Marching 100 solicits votes

The Honda Battle of the Bands is coming down to its last few days and the “Marching 100” is trying to “drum line” their way into the Invitational Showcase.

Since late September, bands have been competing for one of 10 spots in the showcase, but with one-week of voting to go, it is now crunch time.

The showcase, which will be held on Jan. 24, 2004 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, will feature two historically black colleges and university bands each from different conferences. These include the Mid Eastern Athletic, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, South Western Athletic and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic conferences along with Independent schools.

“The purpose of this is to be number one because it is our sure fire way to get in [the battle of the bands],” said Michael A. Simmons Jr., a band member.

“A vote is a vote and we need every vote that we can get,” said the 21-year-old senior music education student from Ridgeland, S.C.

The participating bands are chosen by a combination of components that include 33 percent from commissioners and school presidents, 33 percent from band directors and 33 percent from online voting.

“A person may think that one vote doesn’t matter, but a vote really does matter because that’s 33 percent of a vote that we’re trying to get. If we lack in one area you might be able to get it in another area and that’s why the 33 percent of the vote is important,” Simmons said.

Each of the 10 bands selected will receive additional money that will go toward its scholarship fund and music programs.

“That’s why we’re pushing for the Battle of the Bands, to also get some help for our scholarships,” Simmons said.

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

Trenard Hodge, a spokesperson for the Battle of the Bands said the tour is a way to give back to the black communities.

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

The “Marching 100,” is listed in the MEAC.

Voting for the Honda Battle of the Bands ends Nov. 14, and the winners will be announced Nov. 17.

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