HAMPTON, Va. -- For the first time, the Hampton University “Marching Force” is a finalist at the 16th Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) Invitational Showcase Jan. 27, 2018, at the Mercedes-Benz Dome in Atlanta, and will compete with seven other dynamic Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching bands.
“What better way to celebrate our historic 150th year and my 40th year as president than to recognize our wonderful Marching Force,” said Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey. “The rest of the country is going to see what we already know. I couldn’t be more proud of what Dr. Jones has done with our band or more excited for what we will do on the field in January!”
The annual event provides a national platform to highlight a key element in the HBCU community and campus life – the marching band. And The Marching Force has played with the best: Montell Jordan, Chingy and Young Dro, in addition to NFL games, the 2009 Inaugural Parade for President Barack Obama as well as a trip to Honduras in 2016 to host an International Music Camp.
But, the focus right now is to put on their “A” game as they head to Atlanta in January. Band Director Dr. Thomas Jones knows how important The Marching Force is to the Hampton Nation, and he said their performance will be memorable.
“While our football team is great, a lot of folks come to the game just to see the band at halftime, and we always want to give the fans a great show,” Jones said. “A lot of fans stay in the stands just to see The Marching Force because we put a lot of preparation time into each show. When we hit the field in January, we will have a few surprises in store. You don’t want to miss it!”
Hampton University’s “Marching Force” will compete against Alabama A&M, Alabama State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Miles College, North Carolina A&T, Prairie View A&M and Tennessee State University.
Hampton University’s band was selected a finalist last month through a voting process incorporating input from online fans, band directors, HBCU school presidents and representatives from American Honda. In addition to a $20,000 grant from Honda to support their music education program, each of the final eight bands will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Invitational Showcase.
A Hampton University alumni-sponsored trip has been planned, leaving from the Convocation Center and Alexandria, Va. Round trip transportation, snacks, beverages and access to a private hospitality suite at the host hotel are included for $150. Reservations at the host hotel, walking distance to the event, are available for $149 plus tax. Visit www.encorepep.com/payments for details. Group and individual tickets to the HBOB Invitational Showcase are available for purchase through Ticketmaster by clicking here.
Follow the final eight bands’ road to the Invitational Showcase on official HBOB social media channels and join the conversation using #HBOB:
Facebook – Facebook.com/HondaBattleoftheBands
Twitter – @The_Honda / Twitter.com/The_Honda
Instagram – @The_Honda / Instagram.com/the_honda
Dr. Jones reminds Hampton Nation that fans of The Marching Force are encouraged to help defray the cost of scholarships, instruments, uniforms and recruiting new band members by visiting the band’s site: http://www.humarchingforce.com/donate/