Published: Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 23:09
Thousands of students, alumni, and fans from across the country will
travel to D.C. to watch Howard University and Morehouse College football
teams clash this Saturday in RFK Stadium.
But as much as the crowd will be focused on the game, many, particularly
students, will be tuned into the Battle of the Bands. At halftime, it will be the
Howard University Showtime Marching Band versus the Morehouse College
House of Funk.
There will be music, marching and some fancy dance moves designed to bring
the crowd to its feet and have fans dancing in the stands. Members of both bands have
been practicing their 90 degree marching steps, memorizing the latest tunes, refreshing
their memories of some of the oldies, and "swaggin'" out their dance moves for the
game every night for the past few weeks.
Hope Cornish, a junior education major at Howard, said the bands' half time
shows could overshadow the football game.
"People don't come for the football team," Cornish said. "They come to see and
hear the band."
Howard's band has been practicing long and hard for the rivalry-driven matchup.
John Newsun, the head band director at Howard, has been reminding his musicians of
what's at stake.
"Every time you practice, every time you dance, every time you march, every
note is a performance," Newsum told the members of his band. "We are here to
entertain and that's what we're going to do."
Andrew Clark, a junior finance major, is the drum major for Howard's band. He
said Howard will definitely out-do Morehouse.
"Showtime is going to be the best band in the Classic," Clark said. "We have a
band full of good musicians playing together with a lot of energy and a serious fan base
with the students."
Howard's band is known for its mixture of popular tunes and high profile
performances, which included marching in the inaugural parade for President Barack
Obama in 2009. The band has also performed on the Steve Harvey Show and at the
New York Urban League Football Classic in MetLife Stadium, home of the New York
Giants and the New York Jets.
Stephen Moore, a senior music major, has been in Howard's band for four years.
"The Howard University Showtime Band will be the better of the two bands
because our arrangements are more musically inclined to the audience we are
performing for," Moore said. "Also the musicians have put a lot into the arrangements
we will be performing."
Morehouse's House of Funk is comprised of Morehouse and Spelman students.
The band has performed and marched in many major events, including Superbowl XVIII
and the Today Show.
Brennan Woods, a junior administration/ accounting major at Morehouse, is a
former trumpet player for the House of Funk.
"Morehouse has a great band," Woods said. "Although the band is small, it
packs a lot of sound and heart. The band director is a very talented composer that
allows the band to showcase its potential. I am confident that Morehouse will rock the