MARCH 16, 2005

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Langston University Marching Pride dazzles 80,000 at ' Battle of the Bands'

Langston band members practiced and prepared for over six months to partake in Honda’s Battle of the Bands annual, national program, which showcases the pageantry and showmanship of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) dynamic marching bands.

The Langston University Marching Pride traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, recently and rocked the house of the Georgia Dome in front of 80,000 spectators during the Honda Battle of the Bands, showcasing the nation’s most elite Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) bands.

LU’s own maestro conductor, Albert L. Jackson, presided over all 10 HBCU bands for the opening "Star Spangled Banner" selection and a medley tribute to the late Jam Master J., Ray Charles, and Rick James. Other HBCU band directors voted and selected Jackson to conduct the pieces because they felt he had the most experience working with large bands, and many commented that they were impressed with LU’s style and sound.

Langston’s marching band out right captured the independent online popular vote permitting the Lions to attend.

“We have been competing for a spot for two years, but never earned a place,” Jackson said.

To ensure their spot at the Georgia Dome, Jackson sent out a brochure and CD showcasing the Lion’s talent and securing not only the popular vote, but generating enough HBCU presidents and band directors’ votes, putting LU’s Marching Pride Band over the top.

The 150 strong piece machine was among the nation’s HBCU’s leading bands as well as Alabama A&M University, Bethune-Cookman College, Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M University, North Carolina Central University, Prairie View A&M University, Savannah State University, Tuskegee University, and Virginia State University.

Derek Webber, an Urban Sports and Entertainment Group representative, presented Albert Jackson with a plaque on behalf of the Honda group. Webber said, “It’s a great opportunity on behalf of Honda to have you there, and you guys deserve it.”

Jackson said, “I am happy for the Langston University family, especially the members of the LU Marching Pride. We are truly deserving, and I am proud to have been afforded the opportunity to help achieve their goal.”

The Marching Pride received $10,000 for participating.

Contact: Deena Thomas, 1-405-466-3484