HAMPTON, Va. (Oct. 30, 2019) — For the second consecutive time, the Hampton University “Marching Force” is a finalist at the 17th Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) Invitational Showcase Jan. 25, 2020, at the Mercedes-Benz Dome in Atlanta, and will compete with seven other dynamic Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching bands.
“Congratulations to the Hampton University Marching Force for being selected again to the Honda Battle of the Bands,” said Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey. “Dr. Jones, his staff and the elite group of talented, young musicians and dancers who make up The Force continue to demonstrate THE Standard of Excellence. Those in attendance will be in for quite a show!”
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. Honda annually awards approximately $200,000 in grants to participating marching bands during the program period.
“We would like to thank all the administrators, faculty, parents, students, alumni, and supporters that have believed in us since day one,” said Dr. Thomas Jones, Hampton University Director of Bands. “Being chosen among so many great programs is humbling, and we are grateful for this opportunity. Events like this help to validate the hard work that the students and staff put in on a daily basis, and it is a reminder that The Marching Force is a shining light among our campus community, as well as the City of Hampton and the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are proud to represent our ‘Home by the Sea,’ on a national stage yet again.”
Hampton University’s “Marching Force” will compete against Benedict College, Florida A&M University, Grambling State University, Jackson State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University and Tennessee State University.
The Marching Force was selected as a finalist 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.
This invitation is one of the many major appearances The Force has lined up for 2020. The Force will kick off the New Year by performing in the 2020 Rome New Year’s Day Parade in Rome, Italy, January 1st and will represent the state of Virginia in the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, in New York City.
Follow the final eight bands’ road to the Invitational Showcase on official HBOB social media channels and join the conversation using #HBOB:
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/.