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Morgan’s Magnificent Marching Machine Arts & Culture

Morgan’s Magnificent Marching Machine Readies for Honda Battle of the Bands Debut

by Morgan State U
January 26, 2023

Celebrated Marching Band Invited to Perform at Signature HBCU Band Competition


BALTIMORE — Morgan State University, home to one of the nation’s most celebrated marching bands, the Magnificent Marching Machine, answered the call accepting the invitation to perform at the 2023 Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB)— the premier showcase for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) marching bands and dance teams. The competition, which takes place on February 18, 2023, returns to a live event format and will also be livestreamed before audiences across the globe. The occasion marks the first-ever invitation and appearance of Morgan’s marching band.

The 2023 HBOB Invitational Showcase, celebrating its 18th year, is the quintessential platform for outstanding musicianship, showmanship, and pageantry of HBCU marching bands. The Magnificent Marching Machine will join a lineup of six HBCU marching bands from across the country who will showcase their skills in front of a national audience.

“There’s truly no bigger stage for HBCU marching bands than the Honda Battle of the Bands—the rivalry, the high-energy musicianship, flair and tradition—we are thrilled to have been invited and look forward to representing Morgan State University,” said Jorim E. Reid Sr., D.M.A., assistant professor, coordinator of instrumental music and the director of bands at Morgan. “This is a great opportunity for our students to showcase their talents and for the university to be recognized for the excellence of our music program.”

Morgan’s Magnificent Marching Machine

Each HBCU school represented by the six bands will receive an institutional grant from Honda to support their music education programs, as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to the Invitational Showcase taking place at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Ala.

Honda invited all HBCU marching bands to participate in the 2022-2023 HBOB program. After fans nationwide cast more than 100,000 online votes, the final bands were selected through a voting process that included HBOB fans, HBCU band directors, students, and Honda representatives. The four bands with the most votes automatically secured their spots in the lineup, while the other two bands were selected by the HBOB committee.

“Congratulations to all of the finalists! Honda is excited to carry on the HBOB tradition of bringing together students, alumni and fans to recognize the talents of these spectacular marching bands and dance teams,” said Yvette Hunsicker, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility and Inclusion & Diversity at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “For over 30 years Honda has supported HBCUs in their unique and critical role of providing higher education and opportunities for advancement to the Black community, so hosting HBOB on an HBCU campus for the first time feels like coming home.”

Joining Morgan’s Magnificent Marching Machine will be band performances representing Alabama State University, Langston University, Savannah State University, Texas Southern University, and Virginia State University. This year’s HBOB live event will be hosted by legendary comedian, author, television host, and award-winning radio host Rickey Smiley. Audiences viewing the showcase on digital platforms will be greeted by Loni Love, the Emmy and two-time NAACP Image Award-winning host, comedian, actress, and author who will serve as the HBOB livestream host. Adding to the event’s star power, multi-platinum, Grammy Award®-winning hip hop artist 2 Chainz is also slated to perform.

“This will be a big-time production and we look forward to seeing as many of our Morgan alumni who either live in the Montgomery area or have the opportunity to travel and cheer us on wearing their Morgan Blue and Orange,” added Dr. Reid.


No Stranger To The Big Stage

The Magnificent Marching Machine is known for their high-energy performances, intricate marching maneuvers, and dynamic musical arrangements. The band has commanded audiences at every level charting rousing performances before at M&T Bank Stadium home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, on the silver screen and before the widely celebrated and time-honored annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Morgan’s Magnificent Marching Machine

The HBOB represents the first major performance for the Magnificent Marching Machine in 2023. Since being named Director of Bands, Dr. Reid has high expectations and an active itinerary for the legendary marching band during his first year. In addition to its first-ever invitation to Honda’s annual HBCU marching band showcase, Morgan has been invited to perform in Normandy, France to honor the 80th Anniversary of D-Day on the beaches of Normandy.

For more information on giving opportunities to support Morgan’s Magnificent Marching Machine and Morgan State University’s band program visit

About Morgan

Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 140 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit


Media Contacts:

Dell Jackson or Cheryl Stewart, University Relations