I SEE U, Episode 23: Halftime is Their Time

It’s Historically Black College and University homecoming season! Director of the Texas Southern University Ocean of Soul marching band, Brian Simmons, and Director of the Prairie View A & M University Marching Storm share HBCU homecoming traditions and what happens when the band hits the field.

The Southern University Marching Band competes in the annual Bayou Classic Battle of the Bands, as part of the festivities of the annual college football classic, in New Orleans, Friday, Nov. 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)


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In Texas where football is king all schools are celebrating homecoming. That halfway point of the season where homecoming kings and queens are crowned, alumni return to be honored and remember their golden years, and the entire community is focused on tradition. At HBCUs or historically black colleges these festivities are accompanied by a wall of sound, a marching band that mixes traditional fanfare, with R&B and blues classics, contemporary dance routines and songs you just heard on the radio. They have become so important that there is now a tradition called the fifth quarter when the bands takeover when the football is done for a battle of the bands. You can lose the entire football game but hold your head high because your band won the fifth quarter. On this episode we'll be talking to Brian Simmons and Timmey Zachery who are the band directors at Texas Southern and Prairie View A&M Universities about homecoming and HBCU bands. The influence of these bands has never been greater, so we will talk to unexpected members of a black college band—a Latino student and international students.

The sound and fury of HBCU marching bands on this episode of I SEE U


This article is part of the I SEE U with Eddie Robinson podcast

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