Battle of the Bands
For the first time in more than a decade, the Marching Wildcatsband will not be taking part in the
annual Honda Battle of the Bands showcase next year in Atlanta.
The Bethune-Cookman University band, which is knownnationally and internationally,
apparently did not garner enough votes this year. 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 other four bands were selected by the HBOB committee.
Each of the eight bands will receive a $20,000 grant from Honda to support their music
education program, as well as an all-expenses paid trip to the Invitational Showcase in
"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 in a release.
For 16 years the Honda Battle of the Bands had been invitingbands from all Historically
Black Colleges and Universities. "The Marching Wildcats havebeen there for 13 of the 16
years," B-CU band director Donovan Wells said. "I'm not upset byit and my students are not
upset by it."
The Marching Wildcats have been the only band to play at theHonda Battle of the Bands
for 13 years, which is more than what any other band has achieved. The next closest
bands to play for many years are the Jackson State University'sSonic Boom of the South
Marching Band, Prairie View A&M University's Marching Stormand Tennessee State
University's Aristocrats of Bands, which played for nine years.
"We've done so many things on the national and internationallevel," Wells said, noting
the band's appearance in the film "Drumline" starring Nick Cannonand Zoe Saldana, among
others. The Marching Wildcats also have appeared on television on the "Ellen" daytime show and in a
commercial for Cadillac.