Tag Archives: Aristocrat of Bands

TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands, College of Engineering get top honors at HBCU Digest Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands and the university’s College of Engineering received top honors at the recent 2017 HBCU Digest Awards.

(l to r) WDC alumni chapter member Leonard Stephens; Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering; Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of University Bands; WDC alumni chapter president Andrea Warren; WDC alumni chapter members Jocelyn Smith and Nahshon Bigham. (Submitted photo)

TSU was a finalist in 10 categories of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ Digest Awards. Its Aristocrat of Bands got Best Marching Band, and the College of Engineering won for Best Science, Technology, Engineer and Mathematics (STEM) program.

The winners were announced July 14 at the seventh annual HBCU Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Finalists were selected from more than 175 nominations from HBCUs across the country.

“This is a proud moment in my career,” Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of University Bands, said of receiving the award. “Not only to be recognized as the best HBCU marching band, but to be recognized along with our awesome College of Engineering.”

Former President Barack Obama greets members of TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands at the White House last year. (Submitted photo).

Last year, TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands played on the lawn of the White House. The band was invited to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It was the first HBCU band to perform for the Obama administration at the White House.

McDonald said there’s an academic connection between the band program and the College of Engineering in that engineering majors make up the largest group among the 264 members of the 2016-2017 Aristocrat of Bands.

Andrea Warren, president of the Washington, D.C., TSU alumni chapter, said the university’s band has helped the chapter spark interest in TSU with local D.C./Maryland/Virginia high school students following its performance at the White House and at Eastern Senior High School last year.

“As a product of TSU’s College of Engineering, and a lover and supporter of the Aristocrat of Bands, I could not be more thrilled with TSU receiving the Best Marching Band and Best STEM Program awards,” Warren said.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, said the HBCU award his college received recognizes the hard work of its faculty, staff and students.

“The demand for engineers, technologists, and computer scientists still exceeds the supply, and our dedicated faculty and staff are committed to providing a quality education with their engagement in classroom and laboratory learning,” he said.

Also this month, Hargrove received the INSIGHT into Diversity magazine’s 2017 Inspiring Leaders in STEM Award, which pays tribute to those who inspire a new generation of young people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Last year, TSU received HBCU awards for: Alumna of the Year, Dr. Edith Mitchell; Female Coach of the Year, Track and Field Coach Director Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice; and Female Student of the Year, RaCia Poston.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Aristocrat of Bands to perform at 54th Annual State of Metro Address

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nashville Mayor Megan Barry will include a lively performance by Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands when she delivers the “54th Annual State of Metro Address”  on April 26 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

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The TSU Aristocrat of Bands was the first HBCU band to perform at a presidential inauguration. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Known for high quality musical performances, innovative arrangements and precision marching, the Aristocrat of Bands was the first historically black college or university band to appear on national television in 1955, the first HBCU band to perform at a presidential inauguration, and the first HBCU band named as an official band for an NFL team – the Tennessee Titans in 2002. In September 2016, the band was invited to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the lawn of the White House.

“We are extremely honored for this invitation to perform at the Mayor’s State of Metro Address,” said Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of Bands. “We see this as another opportunity to showcase the talents in the Aristocrat of Bands as well as let other people see what’s good and outstanding about Tennessee State University.”

The mayor’s State of Metro Address will include important details about the mayor’s budget proposal, which will be presented to the Metro Council following the event, according to the mayor’s office.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the State of Metro Address, which begins at 10 a.m. For counting purposes only, attendees can RSVP at 54som.eventbrite.com. Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Anyone requesting accommodations due to disabilities should contact Jerry Hall, ADA Coordinator, at 615-862-8960 or Jerry.Hall@nashville.gov.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Aristocrat of Bands performs for who’s who list of celebrities, dignitaries at the White House

WASHINGTON, D.C. (TSU News Service) – President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama weren’t the only ones awed by the powerful sound of Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands at the White House on Sept. 23.

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President Glover confers with U.S. Congressman and Civil Rights icon John Lewis at a reception in the White House minutes after the the Aristocrat of Bands’ performance on the south lawn. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The celebrity list of who’s who listening to the performance on the south lawn included music icon Quincy Jones, former basketball star Kobe Bryant, and Hollywood celebrities Debbie Allen and Samuel L. Jackson, just to name a few. There were also dignitaries and current and former government officials, including former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

The band was invited to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture; the first HBCU band to perform for the Obama administration at the White House.

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President Glover makes a point to actress Debbie Allen, one of many celebrities at the White House reception. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“We are extremely proud that our band and university are a part of this historic event with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in our nation’s capital,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “This is a proud moment for TSU, as we continue to build on our great legacy.”

The band’s tunes included Al Green’s “I’m Still In Love With You,” and TSU favorite, “I’m So Glad I Go to TSU.” Mrs. Obama liked what she heard so much that she posted the band on Instagram.

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President Glovers shares a moment with band officials following the performance by the Aristocrat of Bands on the south lawn of the White House. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of University Bands, called the opportunity to perform at the White House a “once in a lifetime chance.”

“A lot of people would never be able to say that they’ve had the opportunity to meet the President of the United States, let alone play on the White House lawn,” McDonald said. “This is tremendous.”

Later, President Glover and her delegation were invited to the Grand Hall of the White House for a reception with other dignitaries, following which the President and the first lady joined Dr. Glover and the Aristocrat of Bands for a photo.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands performs at the White House

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands was invited to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The famed band performed on the lawn of the White House on Friday, Sept. 23, a day before the museum was to open on the National Mall.

“We are extremely proud that our band and university are a part of this historic event with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in our nation¹s capital,” said Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover, who attended the event. “This is a proud moment for TSU as we continue to build
on our great legacy. TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands is the first HBCU band to perform for this administration at the White House.”

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Members of TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands outside White House. (submitted photo)

Dr. Reginald McDonald, director of University Bands, called the opportunity a “once in a lifetime chance.”

“A lot of people would never be able to say that they’ve had the opportunity to meet the President of the United States, let alone play on the White House lawn,” McDonald said. “This is tremendous.”

TSU has a number of items that will be part of opening exhibits at the museum, which has built a collection of about 40,000 artifacts. Several of the items are tied to legendary TSU Track and Field Coach Ed Temple, who died Thursday at the age of 89.

Glover said while the visit to the White House was exciting, it was also somewhat somber because of Temple’s death.

“This is a sad time as we mourn the loss of our beloved Coach Ed temple, who would have attended the event,” she said. “TSU has a number of sports-related items in the museum’s opening exhibits that are there because of the accomplishments of Temple at TSU
and the Olympics.”

Grant Winrow, TSU’s director of special projects, worked with Kelli Sharpe, assistant vice president for public relations and communications, to help the museum coordinate the display of the university items.

Winrow said the items, as well as the band’s performance, showcase TSU’s “excellence.”

“Now all the world can see what our great university has produced,” Winrow said.

Smithsonian officials estimate annual visits to the museum will average between four to five million people in its first few years.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

TSU Aristocrat of Bands Selected for the 2016 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands is preparing to perform once again in the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase. The band was recently selected in a competitive online voting process in which the nation’s top band contenders from Historically Black Colleges and Universities vied for a spot in the annual showcase.

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TSU Aristocrat of Bands set for its seventh appearance at the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

TSU was among only eight HBCU bands making the final cut and will gather at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Jan. 30, 2016 to entertain thousands of students, alumni and other fans with their musical talents and showmanship.

Along with Tennessee State, the other bands selected included Alabama A&M University, Alcorn State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Jackson State University, Lincoln University (PA), Prairie View A&M University, and South Carolina State University. Each band will receive a $20,000 grant from Honda to support their music education programs, and will receive paid travel and lodging accommodations to the Invitational Showcase.

“The Honda Battle of the Bands is an once-in-a-lifetime experience that helps HBCU student musicians showcase their talent and discover their greatness, both on- and off-the-field,” said Steve Morikawa, vice president of Corporate Community Relations, American Honda. “Honda is proud to have a longstanding relationship with America’s HBCUs, and is honored that many students consider this event a highlight of their collegiate experience.”

This will be the seventh appearance for the Aristocrat of Bands at the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase, having performed in 2003, 2004, 2011, and 2012, 2013, and 2015.

“Our Aristocrat of Bands students work extremely hard academically and as musicians, and we are proud that we have been selected to participate in the Honda Battle of the Bands for yet another year,” said Dr. Reginald McDonald, director of University Bands. “We appreciate all of those who voted for us to be a part of this competition and look forward to presenting a show that lives up to the outstanding Aristocrat of Bands legacy of quality musicianship and energetic showmanship.”

Tickets to the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase are available for purchase now on the HBOB website, http://www.hondabattleofthebands.com/, and start at just $10.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Band Camp Comes Marching into Tennessee State University

Aristocrat of Bands holds Edward L. Graves Summer Band Camp June 13-20

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – They have been a staple at the Tennessee State University for nearly 70 years, performing all over the country and for numerous U.S. presidents. Now the Aristocrat of Bands will bring their expertise and showmanship skills to help train the next generation of musicians during the 4th Annual Edward L. Graves High School Summer Camp.

summer_band_campSlated to take place at TSU June 13-20, the camp is designed for rising ninth through 12th graders to help foster the musicianship and marching expertise of young musicians.

During the eight-day camp, students will have the opportunity to learn about marching technique, dance and musicianship. The camp closes out with performances designed to showcase what the students have learned during the course of the week.

According to Dr. Reginald McDonald, acting Director of Bands, students from as far as Chicago, Atlanta, Kansas City, Kansas, and Memphis, Tennessee, will come to the University to learn the rigors of performing as a member of TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands and what it takes to be successful in today’s collegiate band programs.

“We are excited to be offering this opportunity for area high school students interested in expanding their marching and music skills,” said McDonald. “Not only will this expose students to the basic elements of the Aristocrat of Bands, but also experience college life for a week. When they return to their high school, they will have the tools to be a productive member of their high-school marching band.”

Cost for the camp is $275 for non-residential, and $375 for residential campers. All students must bring their own instruments, with Drum Majors supplying their own major instrument as well as mace. Flag bearers must bring their own flags, while twirlers must bring batons.

The camps ends with musicians performing at the Edward L. Graves Scholarship Gala, June 19, and again for parents and the general public on Saturday, June 20.

To register or for more information, call Melva Townsend at 615.963.2525 or email mtate01@tnstate.edu.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Nearly 60,000 Fans Witness Aristocrat of Bands Performance at 2015 Honda Battle of the Band Invitational Showcase

Fans also witness presentation of first-ever Honda Power of Dreams Award to TSU honoree with on-field surprise: a 2015 Honda CR-V

 

 

The Aristocrat of Bands returned to Atlanta for a sixth time to participate in the 2015 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase January 25, performing in front of nearly 60,000 fans in the Georgia Dome.
The Aristocrat of Bands returned to Atlanta for a sixth time to participate in the 2015 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase January 25, performing in front of nearly 60,000 fans in the Georgia Dome.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) –Returning for a sixth time, the Aristocrat of Bands from Tennessee State University marched into the Georgia Dome in Atlanta January 25 and performed their high-energy showcase that has made the band famous at home and across the country.

The AOB performed in front of nearly 60,000 fans in the dome along with seven other bands from Historically Black Colleges and Universities from across the country during the 13th Annual Honda Battle of the Bands that showcased the talents and musical showmanship of more than 2,100 student musicians.

According to Dr. Robert Elliot, chair of the Music Department, the students had an opportunity to see what excellence meant in a real-world setting.

“The Honda Battle of the Bands is a class act in every way,” said Elliott. The planning was excellent, while the execution was even better, and everyone involved is treated with respect. It was an honor to be a part of this event.”

The AOB was one of eight of bands selected out of 38 bands competing for an opportunity to travel to Atlanta through a fierce online voting process. In addition to voting, students, alumni and fans of each HBCU took to social media to help their favorite marching bands advance. The band not only scored big with fans during their performance, but also with Honda, which provided each school with a $20,000 grant to support music education, plus travel to and accommodations in Atlanta for the Invitational Showcase.

“The Honda Cooperation is the only major company in the United States to make this type of significant contribution and support to HBCU bands and instrumental music education,” said Dr. Reginald McDonald, acting band director. “It was indeed an honor to be selected as one of the top eight HBCU bands in the country, and as a show of support for the selection to attend, our students put on an awesome performance.”

This was the sixth appearance for the Aristocrat of Bands at the Honda Battle of the Bands, having performed in 2003, 2004, 2011, 2012 and 2014. According to McDonald, the support of Tennessee State University student body, alumni, administration, faculty, staff and Fans was truly “breathe taking.”

“To be selected for the fourth time in five years under my leadership is confirmation that we are moving the band program here at Tennessee State University to elite status,” he added.

Audrey Stradford sits in her new 2015 Honda CR-V presented to her by American Honda Motor Co. Stratford was named the first-ever Honda Power of Dreams Award honoree for her lifelong dedication to serving HBCU students and the Tennessee State University community, and was awarded the vehicle at the 13th annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase on Jan. 24, 2015.
Audrey Stradford sits in her new 2015 Honda CR-V presented to her by American Honda Motor Co. Stratford was named the first-ever Honda Power of Dreams Award honoree for her lifelong dedication to serving HBCU students and the Tennessee State University community, and was awarded the vehicle at the 13th annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase on Jan. 24, 2015.

The showcase provided another first for schools and fans attending the event. This year, Honda awarded the first-ever Honda Battle of the Bands Power of Dreams Award, meant to honor an individual who has helped HBCU culture thrive—by helping students achieve their dreams through positive support, guidance and leadership within the institution or community.

This year, the inaugural award went to Audrey Stradford, who works as a financial aid assistant at the University, for her lifelong dedication to serving HBCU students and the Tennessee State University community. The surprising moment came when Honda presented her a new 2015 Honda CRV.

“I was floored and didn’t know what to make of it,” said ‘Miss Audrey,’ as she is known around campus. “I’ve always been one to work behind the scenes. I’ve been a giver my whole life and it was hard for me to be on the receiving end. The new car was just the icing on the cake.”

The showcase, dubbed this year as “The Power of Dreams,” was intended to serves as a reminder to students and fans that life on and off the field is a journey, and no matter the challenge, the dream or what may lie ahead, “learning never stops as long as you commit to ‘march on.’”

“Honda congratulates the bands that participated in this year’s Invitational Showcase, and thanks all of the schools, students, alumni and fans who joined us to celebrate these amazing student musicians,” said Stephan Morikawa, Assistant Vice President, Corporate Community Relations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Honda is proud that the Invitational Showcase truly helped students realize what Honda calls The Power of Dreams.”

 

 

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Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands Selected for 13th Annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase

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Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands Selected for 13th Annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational

AOB1NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Congratulations to the Aristocrat of Bands!

The Tennessee State University nationally and internationally recognized marching band is on its way to yet another Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase.

The band was one of eight selected from among the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities after a fierce online voting process. In addition to voting, students, alumni and fans of each HBCU took to social media to help their favorite marching bands advance to the 13th annual Battle of the Band showcase in Atlanta.

Feedback from band directors, HBCU school presidents and representatives from American Honda were also considered in the selection process.

An overall winner will be selected when the final eight bands take the Georgia Dome by storm on Jan. 24, 2015, to showcase their “incredible” musical talent and “electrifying” showmanship in front of a packed crowd.

The other bands making the final eight along with the Aristocrat of Bands are the Mighty Marching Hornets of Alabama State University, the Marching Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University, Howard University’s Showtime Marching Band, making their first Honda Battle of the Bands appearance, and the Sonic Boom of the South from Jackson State University.

Also selected are North Carolina A&T University’s Blue and Gold Marching Machine, the Human Jukebox from Southern University, and the Marching Tornado of Talladega College.

This will be the sixth appearance for the Aristocrat of Bands at the Honda Battle of the Bands, having performed in 2003, 2004, 2011, and 2012 and 2014.

“It is gratifying that this will be the fourth time in five years for us to be chosen under my leadership,” said Dr. Reginald McDonald, acting band director. “Although we were selected by people voting online based on what they have seen and heard from our halftime shows, we look and sound great.”

According to a Honda release, this year’s theme, “March On,” is intended to serves as a reminder to students and fans that life on and off the field is a journey, and no matter the challenge, the dream or what may lie ahead, “learning never stops as long as you commit to ‘March On.’”

“Honda congratulates the eight bands selected to participate in the Invitational Showcase and thanks all of the schools, students, alumni and fans that participated in the process leading to Atlanta,” said Stephan Morikawa, assistant vice president, Corporate Community Relations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Honda is committed to supporting education at HBCUs by investing in their programs and providing a platform aimed at helping students realize what Honda calls The Power of Dreams.”

The 2015 Invitational Showcase will feature the first-ever Honda Battle of the Bands Power of Dreams Award. Participating teams and fans will have the opportunity to nominate an outstanding member of their community who is working to help students achieve their dreams. Honda will then select a winner who will be recognized in Atlanta at the 2015 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase.

Tickets to the Honda Battle of the Bands are available for purchase now on the official website, starting at just $10. The participating eight HBCUs will receive a $20,000 grant from Honda to support their music education programs, plus travel to and accommodations in Atlanta for the Invitational Showcase.

In another development, the Aristocrat of Bands has, for the second time, been invited to perform at the Bands of America Grand National Championship in Indianapolis in November.

According to McDonald, TSU will be the only HBCU to play twice in the Bands of America Grand Nationals, considered the nation’s premier marching band event.

“It is unique that these top high schools at the competition will get to see our band perform. We see this opportunity as a recruitment tool for both the band and the University,” added McDonald, who put the graduation rate among band members at more than 75 percent.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU, Honda Battle of the Bands Ready to “March On” to the Georgia Dome

Voting Open for Fans to Help Determine the Final Eight to Perform in Atlanta in January 2015

2014BattleOfTheBandsNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Aristocrat of Bands from Tennessee State University is hoping to make a triumphant return to Atlanta and the Honda Battle of the Bands as one of the eight most prestigious marching bands from America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. They hope to be selected to take the Georgia Dome by storm with their incredible musical talent and electrifying showmanship.

In order to secure one of the top spots from the 38 bands attempting to do the same, the band needs everyone to vote them into the January 24, 2015 competition. Voters can visit the Honda Battle of the Bands website and vote up to six times per day for their favorite TSU band.

To date, the Aristocrat of Bands has appeared five times at the annual showcase in Atlanta beginning in 2003. They subsequently appeared in 2004, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

For 13 consecutive years, the Honda Battle of the Bands has provided the nation’s top HBCU marching bands a platform to share their unique blend of musicianship and choreography with millions of fans. This year’s theme, “March On,” serves as a reminder to students and fans that life on and off the field is a journey, and no matter the challenge, the dream or what may lie ahead, learning never stops as long as you commit to “March On.”

Now until Wednesday, Oct. 15, fans can go online and vote daily to help select the final eight bands that will perform at the 2015 Invitational Showcase. Voting ends on October 15, 2014, at midnight EDT.

“Honda is deeply committed to supporting the dreams of HBCU students by investing in their education and showcasing exceptional student musicians,” said Stephan Morikawa, Assistant Vice President, Corporate Community Relations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “As we continue to prepare our participating band members to March On, both on the field and in life, we look forward to a thrilling and uplifting event in Atlanta.”

The 2015 Invitational Showcase will feature the first-ever Honda Battle of the Bands Power of Dreams Award. Each participating team will have the opportunity to nominate an outstanding member of their community who is working to help students achieve their dreams. Honda will then select a winner who will be recognized in Atlanta at the 2015 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase.

For more information on the 2015 Honda Battle of the Bands, visit HondaBattleoftheBands.com.

Since its inception in 1946, and subsequently becoming a show band under the administration of second TSU President Dr. Walter S. Davis, the Aristocrat of Bands has been featured at many international and national events, including half-time shows at several NFL games, Bowl games and Classics, and Presidential Inaugurations.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Aristocrat of Bands Marches into History

TSU becomes first collegiate band to perform at Hall of Fame Halftime Show

Tennessee State University's Aristocrat of Bands performance concluded with a tremendous fireworks display during the Pro Foot Ball Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Sunday, August 3. Hall of Fame inductee Claude Humphrey was on the sidelines for the show. (photo by John S. Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands performance concluded with a tremendous fireworks display during the Pro Foot Ball Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Sunday, August 3. Hall of Fame inductee Claude Humphrey was on the sidelines for the show. (photos by John S. Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, proved to be better the second time around for the Aristocrat of Bands when they became the first collegiate band to perform the halftime show in the game’s 51-year history.

The TSU marching show band, the only collegiate band ever invited to perform at the Hall of Fame game, was first invited in 2011 when TSU Tiger great and former Chicago Bear Richard Dent was enshrined. However, the Band never made it to the field due to the NFL lockout.

But like a scene from the 2002 movie, “Drumline,” the dynamic group wowed fans with their high-energy show in the Pro Football Hall of Fame stadium parking lot. While hundreds of fans showed up for the performance, it just wasn’t the same as performing at halftime, a show the AOB has become known for both in NFL and college stadiums across the country.

“It was a little disappointing but we were fortunate to be invited back a second time, this time for Claude Humphrey, the second TSU Tiger enshrined into the Hall of Fame,” said Dr. Reginald McDonald, acting director of Bands. “It was important for us to represent the University and to celebrate the achievement of one of our family members.”

The performance by Band, according to officials at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is the first time a University band has played in the nationally televised halftime show at the annual enshrinement game that wraps up a weekend of festivities and induction ceremonies.

They can now add this honor to their already impressive list of firsts, including the first HBCU to play in a presidential inaugural parade in 1961; the first university, black or white, to play an NFL halftime show in 1955; and first HBCU invited to perform at the high school Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis last year.

“It really was an honor to not only perform for the enshrinement of one of TSU’s legendary football players, but also to bring part of the University to Canton and share our showmanship with the country. It’s something our students will never forget,” added McDonald.

AOB2The excitement started as soon as the 294-member Aristocrats ran onto historic Fawcett Stadium, a high school venue that seats only 22,000 fans. When the announcer asked the crowd if they were “ready to start the show,” the stadium erupted into deafening cheers and applause as the band broke into a rendition of “Happy” by Pharrel Williams. The eight-minute show concluded with the introduction of Humphrey, Dent and TSU president, Glenda Glover.

The show and participation in the HOF parade the day earlier, said McDonald, was an opportunity for the band to “puff out their chests.”

“This really was an opportunity to show off to the nation the high-energy showmanship of the Aristocrat of Bands,” he said. “I’ve been at the University for 14 years and director for four, and I can say this group is going to be a very special group this year and beyond.”

The Aristocrat of Bands now shifts their attention toward the John Merritt Classic halftime show at LP Field, Saturday, August 30.

 

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About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.