In The news

Band Together

Jul 21, 2020



HOUSTON, Texas — In an effort to continue its support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities during the global pandemic, the Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands is launching the HBCUs Band Together scholarship initiative and a new fall Virtual Battles Series.

 The initiative, announced by Webber Marketing & Consulting, LLC, and the Harris County -Houston Sports Authority, is designed to bring together those who wish to support HBCUs, HBCU marching bands and their band members during the COVID-19 crisis. The campaign will feature images, performance clips and virtual conversations.

 “With the impact of COVID-19 changing the landscape of sporting events and other major public gatherings where HBCU bands would be invited to perform and showcase their talents – HBCUs Band Together will focus on its immediate goals of raising aid for COVID-19 test kits for all HBCU students for Fall 2020 and creating another source of funding to assist HBCU bands with scholarship dollars for its students and programs,” said Derek Webber, CEO of Webber Marketing & Consulting, LLC and Creator of the National Battle of the Bands. 

 In the fall, the NBOTB team will roll out the Virtual Battles Series, which will feature matchups between HBCU marching bands. The pay-per-view format will allow alumni and fans to watch and interact with their favorite band’s performance from their laptop, tablet or mobile device and will be hosted on

 “With everything going on, including many of the HBCU homecomings being canceled, we wanted to create a virtual atmosphere that generates the feelings of homecoming in the homes of those who love and support these bands and the talented band members,” Webber said.

 The Sports Authority applauds the initiatives, which open up more opportunities to help give back to the community and bring awareness to HBCUs during these difficult times.

 “A few months ago, it would have been impossible for anyone to foresee the challenges that HBCU band members along with their classmates will be facing when the return to school this fall,’’ said Sports Authority Vice President Chris Massey.  “COVID-19 has thrown just about everyone for a loop, and our goal is to make an otherwise challenging situation a bit safer and a little less stressful for these kids. We want these students to focus on what’s important; we wanted them focused on their education and their music.”

 To make a donation to HBCU’s Band Together, visit

 Updates on the Virtual Battles Series will be available on as well as all the NBOTB and Sports Authority social media platforms.