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Marching Crimson Pipers Preparing to Thrill Crowds at the National Battle of the Bands

May 20, 2024

Marching Crimson Pipers performing on the field
Marching Crimson Pipers performing on the field.

Contact: Thonnia Lee, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing

When the Tuskegee University Marching Crimson Pipers take the field at the 10th annual National Battle of the Bands in Houston, Texas in August, they will be one of eight chosen to perform before the more than 50,000 member crowd.

“Celebrating Champions of Culture” honors the legacy of HBCU marching bands and champions their enduring influence on music and culture, said organizers of the crowd pleaser. The celebration runs Aug. 23 through Aug. 25 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Moving the crowds with the power of the drums and horns, the band will blow crowd favorites and university classics and show how much the band has grown since the arrival of band director Dr. J. William Nicholas two years ago.

“This is a huge moment for the program, and we are thrilled to be part of the action,” said Dr. Nicholas. “We’ve been working hard to rebuild this historic program and we’re looking forward to showing everyone our development and growth with our positive return to national attention.”

The band’s performance will also give it an opportunity to strut before a national audience and show young band members preparing for college that the Marching Crimson Pipers should be included in their conversation around college band choices.

Dr. J. William Nicholas, band director

“This performance invitation is also an opportunity to recruit and attract talented prospective students to Tuskegee University,” said Dr. Nicholas. “The National Battle of the Bands’ HBCU S.T.E.M College and Career Fair will help showcase Tuskegee as the No. 4 HBCU and one of the leading producers of mechanical, chemical, electrical and aerospace engineers in the country.”

The National Battle of the Bands is the largest African American event in Texas and has provided over $1.3 million in scholarships to over 20 participating HBCUs. For their performance, the Marching Crimson Pipers will receive a $50,000 scholarship donation.

“Celebrating 10 years of the National Battle of the Bands is a milestone that goes beyond music – it’s about the impact these bands have on their communities and the broader cultural landscape,” said Derek Webber, CEO of Webber Marketing and Executive Producer of National Battle of the Bands. “This anniversary is a testament to the enduring spirit and resilience of HBCU marching bands and we’re proud to continue amplifying their incredible stories and contributions.”


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