The Marching 100, along with seven other historically black colleges and universities and 10 high schools, have been selected to attend The Invitational Showcase, also know as the Battle of the Bands, sponsored by American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
The invitational will take place on Saturday Jan 23, in the Atlanta Georgia Dome. The gates open at 2:30 p.m. with the pre show beginning at 3:15 p.m. The invitational officially starts at 4 p.m. and general admission for the show is $10. Online fan opinion polls and other surveys completed by HBCU presidents, conference commissioners and band directors determined who could participate in the event.
“I feel as though we have the finest marching band around, we are proud and enjoy the competition,” said Charles S. Bing, associate director of the band, about the band’s selection for the invitational.
Each of the eight finalists will receive a grant for $10,000. These prizes will be among the $125,000 in grant money given through out the program.
The showcase will provide an opportunity for the 45 participating schools to earn an $1,000 grant for their halftime performances at selected football games during the fall.
“The event is not necessarily a competition; it is a Marching Band exhibition, ” said Lindsey B. Sarjeant, a musical arranger for “the 100” and a Jazz music professor at FAMU.
” I am excited and happy that so many people have interest in black college bands in addition to the leaders of the bands willingness to display talented students and their instruments at FAMU,” he said.
Clark Atlanta University, Grambling State, Johnson C. Smith, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College, Tennessee State and Tuskegee University are among the colleges and universities that will attend to represent the MEAC.
Darlene Fortus, a member of the band, said that the event presents a great opportunity for “The 100” and other bands. The event allows each band to come together to show off their talent.
“This is a great opportunity for other colleges to show their talent and finally have a voice in college bands as well as the world,” said Fortus, 22, a senior music education student and band member from Miami.
Samantha Romany, Staff Editor