Marching band fans from across the country poured into Atlanta's Georgia Dome on Saturday to celebrate the 12th annual Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) Invitational Showcase, and to witness firsthand the dynamic ensemble of music, choreography and showmanship displayed by eight of the nation's premier Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) marching bands. Fans also experienced a live performance by Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist, Big Sean.
For three hours, marching band enthusiasts were treated to eight electric performances from Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Morehouse College, North Carolina A&T University, South Carolina State University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Winston-Salem State University. Big Sean wowed the crowd at half-time, with a half-hour performance of his hit singles. For the first time, fans participated in a text-to-vote selection of the "Fan Favorite" and the winner was North Carolina A&T University.
As a continuation of Honda's 2013 "Best Yourself" campaign featuring Nick Cannon, three fans and their guests were awarded an all-expense paid trip to the 2014 Honda Battle of the Bands, plus the chance to win the newly launched 2014 Honda Civic. Finalists were chosen as part of the #HBOBfame contest, which asked contestants to showcase the talent of their choice in a 15-second Instagram video that best embodied this year's Honda's Battle of the Bands theme, "Best Yourself." One lucky fan's performance rose above the rest. Singer Antenica "Nica Nashae" Smith, of Kennesaw State University, drove away in an all-new 2014 Honda Civic.
"The Honda Battle of the Bands continues to support HBCU music education programs across the nation, while producing an entertaining show that never fails to get fans to their feet," said Gina Jorge, head of Multicultural Marketing for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We are honored to showcase this incredible musical talent, and are dedicated to sustaining music education at these institutions, through the grants awarded to each participating university."
Widely known as "The Honda," The Honda Battle of the Bands was created to celebrate, support and recognize the excellence of Black college marching bands and the unique academic experience offered by HBCUs. The participating eight marching bands each received a $20,000 grant for their school's music education programs from Honda, along with an all-expense paid trip to Atlanta, to perform at the 2014 Invitational Showcase.