Savannah State University’s Band Ranked Among Nation’s Best

ESPN’s Division II HBCU Band Rankings Lists Powerhouse of the South in Top 10
Savannah State University Powerhouse of the South Marching Band Photo Credit Jason Miccolo Johnson
Savannah State University Powerhouse of the South Marching Band Photo Credit Jason Miccolo Johnson

Anyone who has seen Savannah State University’s Powerhouse of the South marching band perform during halftime and throughout our football games knows the band is one of the best in the nation. Now it has the rankings to prove it.

In the ESPN Vertical’s most recent HBCU Band Rankings, “The Undefeated,” Savannah State’s band makes an appearance in its Division II Top 10 at No. 10 – its first such ranking this season.

“It is an honor to be recognized by my colleagues in this way,” Gabriel Arnold, Ph.D., assistant professor of music and director of university bands, said. “I am very lucky to be working with a great group of young musicians who share a commitment to striving for excellence and a true passion for musicianship and audience engagement. Stay tuned — this is only the beginning of what’s to come from the Powerhouse of the South!”

Bands are ranked based on scores in five categories: Auxiliary; Drum Major; Musicality; Percussion; and Pictures, Drills, and Design. SSU ranked highest in Musicality (3) and Percussion (7).

“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” Don P. Roberts, executive consultant for The Undefeated HBCU Band Rankings, told The Undefeated.

According to The Undefeated, its 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.

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