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.
About Savannah State University
Established in 1890, Savannah State University is the first public historically black college or university in Georgia and the first institution of higher learning in the city of Savannah. Students select majors from 30 undergraduate and five graduate programs in four colleges — Business Administration, Education, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and Sciences and Technology.