Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) marked its return to Atlanta on Jan. 25, with performances by eight of the nation’s top Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). A crowd of more than 58,000 HBCU fans, students and alumni were on hand to witness the celebration of HBCU culture, musical talent and pageantry.

The 17th anniversary HBOB theme, “Be the Dream,” highlighted the power that dreams have to inspire a brighter future. The show opened with a soulful performance by all eight bands, as more than 2,400 musicians and dancers joined together on the field. Additional highlights included Florida A&M’s tribute to Atlanta, Tennessee State University reminding fans to vote, and welcoming the first female band director to conduct at HBOB, Dr. Nikole Roebuck of Grambling State University.

This year’s Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase participants included: Benedict College; Florida A&M University; Grambling State University; Hampton University; Jackson State University; North Carolina A&T State University;Prairie View A&M University; and Tennessee State University.

Honda awarded $200,000 in grants to this year’s participating bands to help support their music education programs, and covered the bands’ travel and accommodation expenses for the event.

In addition to the marching band performances, Honda hosted an HBCU College Fair to connect high school students with representatives from over 50 HBCUs. Designed to go beyond just exposing young people to the opportunities offered by the institutions, the college fair enabled prospective students to meet with admissions recruiters and marching band representatives to discuss admissions requirements and scholarship opportunities.

For more information on HBOB, visit www.hondabattleofthebands.com. Next month’s event, the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC), is a unique academic tournament for HBCU students that showcases and recognizes their academic talents. The 2020 National Championship Tournament will be held March 28-April 2, 2020. Visit www.hcasc.com for more details.