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(HOUSTON Jan. 27, 2004) -- Texas Southern University's Ocean of Soul Marching Band and the University of Houston Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band will perform as part of the AOL Top Speed Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show, produced by MTV, Feb. 1 at Reliant Stadium and airing on CBS. Some 180 members from each band, totaling 360, will take to the field, including a thundering 60-member drum line. P. Diddy, Kid Rock and Nelly will join featured performer Janet Jackson for the megastar lineup.

The two bands will rehearse together Wednesday evening, Jan. 28, at the Yeoman Fieldhouse at UH. Media may attend, but must make prior arrangements with TSU or UH representatives. (See contact information below.)

Originally, MTV, selected by the NFL to produce the halftime show, planned to select one of the two award-winning bands to perform -- after researching local bands and identifying Texas Southern (TSU) and the University of Houston (UH). However, after halftime show producers visited both campuses to audition the bands last December, the decision became obvious. MTV was so impressed with each band that instead of selecting one, producers took advantage of a unique opportunity for collaboration and selected both.

“What we realized when we saw both the Ocean of Soul Marching Band and the Marching Cougars was that these two programs were a microcosm of what I found in my research of marching band programs all over the country,” said MTV Supervising Producer Greg Choa. “In the end, we decided to feature a composite of both school bands to provide the audience with the ultimate, power-house marching band on one field.”

This collaboration will be first for the two schools, which are situated only a few blocks apart near downtown Houston. The full bands met for the first time at a mixer this past Friday at TSU. In the spirit of solidarity, both schools have brought unique contributions to the table; Ocean of Soul Director Richard Lee and Spirit of Houston Director David Bertman have partnered on all aspects of the performance. In preparation for the performance, both directors have also been intricately involved in discussions about musical arrangements and choreography. UH's Kevin Erickson and Brian Pierre, a TSU graduate student, collaborated on the music for the drum feature with the TSU drum section designing dance movements.

“Performing at the Super Bowl? As you can imagine, we are very excited about this once in a lifetime opportunity” TSU’s director Lee said. “This historic event is fantastic not only for our band members, but also for Texas Southern University.”

UH director Bertman echoed those sentiments.

“It will be a great moment,” he said. “This is something that doesn't happen for many bands very often, if ever. We'll be prepared because we want to represent the city and the university to the best of our abilities.”

TSU Contact: LaChanda Jenkins            UH Contact: Eric Gerber
713-313-7456 (ph) 
713-743-8189 (ph) 
281-804-9064 (cell)
281-627-2065 (cell)



About Texas Southern University

TSU is one of the nation’s largest historically black colleges and Universities (HBCUs). TSU provides a first class educational experience, offering over 120 baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degree programs in nine schools and colleges. The University has experienced four consecutive years of dramatic enrollment increases and currently has over 10,800 students enrolled. Visit Texas Southern University online at www.tsu.edu.

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students. For more information about UH visit the university’s Newsroom at www.uh.edu/admin/media/newsroom

For more information about UH visit the university’s ‘Newsroom’ at www.uh.edu/admin/media/newsroom.