.

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,” Marc Burt, senior manager, Office of Inclusion and Diversity for American Honda, said in a statement announcing the names of the selected bands.

“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,” Burt said.

The Honda Battle of the Bands website — — is the sole online destination and clearing house for all event 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.


AMONG THE BEST: 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 marching bands have earned slots in the 2012 Showcase taking place Jan. 28 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.