Winston-Salem State University’s Red Sea of Sound rose right to the top of ESPN and The Undefeated’s rankings of the best marching bands at historically black colleges and universities.
The Undefeated, now in its third year of ranking HBCU bands, pegged Winston-Salem State’s band as the best band in the nation for Division II schools. Nearby North Carolina A&T State University is ranked second in the Division I poll.
Comprised of 145 students, the Red Sea of Sound includes dancers, flag twirlers and drum majors along with a full marching band. The band ended 2018 as the fourth ranked group in Division II.
To start the 2019 football season, the WSSU band joined up with Wake Forest University’s Spirit of the Old Gold and Black for a halftime performance during the Wake Forest football home opener — the first time the two schools’ bands have performed in concert together.
Bands in The Undefeated’s rankings are evaluated by two six-person panels on the abilities of their drum majors, their drill and design, musicality, the percussion section and an auxiliary category which includes the dance/flag routines, utilization of space, uniforms, style of the band and their marching/strut techniques.