Yesterday morning, the folks at the Honda Battle of the Bands
released the bands invited to the 2012 Invitational Showcase. In the third year of the new, eight band format, the participants are:
- Virginia State and Winston-Salem State (CIAA)
- Bethune-Cookman and South Carolina State (MEAC)
- Albany State (SIAC)
- Jackson State and Prairie View A&M (SWAC)
- Tennessee State (Independent)
Two primary observations: One is that the field is fairly balanced with respect to conference membership. Along with the change in number of participating bands (down to eight from ten) the manner in which conferences were represented changed as well. In the current format, each conference (and one independent) is guaranteed one representative, with the remaining three spots going to at-large bands. The first year of the new format saw three SIAC representatives, with the CIAA, MEAC, and Independents notching one participant apiece.
The second observation is that it looks quite familiar. In fact, there has been just one change from last year: Clark Atlanta is out, and Prairie View is in. This is a significant upgrade, and with all respect due to PVAMU, I don't mean that as a slight at Clark. It's purely opportunity based. After all, while folks travel from all over to attend Honda, bandheads in Atlanta have every opportunity to see CAU on a regular basis. Prairie View is more of a treat in that sense.
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