If there is one thing we know about attending a game that features a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), it is that the halftime show is a big deal and something no one wants to miss. It is all about the showmanship.
Marching bands are a staple at nearly every HBCU across the country, and while some of us go to see the actual football game, most of us really care about what goes on during halftime, because that is when the marching bands always put on a show.
Well, Houston has received some really exciting news that has created a major buzz across the Greater Houston area, in that Houston has become the landing spot for the most exciting inaugural band showcase in the country.
At a press conference held this past Monday, April 8, members from the Harris County Houston Sports Authority (HCHSA), along with Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and event organizers celebrated the announcement of the inaugural HBCU National Battle of the Bands competition, an exciting inaugural band showcase that will be coming to Houston during Labor Day weekend.
Webber Marketing & Consulting, LLC, in partnership with the Harris County Houston Sports Authority (HCHSA), announced that Houston would serve as the new host city for the recently renamed National Battle of the Bands.
“We are excited about our new partnership with the Harris County Houston Sports Authority to host the inaugural National Battle of the Bands,” said Derek Webber, CEO Webber Marketing & Consulting, LLC. “With the support of the city of Houston, this partnership allows us to advance our mission to enhance the exposure of HBCUs and their marching bands, and the role they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing future leaders. It also enables us to increase the growth of scholarships, and expand the awareness of higher learning with music, arts and entertainment.”
This year’s title sponsor is Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and the event will take place on Sunday, September 1 at NRG Stadium.
Terry Deas, Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Outreach for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, was on hand at the press conference to share the reason his company decided to step up in a major way to get behind this event.
“It is important for us to support efforts to invest in the community and we see this as an opportunity to do so,” said Deas. “We want people to come out and support this effort.”
Formerly called the Queen City Battle of the Bands (QCBOB), the 2019 Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands will feature exciting performances by some of the top performing bands in the nation, from Texas, Alabama, Tennessee and several other states.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be the host site for the National Battle of the Bands, and what better place than at NRG Stadium,” said Chris Massey, Houston Sports Authority Director of Events. “It’s no secret that our community loves to put on big-time events, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to build on the storied battle of the bands tradition right here in Houston.”
Seeing that the band showcase will be held in Houston, it is only fitting that Texas Southern University’s Ocean of Soul Marching Band and Prairie View A&M University’s Marching Storm Band, will be participants in the inaugural event.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner expressed his joy in having Houston serve as the host of the inaugural band showcase and his anticipation of what attendees can expect to witness.
“How many of you remember watching the movie Drumline?,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner asked attendees at the press conference. “Well, if you saw that movie, then you learned about the grit, the drama and the competition required to be a part of a marching band. These are not just musicians, but they are athletes. We are excited that the National Battle of the Bands is coming to Houston. This is a family-friendly atmosphere and there is no question, this is going to be a thrilling event right here in the city of Houston.”
Event organizers also stated that they planned to keep the National Battle of the Bands here in Houston beyond the 2019 inaugural band showcase.
The mission of the National Battle of the Bands competition is to enhance the exposure of HBCUs and their marching bands, along with the roles they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing our future leaders. All participating bands will get $10,000 in scholarships.
Since the completion began over the last five years, event organizers have generated more than $350,000 in scholarships for the participating colleges and universities who display their school’s dynamic spirit and music programs during their captivating performances.
In addition to the talent being featured on the field, the National Battle of the Bands will continue its tradition of hosting a college recruitment fair from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. The college recruitment fair is free and open to area students interested in higher education opportunities from 20 of the top HBCUs in the country.
Tickets for the event are only $15 and will go on sale soon.
Bragging rights are on the line as the most talented bands launch into a new season of show-stopping performances. You have got to see it – to feel it! Make sure you are in the place.
For more information about the National Battle of the Bands, be sure to visit www.nationalbattleofthebands.com.