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Football games serve a different purpose at HBCUs: They’re the bookends for the halftime show. During halftime, no one is going to the concession stands or taking a restroom break. If you did, you’d be missing out on the real reason football games traditionally exist at HBCUs in the first place: the battle of the bands.
Lassiter High School Band, a nationally recognized ensemble that will perform in this month’s Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, teaches discipline and love for music. But most important, for students on the brink of adulthood, it’s a place to belong.
Tomisha Brock made history when she was named band director of Clark Atlanta University as the first woman to lead the band and the first female band director in the entire Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. We recently spoke with Brock about what makes marching band culture so unique at HBCUs.
Many of Lafitte’s incredibly detailed works depict New Orleans’s celebrated high school marching bands, which all but disappeared in the years after the storm. His Atlanta Contemporary show features 30 18-by-24-inch drawings, which fit together to present one massive band, with smaller pieces below and above.
Each January, eight bands—out of a field of dozens—arrive at the Georgia Dome to perform at the Honda Battle of the Bands, a showcase of music, choreography, and all-around showmanship.