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N.C. A&T band members compete in the National Battle of the Bands

The 2021 Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands presented by Pepsi Zero Sugar is the largest HBCU marching band event.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The National Battle of the Bands is back for another year of competition.

North Carolina A&T State University’s Blue and Gold Marching Machine will showcase its talent in Houston, Texas on August 29.

The 2021 Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands presented by Pepsi Zero Sugar is the largest HBCU marching band event.

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N.C. A&T will compete against seven other historically black colleges and universities at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Trumpet Section Leader, Cameren Calhoun, of the Blue and Gold Marching Machine, said this is an opportunity of a lifetime.

“We didn’t get a real season last year because of Covid,” Calhoun said.

“I think that everyone is just glad and ready to be back, and we’re just really excited for this show. I think that we’re really working hard because we know what it’s like to have a normal season so going into Houston, we’re going to give it our all.”

This is the seventh year of the national band showcase.

Event Creator Derek Webber said more than $500,000 dollars in scholarships will be given to participating schools.

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“Each participating band gets an all-expense-paid trip to Houston as well as $23,000 apiece in scholarship funding,” Webber explained

“It’s super important for us to continue the flow of funding to help support our HBCUs through music arts and education.”

The bands will take the field Sunday at 4 p.m.