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Ancillary Events

Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands Rescheduled for 2021

Organizers Launch HBCUs Band Together Scholarship Initiative in Support of HBCU Bands

HOUSTON, Texas -- In an effort to prioritize health and safety during the pandemic, event partners Webber Marketing & Consulting, LLC and the Harris County - Houston Sports Authority, with the support of local and NRG Stadium officials, have rescheduled the 2020 Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands for the last weekend in August, 2021.

“Safety is our No. 1 priority. Over the last few months, we have been closely monitoring the ongoing developments of the coronavirus and the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, as well as state and local governments, and we are confident this decision is the best course of action,” said Derek Webber, CEO of Webber Marketing & Consulting, LLC and Creator of the National Battle of the Bands. “We appreciate everyone’s understanding of the measures we are taking to protect our students, fans and the greater community.”

With the backing of its partners, NBOTB will support Historically Black Colleges and Universities during these challenging times with the launch of a scholarship program -- HBCUs Band Together. The evergreen, scholarship initiative is designed to bring together those who love and seek to support HBCUs, HBCU marching bands and their band members during the COVID-19 crisis, while celebrating the talent, contribution and impact of HBCU marching bands on the culture, and the roles they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing future leaders.

“Due to safety and health concerns, we understand and wholeheartedly support the decision to reschedule the National Battle of the Bands for the fall of 2021,” said Jeff Sigel, Vice President of Marketing for Cracker Barrel. “As the continued title sponsor of NBOTB, we remain committed to participating HBCUs and are excited to provide support to the HBCUs Band Together initiative.”

With COVID-19 changing the landscape of sporting events and other public gatherings where HBCU bands would be invited to perform and showcase their talents – HBCUs Band Together will focus on raising aid for 250,000 COVID-19 test kits for all HBCU students and creating another source of funding to assist HBCU bands with scholarships for its students and programs. To donate, go to www.HBCUsBandTogether.org.

“During the pandemic, we have been focused on creating opportunities and making an impact, which calls for most initiatives to be virtual at this point,” said Sports Authority Vice President Chris Massey.

“After seeing Houston and the HBCU community embrace NBOTB last year, we want to keep that positive momentum, which is arguably more important now than ever before. HBCUs Band Together does just that.”

The NBOTB has secured a three-year partnership with The AEA Education Foundation, Inc., which will serve as a presenting sponsor of the NBOTB and support its commitment to providing scholarships for HBCUs.

In addition, the U.S. Air Force is now an official sponsor of the NBOTB and will serve as the new title partner for the HBCU College Recruitment Fair that helps students learn more about HBCUs which are recruiting for both undergrad and graduate students for S.T.E.M. and non S.T.E.M. programs.

Both partners will also support HBCUs Band Together.

In 2019, the support of fans and partners helped make the inaugural year in Houston one of great memories and of lasting impact. The event raised $100,000 in scholarships, which supported the participating HBCU bands, two local Black Greek letter organizations and supplied band instruments to five local Houston-area high school bands.

For more information about the NBOTB visit www.nationalbattleofthebands.com and stay updated on social media:

NationalBattleOfTheBands (Facebook/Instagram)

@NationalBOTB (Twitter)

For more information about HBCUs Band Together visit www.hbcusbandtogether.org and stay updated on social media:

HBCUsBandTogether (Facebook/Instagram)

@HBCUsBand (Twitter)

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About the Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands
The event’s mission is to enhance the exposure of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their marching bands, the roles they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing our future leaders. Event organizers have generated more than $500,000 in scholarships for the participating colleges and universities.

www.nationalbattleofthebands.com 

About HBCUs Band Together
HBCUs Band Together is a scholarship initiative designed to bring together those who love and seek to support HBCU’s, HBCU Bands and their band members during the COVID-19 crisis; while celebrating the talent, contribution and impact of HBCU marching bands on the culture, and the roles they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing future leaders.

www.hbcusbandtogether.org 

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Contact: Melanie Hauser, Harris County - Houston Sports Authority
mhauser@houstonsports.org
Derek Ross, National Battle of the Bands
Derek@thed2g.com 

#WeAreHoustonSports

Ancillary Events

COACHES LUNCHEON KICKS OFF BATTLE OF THE PINEY WOODS WEEKEND AT NRG STADIUM

Both head coaches available Friday at 1:15 p.m.; Game kicks at 3:00 p.m. Saturday

HOUSTON – Lone Start Sports and Entertainment will kick off a big weekend at NRG Stadium on Friday as they play host to the Battle of the Piney Woods Coaches Kickoff Luncheon presented by Don Sanders.  The event will be Friday, Oct. 4th starting at 11 a.m. at NRG Stadium.  This year’s luncheon will feature both head coaches from Stephen F. Austin University and Sam Houston State University Coach Carthel and Coach Keeler will each speak to fans at the luncheon, which will be emceed by Houston Texans Radio Sideline Reporter John Harris.

Stephen F. Austin Head Coach Colby Carthel and Sam Houston State Head Coach K.C. Keeler will both be available to the media at 1:15 p.m. in the West Club at NRG Stadium.

The festivities around the 94th installment of the Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B will get underway Saturday at NRG Stadium with Fan Fest at 12:30 p.m.  Fan Fest, located in Bud Light Plaza, will feature a special performance by Texas music artist Canaan Bryce at 1 p.m. A Waxahachie native, Bryce brings his own distinctive sound unlike any other up-and-coming artist in the Texas Music scene. His sound has been described as “the definition of Texas Country.” In October 2018 Canaan Bryce released his highly anticipated debut album Hwy 287.  The record showcases Canaan’s vocal talents with more powerful songs like “Just Stay” and “Wastin’ My Time.”  Canaan has toured with and opened as of late with rising stars including Koe Wetzel, Read Southall, Sam Riggs and Shotgun Rider among others.

The game will kick at 3:05 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN 3 and heard locally on Sports Radio 610 starting at 3 p.m. CT.  Tickets for Saturday’s game are still available and can be purchased by visiting www.botpw.com or calling 832-667-2390.

WHAT:
Battle of the Piney Woods Coaches Kickoff Luncheon presented by Aramark and Don Sanders

WHO:
Stephen F. Austin Head Coach Colby Carthel
Sam Houston State Head Coach K.C. Keeler

WHERE: NRG Stadium, West Club

PARKING: Teal Lot

WHEN:
Friday, Oct. 4th starting at 11 a.m.
Coaches’ media availability at 1:15 p.m.

CONTACT:
Brianna Lewis, LSSE –
brianna.lewis@houstontexans.com

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Ancillary Events

Announcing: Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores National Battle of the Bands

Eight elite collegiate bands to compete Labor Day weekend at NRG Stadium

HOUSTON – It’s not halftime. It’s not the fifth quarter.

It’s the show.

Bands are the essence of the Historic Black College and University experience and the HBCU’s ultimate celebration is coming to Houston on Labor Day weekend for the Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores National Battle of the Bands September 1 at NRG Stadium.

Think Drumline at NRG. Think showmanship, precision, dancing and the best marching band showcase in the country.

Eight of the nation’s top HBCU bands will celebrate the culture of their universities at what will be the largest African American event in Texas. Each band has its own unique style and music and was created to celebrate, support and recognize the excellence of Black college marching bands.

WHO: Eight of the nation’s premier HBCU bands

WHAT: Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores National Battle of the Bands

WHERE: NRG Stadium

WHEN: September 1, 2019 – Labor Day Weekend

This year’s band line-up includes Texas Southern University’s Ocean of Soul Marching Band, Prairie View A&M University’s Marching Storm Band, North Carolina Central University’s The Sound Machine Marching Band, Talladega College’s Marching Tornado Band, Southern University’s Human Juke Box, Miles College’s Purple Marching Machine and Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands.

The day of celebration kicks off with the HBCU STEM college recruitment fair which is free and open to area students interested in higher education opportunities from 20 of the top HBCUs in the country. Education and scholarship partner H-E-B is sponsoring the H-E-B Tailgate Cook Off Experience later that afternoon.

Texas is home to nine HBCU schools and more than 20 HBCU alumni associations have chapters in the Greater Houston area.

“It’s fitting that this impressive showdown will be in Harris County -- one of the largest and most diverse counties in the country,’’ Hidalgo said. “The competition will be fierce and I’m excited to see these extremely talented bands strut their stuff, but make no mistake, I’ll be rooting for our very own Texas Southern University’s Ocean of Soul Marching Band!”

HBCUs are the heartbeat of African American higher education opportunities and this event exposes Houston’s diverse population to both educational and arts opportunities.

“Houston has a successful track record for hosting successful events that draw thousands of people to our welcoming city. We are excited about partnering with Harris County, The Houston Sports Authority and Webber Marketing and Consulting for the 2019 Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “The invitation-only competition featuring student musicians from Historically Black Colleges and Universities will put Houston on the map for hosting another thrilling event. It’s guaranteed great entertainment. I encourage everyone to attend and also stay tuned for exciting activities leading up to the competition.”

Added Harris County – Houston Sports Authority CEO Janis Burke, “There’s nothing like this event. It’s packed with super high-energy performances by some the country’s most elite marching bands. They’ll have you on your feet dancing at your seats from start to finish.”

The event will feature more than 2,000 members from the eight bands and the recruitment fair gives local students the opportunity to look at what approximately two dozen HBCU schools offer.

“It is an honor to introduce Houston and the surrounding communities-at-large to the extraordinary talents of the students who represent the HBCU marching bands participating in this year’s National Battle of the Bands,” said Derek Webber, CEO, Webber Marketing & Consulting, LLC.

“Our goal is to enhance the exposure of HBCU marching bands and the roles they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing future leaders; while also introducing patrons to the spirit and community of
the HBCU experience, which they will encounter throughout the weekend.”

The NBOTB partnership with the HCHSA helps to support the advancement of the event’s mission to enhance the exposure of HBCUs and their marching bands, and the role they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing future leaders. The partnership is also significant because it supports the growth of scholarships, and expands the awareness of higher learning with music, arts and entertainment.”

For ticket information please go to www.nationalbattleofthebands.com or email Tickets@houstonsports.org

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About the Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores National Battle of the Bands

The event’s mission is to enhance the exposure of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their marching bands, the roles they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing our future leaders. Event organizers have generated more than $350,000 in scholarships for the participating colleges and universities. www.nationalbattleofthebands.com