The National Battle of the Bands is just days away from the first crank session, but it is having to deal with a lineup change.
Texas Southern University announced on Thursday that it will be pulling out of the band showcase, set to take place on Sunday at Houston’s NRG Stadium. Talladega College’s “Marching Tornadoes” will perform in its place.
A statement from TXSU explained why the Ocean of Soul will not be in the showcase.
“Student success and well-being are top priorities at Texas Southern University. As we prepare for an active school year with many athletic and public events during a pandemic, we are positioning ourselves to err on the side of caution.
We endeavor to prepare our students for a successful and safe semester and have decided to decline to attend partipation of the Ocean of Soul Marching Band in this weekend’s National Battle oof the Bands competition.
We appreciate the support of our alumni, parents and fans during preparation for this wondrous gathering of HBCU marching bands and are encouraged by their messages of prioritizing student safety. The Ocean of Soul, under the direction of Brian Simmons, congratulates all participating schools and looks forward to seeing them soon the field at halftime during better conditions this fall season. Go Tigers!
HBCU Gameday has reached out to the organizers of the NBOTB.
“We are excited to welcome back Talladega College’s “Great Tornado Band” to the Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands presented by Pepsi Zero Sugar at NRG Stadium this Sunday at 4:00 p.m. The “Marching Tornadoes” participated in the inaugural National Battle of the Bands in 2019 and were thrilled to make the trip back down to Houston to take the field and perform again,” Derrick Ross, spokesperson for Webber Marketing.
“Currently, 90 percent or more of our participating bands, including members of the “Great Tornado Band”, are fully vaccinated. Each band is taking the necessary precautions and following CDC COVID-19 guidelines to ensure safe travels and participation in this year’s event.
The current lineup is as follows:
Bethune-Cookman University — Marching Wildcats
Langston University — “Marching Pride” Band
North Carolina A&T State University — The Blue and Gold Marching Machine
Southern University — Human Jukebox
Jackson State University — The Sonic Boom of The South
Norfolk State University — “The Spartan Legion” Marching Band
Talladega College — “Great Tornado Band”
Tennessee State University — Aristocrat of Bands