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ASU joins 'Final Eight' in band battle

The Albany State University Marching Rams Show Band will compete against seven other HBCU schools in the 2012 Honda Battle of the Bands invitational showcase in January in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. ASU also picked up a $20,000 grant from Honda for the school’s music education programs.

The Albany State University Marching Rams Show Band will compete against seven other HBCU schools in the 2012 Honda Battle of the Bands invitational showcase in January in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. ASU also picked up a $20,000 grant from Honda for the school’s music education programs.

ALBANY -- Albany State University has been chosen as one of just eight college marching bands that will showcase their talent in front of a national audience at the 2012 Honda Battle of the Bands invitational showcase next January.

"We are extremely proud to be selected for the 2012 Honda Battle of the Bands. The selection is indicative of the hard work of our students, faculty and staff," ASU Director of Bands Michael Decuir said. "It would not be possible without the strong support of our administration, particularly Dr. (Everette) Freeman. Finally, we stand on the shoulders of the other bands in our conference and ASU bands past."

Chosen from among 41 top-shelf bands at historically black colleges and universities across the U.S., the Albany State Marching Rams Show Band will be one of eight elite participants in the 10th annual invitational showcase to be held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Jan. 28.

In addition to an all-expenses-paid trip to the Battle of the Bands, ASU will earn a $20,000 grant from Honda for the university's music education programs.

Also competing in the Battle of the Bands showcase:

  • Bethune Cookman University "Marching Wildcats" (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)

  • Jackson State University "Sonic Boom of the South" (Southwestern Athletic Conference)

  • Prairie View A&M University "Marching Storm" (Southwestern Athletic Conference)

  • South Carolina State University "Marching 101" (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)

  • Tennessee State University "Aristocrat of Bands" (Independent)

  • Virginia State University "Marching Trojan Explosion" (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association)

  • Winston-Salem State University "Red Sea of Sound" (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association).

For ASU, the journey to the showcase involved months of practice and training, all in preparation for the band's Georgia Dome performances, during which each band will have 12 minutes to showcase its musical excellence, distinctive style and superior showmanship that earned it an invitation.

The Showcase bands are chosen via online voting, with votes by fans, students and alumni accounting for one-third of the selection criteria, and band directors and school presidents accounting for the balance of the selection process.