Benedict College holds onto its top ranking in Division II because it held a top spot for musicality and top-5 positions in drum majors, pictures, drill and design, and percussion.
“It is indeed an honor to once again be voted the No. 1 HBCU Division II marching band in the country. We accept and wear this title as a badge of honor,” said Wade Johnson, director of bands at Benedict College. “Each day, we strive to be better and consistent as we continue [to] build our musical legacy at Benedict College. The Benedict College Marching Tiger Band of Distinction is an organism that thrives on discipline and order. God has ordered our steps!”
The rankings, conducted by two six-person panels of current and retired band directors and historically Black college and university choreographers, evaluate bands on musicality, pictures, drill and design, percussion, auxiliary corps, and drum majors. Judges critique the bands’ routines, then provide feedback to the programs.
“It is very important that people understand that our Undefeated rankings are based on individual field shows, which evaluate the areas of musicality, pictures, drill and design, percussion, auxiliaries, and drum majors,” said Don P. Roberts, executive consultant for The Undefeated HBCU Band Rankings. “It’s possible that you can have one great performance and be No. 1 in each category, and possibly be completely out of the top 10 the next ranking because that particular show wasn’t as spectacular.
“Our HBCU rankings are meaningful to our bands and directors because our adjudicators are primarily present and along with a few retired SWAC, MEAC, CIAA, Division I and Division II band directors and choreographers who all give positive feedback as to how each program can improve. There is no greater accomplishment than to gain the respect from your musical peers through outstanding performances.
“I reiterate that our rankings are not a competition, but more so an effort to highlight the outstanding work of our HBCU bands by giving them a platform that showcases their talents worldwide through The Undefeated and ESPN platforms.”