This weekend, eight of the baddest bands in HBCU land hit the Mercedes Benz Stadium to showcase their moves and sound. The 2018 Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) Invitational Showcase welcomed Grammy Award-winning R&B group, 112, to share the spotlight alongside the nation’s top eight Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching bands, in Atlanta on Saturday, January 27th.
Honda’s incredible commitment to the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities goes back almost 30 years. This event has touched the lives of more than 120,000 students and has contributed 12 million dollars to the development and enhancement of education and music programs across the country.
According to Honda Executive Eric W., “We support HBCUs because we believe they play a unique and critical role in higher education and helping young people achieve their dreams.” Which is in direct alignment with Honda’s global slogan, The Power of Dreams.
Grammy Award-winning R&B Group, 112 with Honda Executive, Eric W.
While the bands were getting ready to hit the field, I sat down with 112 to ask them a few questions about headlining this event:
What does it mean for your guys to be here celebrating other African-American students who are musicians and have a dream and maybe want to achieve the same level of success that you guys have?
Q Parker: This means everything to us. I go back to middle school when the four of us got together, we had a dream. We wanted to be musicians, we wanted to have a career in music, and had it not been for our choral classes to help develop us there may not have been a 112. A lot of music is being taken out of the schools and we know firsthand the importance of music because had it not been for music developing us and giving us an outlet…there wouldn’t be a 112 or other artists.
Michael: My son is actually here participating in the Battle of the Bands. He’s at TSU, so this is a first for me and I’m really happy because father and son will be on the same stage at the same time, and it’s because of Battle of the Bands made this is possible.
SHEEN Correspondent, Dominique Clark after a private interview with 112
DJ Skillz was one of the premier DJs that kept the crowd moving the entire night in between band performances. After the show, I asked him what he thought music, especially from the band, has done for the HBCU culture and experience, his response was simple, “It IS the experience!”
SHEEN Correspondent Dominique Clark interviewing five year HBOB participant, DJ Skillz
Here is the 2018 performance lineup that is currently contributing to shaping today’s HBCU culture and experience:
- Hampton University, The Marching Force (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) –
- Alabama A&M University, Marching Maroon & White Band (Southwestern Athletic Conference) –
- Miles College, Purple Marching Machine (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) –
- Prairie View A&M University, Marching Storm (Southwestern Athletic Conference) –
- North Carolina A&T State University, Blue & Gold Marching Machine (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) –
- Alabama State University, Mighty Marching Hornets (Southwestern Athletic Conference) –
- Tennessee State University, Aristocrat of Bands (Ohio Valley Athletic Conference) –
- Bethune-Cookman University, Marching Wildcats (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) –
The eight bands were selected through a process that included online fan voting, as well as feedback from band directors, HBCU Presidents and American Honda representatives.
With rumors swirling that the 2019 Super Bowl will be hosted in Atlanta and may conflict with the annual HBOB, inquiring minds were wondering what that that could mean for this highly anticipated event next year. Honda executive Eric W. responded with “because of that scheduling conflict, we aren’t going to be able to return next year to the stadium, however, we’re looking at alternatives and hope to have some news to share about that soon.” – that’s breaking news guys!
National TV Personality, Radio Host and Hampton University Alum, Kendra G, made an appearance at the 2018 HBOB event.
BET’s The Quad and Morehouse Alum, Miles Stroter, made an appearance at the 2018 HBOB event.
Known as The Nation’s Premier HBCU Marching Band Event, HBOB is the most highly anticipated music event of its kind, and we can’t wait to experience the nation’s best again next year!
FEATURED IMAGE: Honda In America