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Competition Begins for Top Black College Marching Bands


Online Polls Now Open As 45 of the Nation’s Top HBCUs Vie for a Spot at the 2011 Honda Battle of the Bands

Torrance, Calif. - A spot in the 2011 Honda Battle of the Bands (www.hondabattleofthebands) Invitational Showcase is to a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching band as a trip to Super Bowl XLV is to a professional football team. Scheduled to take place Saturday, January 29th, the 2011 Invitational Showcase not only allows the top HBCU marching bands a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform before 60,000 fans at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, but it also gives them the chance to earn much-needed funding for their school’s music education programs. This week the competition for one of the eight coveted spots begins, and HBCU marching band fans will have a hand in choosing the top bands.

The Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) Invitational Showcase is the world’s largest and most highly anticipated HBCU musical event and scholarship program of its kind. The program, which will mark its ninth year in 2011, is a platform to highlight and showcase the heritage and showmanship of the HBCU college marching bands and an important facet of HBCU culture – music education. For the 2011 program, each of the 45 bands participating in the Celebration Tour will receive a $1,000 grant for their music programs, with an additional $20,000 awarded to the eight institutions selected to advance to the 2011 Invitational Showcase.

The “Celebration Tour,” the route participating bands must take to qualify for a spot in the Invitational Showcase, kicks off this weekend with the first of ten stops at Howard University in Washington, DC. During the Celebration Tour, fans can witness the unique, precision marching styles, as well as the spirited dance team choreography and pageantry that make the HBCU marching band experience one-of-a-kind. The beginning of the Celebration Tour also signifies the kick off of the voting process. Beginning today, HBCU band fans can go to the Honda Battle of the Bands website (www.hondabattleofthebands) to vote for the eight bands they would like to see in the 2011 Invitational Showcase. The eight bands selected to perform at the 2011 Invitational Showcase are chosen by fans, HBCU presidents and band directors votes. Online fan votes will account for one third (1/3) of the selection criteria, with band directors’ and school presidents’ votes accounting for the remaining two-thirds.

“The energy and excitement surrounding the Honda Battle of the Bands program is something that is difficult to describe,” said Marc Burt, senior manager, Office of Inclusion and Diversity for American Honda. “When you enter the Georgia Dome on Invitational Showcase day, and the top eight HBCU marching bands take the field, you can see that this event is about more than just great music and amazing performances, it’s about honoring the legacy and excellence of America’s black colleges. Honda is proud to have developed a program that for nine years has celebrated the music education programs at our nation’s HBCUs while providing financial assistance to ensure they continue to thrive.”

Online polling for this year’s Invitational Showcase concludes on Friday, October 29th at midnight (EST). The eight institutions selected for participation will be announced on Monday, November 8th, 2010.

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 the resource for any and all questions about the program. For more information about the Honda Battle of the Bands “Celebration Tour”, tourstops and a list of participating bands please visit

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 mowers 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.


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