The Sonic Boom of the South is set to make its ninth appearance in the Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) on Jan. 25, 2020, in Atlanta. Fans of the HBCU marching band cast their votes and cemented the Boom among the final eight bands selected to perform. The nation’s premier showcase, HBOB, will bring more than 1,800 student musicians and dancers to perform at the 17th invitational showcase.
“The students and band staff of the famous Sonic Boom of the South are both elated and honored to be bestowed an amazing opportunity to not only represent Jackson State University, but also our alumni, fans, and all homogeneous HBCU band programs,” said Roderick Little, director of the Sonic Boom. “Honda has given an outstanding platform for HBCU band programs to display the wonderful talent(s) of our best-kept secret — our students.
According to a press release, the showcase will feature dyanmic performances and showmanship from the following eight bands:
- Jackson State University, Sonic Boom of the South Marching Band (Southwestern Athletic Conference) – ninth appearance
- Benedict College, The Marching Tiger Band of Distinction (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) – second appearance
- Florida A&M University, Marching 100 (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) – seventh appearance
- Grambling State University, Tiger Marching Band (Southwestern Athletic Conference) – second appearance
- Hampton University, The Marching Force (Big South Conference) – second appearance
- North Carolina A&T State University, Blue & Gold Marching Machine (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) – seventh appearance
- Prairie View A&M University, Marching Storm (Southwestern Athletic Conference) – ninth appearance
- Tennessee State University, Aristocrat of Bands (Ohio Valley Athletic Conference) – ninth appearance
“We look forward to providing a high energy show that will appeal to all ages from young to old,” said Little. “A special thanks to those that voted for our band to participate.”
Honda invited all HBCU marching bands to participate in this year’s program. The “final eight” bands were selected from among 38 bands that chose to participate through a voting process that included fans, band directors, HBCU school presidents, and #honda representatives. The four bands that received the highest number of votes automatically secured their spots in the lineup while the #hbob committee selected the other four bands.
“The competition is always selected from the upper echelons of HBCU band programs, and we are honored to have been chosen as one of the elite groups to represent JSU, the SWAC and the State of Mississippi,” said Dowell T. Taylor, director of bands and music technology at JSU.
Each participating band will receive a $20,000 grant from #honda to support their music education program and an all-expenses-paid trip to the invitational showcase.
“Marching bands are the cornerstone of HBCU culture, and through #honda Battle of the Bands, we are able to bring together students, alumni, fans, and supporters in celebration of their incredible talents,” said Steve Morikawa, vice president of Corporate Relations and Social Responsibility for American #honda. “Honda congratulates all eight bands, and we look forward to an inspiring day of entertainment, showmanship, and school spirit.”
Tickets for the #hbob Invitational Showcase start at just $10 and are available for purchase now on the official website. Fans can join the conversation using #HBOB and follow the final eight bands’ journey to the Invitational Showcase on official #hbob social media channels: