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Motown Sponsors HBCU Marching Band Competition

Historically black college and university marching bands are in a league of their own. The energy, highly complex routines and breathtakingly soulful renditions of popular and old-school tunes have become trademarks.

Recently, Motown Records sponsored a marching band competition for HBCU bands. It began in September, early in the marching season, and ended in early December. As Motown Project Manager Tatia Adams explains on The Tavis Smiley Show, more than 20 black colleges participated in the competition.

Each band was required to play an original arrangement of "Star" -- a new single by Motown R&B group, 702 -- during the school's homecoming half-time performance. Based on videotapes of the performances, Motown executives judged the bands on creativity, musical arrangement and sound.

Adams tells Smiley three schools -- Southern University, Florida A&M University and Norfolk State University -- made it to the finals.

Southern University took home the top prize of $10,000 cash.

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