The Honda Battle of the Bands 2017 featured eight HBCU marching bands that delivered awe-inspiring performances to a live Georgia Dome.

Fans from all over the world viewed a historic showcase of musical talent, as Honda Battle of the Bands celebrated its 15th anniversary. The marching band event of the year for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) presented eight top marching bands with a national platform to display remarkable showmanship, precise instrumentation and carefully-crafted choreography, both live and streamed online. Each of the participating universities received grants to help fund and support their music education programs.

Highlights of the Invitational Showcase included a surprise performance by Alabama A&M alumnus Ruben Studdard, a show-stopping routine by the Alabama State Honey Bees and a special laser light show to commemorate the 15th-anniversary celebration. First-time participant, Benedict College Marching Band of Distinction captured the crowd’s full attention with their powerful sound, even as the smallest band in the lineup. To conclude the display of dynamic musical talent, the final eight bands joined together on the field, over 1,600 musicians deep, for a captivating grand finale mass band medley.

HBCU Power of Dreams Award

For the third year, Honda honored an exceptional individual who has positively affected the lives of others in the community. Dr. N. Jean Hudley was named the 2017 HBCU Power of Dreams Award winner. Dr. Hudley is the founder of Boys2Men Home & Sanctuary for Youth, Inc. (B2M), a nonprofit organization created to help underserved young men ages 13-25. Dr. Hudley was presented with a surprise grant to support her future endeavors.

“Dr. Hudley’s work is a shining example of how fostering the dreams of our youth strengthens communities and makes our world a better place,” said Alexandra Warnier, Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility for Honda. “Honda’s long-standing partnership with the HBCU community is a testament to the power of dreams, and we’re proud to support the students that make this program such a success each and every year.”

More than 55,000 fans attended the Invitational Showcase. And with the help of the second annual HBOB live stream on, the program expanded its reach to a global audience. #HBOB was the number two Twitter trending topic in the United States, helping to bring more visibility to the nation’s HBCUs.

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