Norfolk State, Kentucky State maintain prime spots in remaining HBCU band rankings — •

It’s time for this season’s remaining Undefeated HBCU Band Rankings, and we have now a brand new prime faculty in each Division I and Division II: Norfolk State Spartan Legion and Kentucky State Thorobred Specific.

The Florida A&M Marching 100 jumped again into the Division I rankings, claiming the No. 2 spot, and the Southern Human Jukebox remained No. 3.

Norfolk State Spartan Legion, which was No. 5 in final month’s rankings, moved to No. 1 on the energy of prime scores for footage, drill and design; musicality; percussion; and a top-10 putting in drum main and auxiliaries.

“Thanks, ESPN and the Undefeated adjudicators for this terrific honor and acknowledgment. As well as, an enormous thanks to the NSU administration, workers, alumni, household and buddies for his or her unwavering help,” mentioned professor William Beathea, director of bands at Norfolk State.

“Right here at NSU, we problem the scholars in musicianship, bodily coaching and drill execution. We’re very happy with their improvement to this point and willingness to proceed to enhance. Furthermore, the usual of efficiency by our friends within the HBCU band world may be very excessive, and it helps push us to thrive for efficiency excellence.”

The Kentucky State Thorobred Specific, which was unranked initially, No. 4 within the second rankings and No. 3 in final month’s ballot, moved to No. 1 in Division II as a result of it earned top-three finishes in auxiliaries; footage, drill and design; and drum main.

The previous prime band in Division II, Florida Memorial Roar, dropped 5 spots to No. 6, Benedict School Marching Tiger Band of Distinction remained No. 2, and the Miles School Purple Marching Machine jumped two spots to No. 3.

The rankings, performed by two six-person panels of present and retired band administrators and traditionally Black school and college choreographers, consider bands on musicality; footage, drill and design; percussion; auxiliaries; and drum majors. Judges critique the bands’ routines, then present suggestions to the packages.

“I actually consider our rankings have contributed to creating our HBCU bands higher than ever. Each type of adjudication has some degree of subjectivity, which all the time leaves room for dialogue relating to which band is healthier,” mentioned Don P. Roberts, government guide for • HBCU Band Rankings. “What makes our band rating so credible and effectively revered is that our template is designed to enhance the overall band efficiency. I assure that bands are paying extra consideration to element with regard to drum majors, auxiliaries, percussion and the highest-scored areas of musicality, and footage, drill and design than ever earlier than. We all know our course of isn’t excellent, however any band that works on these important parts will enhance their total program.”

“Folks shouldn’t assume something lower than being No. 1 is a failure. A greater gauge of a band’s success is how typically you make our prime 10 total [and also in the subcategories]. Making the highest 10 as soon as is an effective accomplishment. Making it twice is a superb accomplishment. Making it 3 times is an distinctive accomplishment. Making it 4 occasions in a single season means you’ve gotten a unprecedented band program.

“Nonetheless, I all the time inform the administrators that the rankings won’t ever change the love and help the bands have in their very own communities,” mentioned Roberts. “Each HBCU band is No. 1 each day on their campus and to their dwelling fan base.“

This concludes the fourth yr of rating bands from all NCAA Division I and Division II faculties, which embrace the Mid-Japanese Athletic Convention, Southwestern Athletic Convention, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Convention and Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Convention. Unbiased faculties resembling Tennessee State, Hampton and North Carolina A&T in Division I, and Talladega School, Allen College, Langston College, Florida Memorial and Edward Waters in Division II, are additionally rated.

Julian E. White, director of bands emeritus at Florida A&M College, has been an adjudicator for the reason that first yr of the rankings in 2017.

“The HBCU marching band rankings are very useful to administrators in all conferences. Skilled administrators from all throughout America make strategies for enchancment to their colleagues. This has had a really optimistic impact on the HBCU marching bands,” mentioned White. “There was great progress in bands for the reason that implementation of this course of a number of years in the past. The distinction between the ESPN and Undefeated rankings and others is the truth that our evaluations are made by current and retired band administrators.”

Prime 10 HBCU Division I Bands

Total Rank Auxiliary Drum Main Musicality Percussion Footage, Drill and Design
1. +4Norfolk State 6 4 1 1 (tie) 5
2. Florida A&M 11 2 3 1 (tie) 3
3. Southern 2 3 9 3 2
4. Bethune-Cookman 14 1 2 10 4
5. +2Jackson State 7 5 6 4 8
6. +2Tennessee State 10 10 7 8 7
7. -6Prairie View A&M 15 6 4 7 6
8. -6North Carolina A&T 9 9 11 6 1
9. -3Alabama A&M 4 15 5 5 10
10. Arkansas Pine-Bluff 12 13 10 11 9


  1. Hampton College (Unbiased)
  2. Southern College
  3. Texas Southern College
  4. Alabama A&M College
  5. Alcorn State College

Drum Main

  1. Bethune-Cookman College
  2. Florida A&M College
  3. Southern College
  4. Norfolk State College
  5. Jackson State College


  1. Norfolk State College
  2. Bethune-Cookman College
  3. Florida A&M College
  4. Prairie View A&M College
  5. Alabama A&M College


  1. Florida A&M College (tied for 1st)
  2. Norfolk State College (tied for 1st)
  3. Southern College
  4. Jackson State College
  5. Alabama A&M College

Footage, Drill and Design

  1. North Carolina A&T State College (Unbiased)
  2. Southern College
  3. Florida A&M College
  4. Bethune-Cookman College
  5. Norfolk State College
Norfolk State

Florida A&M


Prime 10 HBCU Division II Bands

Total Rank Auxiliary Drum Main Musicality Percussion Footage, Drill and Design
1. +2Kentucky State 3 3 14 7 1
2. Benedict 5 6 1 2 2
3. +2Miles 4 2 12 13 4
4. Edward Waters 22 1 16 1 11
5. +3Tuskegee 1 4 18 21 18
6. -5Florida Memorial 14 22 5 3 5
7. Elizabeth Metropolis 9 7 19 4 15
8. Langston 7 16 8 12 3
9. -3Allen 18 20 7 5 10
10. -6Winston-Salem 12 5 4 17 7


  1. Tuskegee School
  2. Central State College
  3. Kentucky State College
  4. Miles School
  5. Benedict School

Drum Main

  1. Edward Waters School (Unbiased)
  2. Miles School
  3. Kentucky State College
  4. Tuskegee School
  5. Winston-Salem State College


  1. Benedict School
  2. Fort Valley State College
  3. Virginia State College
  4. Winston-Salem State College
  5. Florida Memorial


  1. Edward Waters School (Unbiased)
  2. Benedict School
  3. Florida Memorial
  4. Elizabeth Metropolis State College
  5. Allen College (Unbiased)

Footage, Drill and Design

  1. Kentucky State College
  2. Benedict School
  3. Langston College
  4. Miles School
  5. Florida Memorial
Kentucky State



Band judging standards

Auxiliaries: Dance/flag routine, baton/flag carriage, utilization of area, marching/strut method, uniform, model and extra.

Drum main: Conducting, baton carriage, utilization of area, marching method, accuracy and definition, model and self-discipline.

Musicality: Tone, intonation, stability, method, consistency of fashion, interpretation and musical impact.

Percussion: Rudimental excellence, normal look, showmanship, method/stick management, drill execution, model consistency and self-discipline.

Footage, drill and design: Intervals and spacing, creativity, marching model, precision in timing, definition of patterns, showmanship, instrument carriage and showmanship.

Mia Berry is a 2020 graduate of Notre Dame College with a B.A. diploma in movie, TV and theatre. She is the HBCU reporter for •.


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