Most colleges have a marching band, but there is nothing like an HBCU band. The unity and showmanship, the captivating choreography, and the excitement from the crowd all come together to encompass the feeling of Black joy and HBCU pride.

The marching band is a significant part of the HBCU experience, dating back to 1946 when Dr. William P. Foster began incorporating dance steps into Florida A&M’s  The Marching “100” band routines. As BestColleges reports, “He and the Marching “100” pioneered a new style that entertained audiences with high-stepping, horn-swinging showmanship infused with Black culture and Black excellence.” Today, almost all HBCUs have a marching band that embraces this innovative style and performance tradition.

Marching bands play a key role at HBCUs and in Black music and performance history. They bring in the crowd at football games for their electrifying halftime performances and are usually the main attraction for the homecoming parade. Many bands have also entertained audiences at events at the local, national, and international levels. 

A competitive spirit is a big part of HBCU band culture so we have to ask, which HBCU band is the best? 

You voted, we listened. Here are the results for this year’s Top HBCU Bands!

2. The Marching 100 – Florida A&M University

FAMU’s Incomparable Marching “100” is this year’s runner-up for the top HBCU band. The nationally acclaimed band has performed at NFL Super Bowl games, the Olympics, presidential inaugurations, and Bastille Day in France, and has been featured in films, documentaries, commercials, and numerous publications. They are also featured in the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture. This performance year, the Marching 100 performed at the Louis Vuitton Men’s Fashion Show in Paris, the Chosen-1’s Invitational high school basketball tournament in Los Angeles, the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl game in Mobile, Alabama, and more.