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Release Date: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 11:10 AM
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Howard, Morehouse Bands Face Off at Nation's Football Classic
By Janell Heggins
Howard University News Service      
Howard, Morehouse Bands Face Off at Nation’s Football Classic


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When Howard University and Morehouse College football teams clash this Saturday in RFK Stadium, tens of thousands of students, alumni and fans from across the country will attend this much-anticipated event.

But as much as the crowd will be focused on the game, many, particularly students, will be keyed in to 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 and 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 oldies and "swagging" out their dance moves every night for the past few weeks.

Hope Cornish, a junior education major at Howard, says 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 match. 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 them. "We are here to entertain and that's what we're going to do."

Andrew Clark, a junior from Cleveland majoring in finance, is the drum major for Howard's band. He says Howard will definitely outdo 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 from Birmingham, Ala., 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 composed 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 from Mobile, Ala., 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 RFK Stadium."

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