SportsCollege Sports


Marching 100 ready to battle at Honda Battle of the Bands

Posted at 12:03 AM, Jan 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-25 00:03:46-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) - The Honda Battle of the Bands takes centerstage in Atlanta on Saturday. The event is invite only, and Florida A&M's Marching 100 is one of eight bands chosen to perform. For those in the 100, being chosen is not a surprise. They wouldn't be the 100 if they weren't on top.

"You look at any other band and they're doing what we already have done or what we are currently doing," said band president Matthew James. "They don't do it nearly as well as we can."

"We draw the creativity from the students," said Director of Bands Dr. Shelby Chipman. "We relate the creativity as it goes to staying relevant to the times and the trends that will help connect our shows to the audiences we're playing for."

Creativity that takes time to perfect, as being part of the 100 isn't easy.

"Across the board physically it's challenging, musically it's challenging, and mentally it's challenging," said Naomi Cuellar, who is the trombone section leader. "You have to want it everyday."

"First seeing the band on YouTube and now being part of it, it's truly a great experience," said euphonium player Brandon Blair.

"Seeing and actually doing it completely different things," added his twin Bryan. "It's not for everyone. It's truly not."

The work is worth the reward. The 100 is internationally known.

"If I'm wearing a Marching 100 shirt, or I have an instrument in my hand, and they ask me what band I play in, nine times out of ten someone will know what that means," said Cuellar.

"We're mindful that we stand on the shoulders of giants that come before us, so we're always searching for an opportunity to create more excitement for the future of this band," added Dr. Chipman.

A future that in incomparable. The Battle of the Bands starts at 3:00 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Along with getting to display their talent, the 100 received a $20,000 dollar grant to support their music education program.