by: Nelson Hicks Updated:
ATLANTA - The Super Bowl of college bands marched into the Georgia Dome this weekend as the city hosted the 11th annual Honda Battle of the Bands 2013.
The top eight marching bands from the nation's Historically Black College and Universities performed for a packed house Saturday. The battle is a showcase rather than a competition as the bands demonstrated the pageantry, showmanship and musicianship of each school's program. Since the showcase isn't a competition, it allows the bands to spend more time on creativity and skills as opposed to certain technical aspects of the performance.
Participating bands this year were the Triple Threat Marching Band from Edward Waters College, the Marching Rams of Albany State University, the Aristocrat of Bands from Tennessee State University, the The Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite from Alcorn State University, the Sonic Boom of the South from Jackson State University, The Red Sea of Sound from Winston-Salem State University, the Marching Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University and the Blue and Gold Marching Machine from North Carolina A&T University.
The theme of this year's event was house party. As part of that, there was a dance-off between participating Historically Black College and Universities' dance teams, whose songs were selected by fans via social media. Here's a sample.
And the dancing carried into the stands as there were two dance competitions featuring fans. One featured individuals, the other featured seven couples dancing in a “Soul Train” line-style contest.
The Honda Battle of the Bands was created in 2002 to celebrate, support and recognize the excellence of black college marching bands and the unique academic experience of historically black colleges and universities. Honda annually awards more than $205,000 in grants to participating marching bands.
Grammy-winning singer Brandy was a special guest performer, performing for the crowd after the bands had all played.