HBCU Battle Of The Bands Season Officially Kicked Off
One of the greatest traditions at historically Black colleges and universities is the viewing of the marching bands. This year, it kicked off in Houston with a spectacular show that included college bands and hip-hop performers.
According to Sports Illustrated, the PepsiCo National Battle of the Bands took place at NRG Stadium in Houston, where an estimated 40,000 spectators were there to enjoy the festivities over the weekend. This year’s participating marching bands were from Southern University, Florida A&M University, Tennessee State University, Langston University, Norfolk State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Virginia State University, and Texas Southern University.
🥁 A sneak peek into the @themarching100 ‘s highlights from this weekend’s Pespi #NBOTB! Relive those epic moments. 🔥 #ExperienceTheCulture #hbcubands #hbcuculture #blackculture #hbcustrong #FAMU100 #marching100 🐍 pic.twitter.com/E9DfAk8jbZ
— National Battle of the Bands (@NationalBOTB) August 28, 2023
Continuing the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip-hop were esteemed artists like Harlem, New York’s Doug E. Fresh, Atlanta’s Big Boi (of Outkast), Louisiana’s Choppa, Dallas-bred Houston DJ Mr. Rogers, along with Houston hometown heroes, Slim Thug, Lil Keke, and Z-RO.
A long-time supporter of HBCUs, Doug E. Fresh spoke to the media outlet to let his feelings be known.
“There’s nothing better than supporting HBCUs. That’s what we’re supposed to do. So everybody, do what you know you’re supposed to do. Support yourself.”
The REAL Doug E. Fresh, don’t get it confused! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 pic.twitter.com/7W95iFNgJM
— National Battle of the Bands (@NationalBOTB) August 27, 2023
PepsiCo was the event title sponsor, and the company detailed how they distributed funds to the participating schools.
“The fans have been having a great time. We’re able to contribute over $45,000 per band, a total of $360,000 this year. So we’re super excited about what we’ve been able to do to support our HBCUs.”
PepsiCo presented checks of $200,000 and $120,000; each school’s marching band was given $5,000.
According to Local 21 News, not only was it hot in Houston, but the heat also struck Pennsylvania, with two other HBCU marching bands making their season debut at Harrisburg High School.
Cheyney University, Lincoln University from Pennsylvania, and Wilberforce University from Ohio took the instruments and talent to Harrisburg High School. These three schools are the top three oldest HBCUs in the country, with Cheyney being the first to have been established.
HBCU Game Day reported that with Jackson State University’s football season starting, there was a battle between the school’s marching band, Sonic Boom of the South, and the South Carolina State University Marching 101. However, before the game started, due to the exhaustive heat, the Sonic Boom of the South announced that they would not be performing in full gear but would still take the field.
Band season has started in full swing, and we hope to view the many HBCUs showcasing their talented musicians at upcoming games throughout the season.