The NC A&T State University marching band is renowned for its talent and being very high energy.  That energy and talent brought a giant honor to the band recently.

The marching band – the “Blue & Gold Marching Machine” – won a national competition between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) around the country.  A&T’s band was selected as one of only eight bands to show off their talent at the “Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase 2020” in Atlanta.

The concert and showcase on Saturday, Jan. 25, included 2,400 musicians and dancers, with eight HBCU’s performing for a very large audience.  NC A&T, like the other seven winners on display in Atlanta, received a $20,000 donation from Honda to support their music programs.

Adorn Lewis Mitchell, a spokeswoman for the event, said NC A&T has been on an impressive run when it comes to having a top-class marching band.

“This is the 17th annual event and this is the 7th time NC A&T has been included,” she said.

She said the eight bands selected to go to Atlanta weren’t competing with each other once they got there.

“They are all winners,” she said of the eight bands. “This event is a showcase.”

The Atlanta event also included an appearance by rhythm and blues singer-songwriter Tank.  A crowd of more than 58,000 fans, students and alumni attended.

The theme for the 17th anniversary of the Honda Battle of the Bands was “Be the Dream” – a theme meant to highlight “the power that dreams have to inspire a brighter future.”

The show opened with a performance by all eight bands at once, with 2,400 musicians and dancers together on the field.

In addition to NC A&T’s Blue & Gold Marching Machine making its seventh appearance, the participating bands at this year’s Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase included:

  • Benedict College, the Marching Tiger Band of Distinction – 2nd appearance
  • Florida A&M University, Marching 100 – 7th appearance
  • Grambling State University, Tiger Marching Band – 2nd appearance
  • Hampton University, The Marching Force – 2nd appearance
  • Jackson State University, Sonic Boom of the South Marching Band – 9th appearance
  • Prairie View A&M University, Marching Storm – 9th appearance
  • Tennessee State University, Aristocrat of Bands – 9th appearance