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Miles College, Tuskegee University Invited to 2024 National Battle of the Bands

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The Miles College Purple Marching Band is among eight of the nation’s most prestigious Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) marching bands in the lineup for the 10th Anniversary of the Pepsi National Battle of the Bands (NBOTB). (Miles College)

The Birmingham Times

The Miles College Purple Marching Machine and Tuskegee University Marching Crimson Pipers are among eight of the nation’s most prestigious Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) marching bands in the lineup for the 10th Anniversary of the Pepsi National Battle of the Bands (NBOTB).

This year’s event, themed “Celebrating Champions of Culture,” not only honors the legacy of HBCU marching bands but also champions their enduring influence on music and culture. The celebrations are scheduled to begin in Houston, Texas, on Friday, August 23, and conclude on Sunday, August 25, at NRG Stadium with the band showcase.

“Celebrating 10 years of the National Battle of the Bands is a milestone that goes beyond music—it’s about the impact these bands have on their communities and the broader cultural landscape,” said Derek Webber, CEO of Webber Marketing and Executive Producer of National Battle of the Bands. “This anniversary is a testament to the enduring spirit and resilience of HBCU marching bands, and we are proud to continue amplifying their incredible stories and contributions.”

In addition to Miles and Tuskegee; the 2024 lineup features:

  • Bethune-Cookman University, Marching Wildcats
  • Jackson State University, The Sonic Boom of the South
  • Prairie View A&M University, Marching Storm
  • Southern University, Human Jukebox
  • Tennessee State University, Aristocrat of Bands
  • Texas Southern University, “Ocean of Soul”

This year’s event will feature a live performance by Grammy Award-winning artist Lecrae, adding a unique blend of inspirational music that complements the spirited performances of the HBCU bands.

“It has been an honor to witness the growth and evolution of the National Battle of the Bands over the past ten years,” said Janis Burke, CEO of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority. “Since its inception, the event has become a cultural phenomenon, bringing together communities, showcasing remarkable talent, introducing new programming to the city, and serving as a vehicle to provide scholarship opportunities to many. We are proud to take part in this exceptional event and can’t wait to see what the next ten years bring.”

Kent Montgomery, Senior Vice President, PepsiCo Industry Relations and Multicultural Development., said his company in 2023, donated more than $400,000 to HBCUs to impact their marching band students and tackle on-campus food insecurity.

“We’re excited to build on our commitment of advancing HBCUs and the students it serves, as demonstrated by our ongoing investment in the National Battle of the Bands platform and strategic initiatives aimed at fostering equality and empowerment within the community,” he said.

Other events will include:

  • National Battle of the Bands Band Camp  from July 17-19, 2024, at HCC Northeast – North Forest Campus.
  • The Emerging Experience Entrepreneur Conference presented by JP Morgan Chase, set for Friday, August 23, at The Deluxe Theatre, will provide a platform for entrepreneurs to connect, learn, and grow.
  • Back on the Yard Kickoff & Stroll Off Competition will electrify the atmosphere at Texas Southern University on the same day, Friday, August 23.
  • Feeding The Homeless, an NBOTB Cares Initiative, will take place on Saturday, August 24. This event demonstrates its commitment to community support and engagement, aligning with our mission to positively impact every community we touch.
  • Fan Fest Experience at NRG Center on Sunday, August 25, will include the HBCU College Fair, Career Fair, and The Pepsi Experience—offering an elevated platform with vendors, music, performances, and more, ensuring an enriched experience for all attendees.

This year’s event will also feature a Hall of Fame program designed to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the success and legacy of HBCU marching bands. This recognition highlights the significant role these individuals have played in the development of HBCU marching band culture. The Hall of Fame program will be introduced during August’s event and will induct its inaugural members.

The National Battle of the Bands’ mission is to enhance the exposure of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), their marching bands, and their roles in educating aspiring musicians and developing future leaders. For more information and updates, follow @NationalBattleOfTheBands on social media or visit www.nationalbattleofthebands.com.