Battle of the Bands: Magic City Classic draws top HBCU bands to Birmingham

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Magic City Classic has been a southern college football tradition for decades. All eyes will be on the field – and not just for football.

Alabama State University Mighty Marching Hornets and Alabama A&M’s Marching Maroon and White will be playing through the streets of Birmingham on Saturday. After a marching band-less 2020 Magic City Classic, both bands are ready to get back to business.

“A lot of people come to the classic for the band’s halftime performances, the zero quarter and the fifth quarter,” Director of Bands for Alabama A&M, Cartlon Wight said. “This year, there will be an excited crowd. they’ll be back to see us and the ASU band as well.”

Band members of both the Marching Maroon and White and Mighty Marching Hornets see taking the field at “The Grey Lady” as a long-awaited tremendous honor.

“I’m just ready to go out there and wow the fans,” Kevin Wilson, ASU Junior and Co-head Drummer said.

“It’s been two years since the bands have been here,” Michael Moore, A&M Drum Major, said. “We’ve been working really hard. I just want to go out there and represent the university with them.”

Bands take the Downtown Birmingham streets at 8 a.m. Saturday morning before the Classic kickoff at 2:30 p.m. In regard to the game, Wight said he knows who’s winning this year.

“A&M  is going to win of course,” he said. “My fraternity brother Coach Donald Eley, head coach over at Alabama state. We went to grad school together at Hampton University. I love you, Don but we got this, baby.”

Alabama A&M has won the last three times the two HBCU powerhouses met. You can find tickets here.

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