The 11th annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase, presented by Verizon and official banking sponsor SunTrust Bank, will welcome celebrated actress and Grammy-winning singer Brandy to the stage as a special guest performer at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on January 26th, alongside eight of the nation's top Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching bands. This year's "House Party" theme will be brought to life with additional performances and an on-the-field fan participation dance contest.
The 2013 Invitational Showcase will begin at 3:00 p.m. EST, and will feature spirited performances from the HBCU marching bands, which will perform in the following order:
Edward Waters College, Triple Threat Marching Band (Independent)
Albany State University, Marching Rams (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)
Tennessee State University, Aristocrat of Bands (Independent)
Alcorn State University, The Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
Jackson State University, Sonic Boom of the South (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
Winston-Salem State University, The Red Sea of Sound (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association)
Bethune-Cookman University, Marching Wildcats (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)
North Carolina A&T University, Blue and Gold Marching Machine (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)
In honor of this year's "House Party" theme, the Showcase will open with a performance by American dance music singer and songwriter, Crystal Waters, popular for her dance music hits.
To keep the "party" going, there will be a dance-off between participating HBCU dance teams, whose songs were selected by fans via social media.
Additionally, Verizon will sponsor two dance contests for fans: one for individual fans to show off their best moves on the Georgia Dome field; the other for couples who want to dance in an iconic "Soul Train" line-style contest.
The Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase is the largest and most popular music event of its kind. Widely known by fans as "The Honda," the Showcase not only serves as a platform to highlight and celebrate the heritage and showmanship of HBCU marching bands, but also stands as the only national music scholarship program dedicated to supporting HBCU music education programs. The qualifying marching bands have each earned a $20,000 grant for their school's music education programs, along with an all-expense paid trip to perform at the Invitational Showcase in Atlanta.
The final eight bands were chosen through a voting process incorporating online fan votes, band directors, the presidents of HBCU schools and representatives from American Honda.
For the eight participating bands, the journey to Atlanta involves months of intense practice and training, all in preparation for their Georgia Dome performance, where each band will have 12 action-packed minutes to showcase the musical excellence, distinctive style and superior showmanship that earned them a place in the 2013 Invitational Showcase.