Too bad there is no such thing as a national weekly Marching Band Poll, especially in HBCU football, where the battle of the bands is just as important as the game. I thought about this possibility after my recent post regarding ‘And The Best Band In The Land Is?…” http://bighamp76.sportsblog.com/posts/2897743/and-the-best-hbcu-marching-band-in-the-land-is—-.html
The post got a lot of feedback. Some of it was regarding the highly unofficial poll from the story. As of today (8/4/2017) Tennessee State University ‘Aristocrat of Bands’ gathered 40 percent of the votes, with Jackson State University’s ‘Sonic Boom of the South’ was next at 29 percent. ‘Other’ bands listed in the poll at a strong 22 percent. Florida A&M was a surprising fourth, with only six percent of the votes.
The fact that ‘Other’ bands polled so strongly illustrates the problem with the poll. It is impossible to list all of the schools who are worthy of being listed as the ‘Best In The Land’. There are simply so many outstanding HBCU bands today. Hopefully, one day the football teams will be able to perform with the skill and execution of its bands.
As for a band poll, it would be fun, and great bragging rights, to have some kind of national assessment of how bands perform week to week, the way we do with football. There is certainly a level of performance a band can have from week to week, just as a football team. I assure you Bethune Cookman is going to be more fired up to go against FAMU, than they are against some other school.
There are definitely those of you with a trained eye and ears that can tell when a band isn’t quite on point. If you got a group of people together to look at tape on a weekly basis, you could be on to something. And, those of us who really love HBCU marching bands could learn a thing or two from you about the subtleties of what makes a band great.
Is it showmanship, precision marching, unique choreography, special musical arrangements, or just extraordinarily talented musicians? What are the top critical components in evaluating the bands? Can the components be scored for execution and difficulty much like a gymnasts moves are scored?
I would be interested to know what elements are critical, and why!
With technology today that allows us to share video and transmit so easily, anything is possible… even a weekly band poll. On the other hand, why even bother a good thing? At the end of the day HBCU bands will continue to entertain and amaze us.