Need a Pick-Me-Up? The Honda Battle of the Bands – HBCU Marching Bands – Will Get Your Motor Running

Honda Battle Of The Bands Featured Image
Honda Battle of the Bands returned to a live event format for 2023.

This BotB is incredible and we can’t stop watching.

Recently, Alabama State University played host to Honda’s 2023 Battle of the Bands, and thousands of performers, alumni and audiences turned out to march, dance and perform in this spirited, high-energy showcase. This year’s event marks its the 18th year as one of the largest celebrations of Black culture, with marching bands, dance teams and ecstatic fans. In its first live event since 2020 and the first time to be held on the campus of a Historically Black College [or] University, or HBCU, the excitement around this year’s showcase was electric.

The theme of the event was “Driving the Legacy,” which celebrates the distinct culture and heritage of HBCUs. Six HBCU marching bands were invited to Montgomery, Alabama to compete in high energy performances. The hypnotic coordination, the incredible dancers, and of course the upbeat music makes us wish this was the soundtrack to all of our days.

Related: The 2023 Honda Pilot 3 Row SUV Now Has a Removable Seat for 7 or 8? Get Out!

Virginia State University. Photo: Honda

Virginia State University. Photo: Honda

Curious How the Six Bands Were Chosen?

Fans nationwide were asked to vote online and more than 100,000 responded. HBCU band directors and students as well as Honda representatives were part of the selection process as well. Here are the six bands that showcased their talents and brought students and alumni together.

Alabama State University Mighty Marching Hornets with their 7th appearance

Langston University Marching Pride with their 4th appearance

Morgan State University Magnificent Marching Machine in their 1st appearance

Savannah State University Powerhouse of the South in their 7th appearance

Texas Southern University Ocean of Soul in their 3rd appearance

Virginia State University Trojan Explosion in their 10th appearance

A Battle That Everyone Wins

Each of these bands received an all-expense paid trip to the Invitational Showcase as well as a $50,000 grant from Honda for participation. These grants help support music education and career development programs. And because this was a showcase, it was not a competition. We like to think the audience is the winner!

The stand battles were also a lot of fun to watch. The bands perform a song in the stands, and then the dance team performs a choreographed routine to the songs. They go head-to-head with another school, and it’s fun to see the contrasts in the bands and dancers’ performances side-by-side.

Related: The Redesigned 2022 Honda Civic, in the Civic Si Edition: a Stick Shift With No Compromises

Honda Battle Of The Bands Returned To A Live Event Format For 2023. Photo: Honda

Honda Battle of the Bands returned to a live event format for 2023. Photo: Honda

Honda isn’t Just Supporting Students

Impacting the lives of over 200,000 students, awarding over $14 million in grants and supporting HBCU education programs, Honda has provided networking opportunities for students and peers and an unforgettable experience to last a lifetime. They also hosted a college fair for high school students to connect with representatives from HBCUs.

In addition, Honda supported the host city of Montgomery through $100,000 in local grants and donating $20,000 to two nonprofit organizations that partnered with Honda to install a new mural on the ASU campus.

Want to know more, and get involved next year? You can visit or social media channels:

Honda will continuing supporting HBCUs with more upcoming events including the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, America’s premiere academic competition for HBCU students held April 15-19th – a different kind of challenge that also promises to raise heart rates and spirits.

I teach 6th grade social studies, travel the world in the summer, write auto/moto news between grading papers and... More about Tabatha Chovanetz