Honda Awards Band $1000 Grant

During the much-anticipated first home football game, of Florida A&M University against Morgan State, “The Marching 100,” was presented with a generous $1000 grant.

The grant, presented to the band after their powerful half-time performance, is sponsored by the American Honda Motor Co., which features the Battle of the Bands tour.

“We (the band) were very honored and very elated to receive the award and the money because the band deserves the recognition,” said Antonio Drayton, president and head drum major of “The Marching 100.”

The Battle of the Bands tour includes 45 Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ (HBCU) bands and visits all of them individually until Nov. 22. At the end of the tour, 10 bands will be chosen to perform at the Invitational Showcase on Jan. 24, 2004 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Judging of the bands include the components of band directors, on-line voting, and commissioners and school presidents.

Of the 45 bands, “The Marching 100″believes that they have a good chance in making it to the top 10.

“I think we have a very good chance in making it to the top 10 if we work hard,” said Drayton. “We have very good potential.”

The Battle of the Bands tour is entering its second year of recognizing HBCU bands within the black community.

“The Battle of the Bands is a way to give back to the African American community and black communities,” said Trenard Hodge, a spokesperson for the Honda Battle of the Bands.

According to Hodge, the Honda Battle of the Bands was started to begin a diversity initiative and to do some diversity marketing and outreach.

“This program is an opportunity for Honda to recognize the tradition and excellence of black college bands which have long been a definitive part of HBCU culture,” said Wendell Bugg, manager of American Honda Corporate Affairs and Communications.

“We are thrilled to bring back the Battle of the Bands and to be a part of the completion and camaraderie that exists between HBCU bands, their fans and alumni.”

FAMU was the first stop of the Battle of the Bands tour and “The Marching 100,” believes that this school year will turn out well.

“This year I feel pretty good,” Drayton said. “We still have to polish up different parts of the show and I don’t want them to become complacent, but other than that we have a very good band.”

Each of the 10 bands selected for the Invitational Showcase will receive additional money that will go towards its scholarship fund and music programs.

“Honda uses this unique program to highlight HBCU’s and they’re spectacular music programs,” Hodge said.

All of the HBCU athletic conferences that are participating in the tour include the CIAA, MEAC, SWAC, and the SIAC.

“The Marching 100,” is a part of the MEAC athletic conference.

To vote for “The Marching 100,” or for more information on the Honda Battle of the Bands log onto

Ryanne Persinger may be contacted at: