ESPN/The Undefeated HBCU Band Rankings

Norfolk State and Benedict College are new top bands in ESPN/The Undefeated HBCU Rankings

Bethune-Cookman and Miles College are now No. 2 in their divisions

There are new leaders in both divisions of the ESPN/The Undefeated HBCU Band Rankings coming out of November, the final full month of halftimes at classic games, band battles and football playoffs.

The Norfolk State Spartan “Legion” Band took over the top spot from the Marching Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman, which had led the previous two Division I rankings. Norfolk State marched to No. 1 with top rankings in drum major and second place in percussion.

The Benedict College Marching Tiger Band of Distinction displaced Fayetteville State as the No. 1 Division II band, on the strength of being tops in percussion and No. 2 in musicality.

The sixth and final ranking of the season comes out the week of Dec. 15, after judging of all the shows and competitions is completed by the panel of nine judges.

Although Fayetteville State fell to No. 5 in the Division II ranking, Jorim Reid, director of bands for the Broncos, appreciates the feedback judges give bands after viewing their performances.

“Getting feedback to improve HBCU band programs from judges like Dr. Julian E. White and Harold Haughton is valuable and refreshing. Both accomplished musicians are highly respected in academia and the band community,” said Reid. “They have been my personal mentors and role models for the development of my academic career and musicianship since high school.”

Norfolk State University

Bethune-Cookman University

Grambling State University

Southern University

Top 10 HBCU Division I Bands

Overall Rank Drum Major Drill Design Musicality Percussion Auxiliary
1. +7 Norfolk State 1. 5. 5. 2. 3.
2. -1 Bethune-Cookman 4. 3. 3. 6. 6.
3. +1 Jackson State 8. 1. 2. 7. 14.
4. +3 Southern 6. 2. 9. 10. 2.
5. -3 Tennessee State 2. 4. 7. 5. 15.
6. Florida A&M 5. 9. 1. 3. 9.
7. -4 North Carolina A&T 11. 7. 4. 1. 1.
8. -2 Prairie View A&M 9. 17. 10. 13. 5.
9. Alabama A&M 7. 15. 13. 11. 4.
10. Hampton 19. 8. 6. 8. 10.

Drum Major

  1. Norfolk State
  2. Tennessee State
  3. Alabama State
  4. Bethune-Cookman
  5. Florida A&M

Drill and Design

  1. Jackson State
  2. Southern
  3. Bethune-Cookman
  4. Tennessee State
  5. Norfolk State

Musicality

  1. Florida A&M
  2. Jackson State
  3. Bethune-Cookman
  4. North Carolina A&T
  5. Norfolk State

Percussion

  1. North Carolina A&T
  2. Norfolk State
  3. Florida A&M
  4. Morgan State
  5. Tennessee State

Auxiliaries

  1. North Carolina A&T
  2. Southern
  3. Norfolk State
  4. Alabama A&M
  5. Prairie View A&M

Benedict College

Miles College

Edward Waters College

Fayetteville State University

Top 10 HBCU Division II Bands

Overall Rank Drum Major Drill Design Musicality Percussion Auxiliary
1. +7 Benedict 11. 6. 2. 1. 12.
2. +1 Miles 1. 3. 7. 7. 4.
3. +3 Winston-Salem State 10. 7. 1. 2. 19.
4. Edward Waters 3. 1. 6. 4. 13.
5. -4 Fayetteville State 14. 13. 3. 3. 6.
6. -4 Virginia State 5. 10. 8. 9. 8.
7. Central State 2. 2. 13. 12. 2.
8. -3 Elizabeth City State 6. 12. 5. 5. 5.
9. Morehouse 4. 9. 11. 10. 1.
10. Fort Valley State 17. 8. 4. 8. 10.

Drum Major

  1. Miles
  2. Central State
  3. Edward Waters
  4. Morehouse
  5. Virginia State

Drill and Design

  1. Edward Waters
  2. Central State
  3. Miles
  4. Kentucky State
  5. Talladega

Musicality

  1. Winston-Salem State
  2. Benedict
  3. Fayetteville State
  4. Fort Valley State
  5. Kentucky State

Percussion

  1. Benedict
  2. Winston-Salem State
  3. Fayetteville State
  4. Edward Waters
  5. Elizabeth City State

Auxiliaries

  1. Morehouse
  2. Central State
  3. Talladega
  4. Miles
  5. Elizabeth City State

Band judging criteria

Drum Major: Conducting, baton carriage, utilization of space, marching technique, accuracy and definition, style and discipline.

Drill and Design: Intervals and spacing, creativity, marching style, precision in timing, definition of patterns, showmanship, instrument carriage and showmanship.

Musicality: Tone, intonation, balance, technique, consistency of style, interpretation and musical effect.

Percussion: Rudimental excellence, general appearance, showmanship, technique/stick control, drill execution, style consistency and discipline.

Auxiliaries: Dance/flag routine, baton/flag carriage, utilization of space, marching/strut technique, uniform, style and more.