Jackson State University’s Sonic Boom of the South Marching Band has been selected as one of eight bands to participate in the Honda Battle of the Bands 2011 Invitational Showcase. Honda officials officially extended the invitation Nov. 16, at the F.D. Hall Music Center.
Marking its ninth year, the Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) is the only national scholarship program that highlights music education as an important facet of the heritage and culture at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). As one of the eight winning band programs chosen to participate, Jackson State will be awarded $20,000 by American Honda, in addition to the $1,000 grant it received for the pre-qualifying Celebration Tour. Through this program, American Honda annually awards $205,000 in scholarships to HBCU music programs. Since the program’s inception, more than $1 million has been distributed to black colleges.
“We are very excited to be chosen to represent the SWAC in the Honda Battle of the Bands,” said Renardo Murray, JSU band director. “We look forward to putting on a stellar performance.”
The Sonic Boom’s 240 band members will be among more than 2,000 student-musicians traveling to Atlanta for the January 29 performance at the Georgia Dome. Each band will have the opportunity to perform for 12 minutes and showcase their musical skills, dancing talents and creativity.
“The Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase is about more than what happens on the field at the Georgia Dome on show day,” said Marc Burt, senior manager of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity for American Honda. “This event is about celebrating the abilities and brilliance of young people coming out of the nation’s black colleges. The discipline and drive these student-musicians exhibit both on and off the field are phenomenal, and Honda is pleased to be able to contribute to the music education programs that help foster the artistic and academic growth of these students.”
Participating bands include: • Virginia State University Marching Trojan Explosion (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) • South Carolina State University Marching 101 (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) • Albany State University Marching Rams Show Band (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) • Jackson State University Sonic Boom of the South (Southwestern Athletic Conference) • Bethune Cookman University Marching Wildcats (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) • Clark Atlanta University Mighty Marching Panthers (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) • Winston-Salem State University Red Sea of Sound (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) • Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands (Ohio Valley Conference)