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Young Talent to be featured during the 40th Annual Bayou Classic

2nd Annual Future of HBCU Talent Program Launches – Applications being accepted now

NEW ORLEANS – Last year, Southern University and Grambling State University, two of the nation's leading historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), launched a new program – the Future of HBCU Talent Program. The program was developed to recognize young talent outside of Louisiana and bring in high school marching bands and dance teams to participate each year in the weeklong series of events celebrating the Bayou Classic.

The application process for the 2nd Annual Future of HBCU Talent Program has opened and remains open until the deadline of Monday, July 15, 2013.

The program, launched in 2012, searches for outstanding talent to showcase their work as part of the Bayou Classic. This program recognizes high school bands and dance teams from outside of Louisiana, and allows them the opportunity to march in the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade in New Orleans (this year on Thursday, November 28, 2013). The bands and dance teams chosen to participate will also have the opportunity to attend the weeklong series of Bayou Classic events, as well as participate in other events and programs.

The criteria for selection for this year's program are:

1. Each group must be affiliated with a primary education institution or an established community organization.

2. Only youth groups may participate. All members must be 18 years or younger.

3. Only groups outside of Louisiana are eligible for the Future of HBCU Talent program.

4. A band and dance troop affiliated with the same institution/organization may apply together or separately. However, if applying separately, and only one group is selected, the two may not be combined.

5. Each group must be available for media interviews and to participate in a Bayou Classic Community Service Project.

Those that choose to apply can do so at www.myBayouClassic.com. The required items for application are:

• Future of HBCU Talent application (found on www.myBayouClassic.com)

• One (1) video of performance

• Minimum of three (3) photos in uniform

Each group selected to participate will be provided complimentary tickets to the Bayou Classic football game and a discounted rate on Battle of the Bands tickets. Water will also be provided along the parade route. Participating groups are responsible for meals, travel and lodging accommodations.

Last year's program saw both the Jacksonville Red Devils Marching Band from Jacksonville High School in Jacksonville, Arkansas and the Divas of Olive Branch Majorette Team from Memphis, Tennessee travel to New Orleans for the Bayou Classic.

"Last year the 'Future of HBCU Talent' program was a huge success and we are excited to continue the tradition of showcasing the talent and culture of our outstanding talent from across the nation," said Dottie Belletto, President of New Orleans Convention Companies, Inc., the management firm of The 40th Annual Bayou Classic. "We are thrilled to once again introduce these young people to HBCU institutions, as they are the future leaders that will continue the success, traditions and innovations that our HBCUs across the country provide our nation."

For more information visit about the Bayou Classic and the 2nd Annual Future of HBCU Talent Program visit www.myBayouClassic.com or call (504)293-2614.

ABOUT THE BAYOU CLASSIC

The Bayou Classic ( www.myBayouClassic.com ) features one of America's greatest college sports rivalries, bringing the fans and alumni of Southern University and Grambling State University to New Orleans for a celebration of football, family and the traditions and pageantry surrounding Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Proceeds from the annual series of Bayou Classic events provide support to the campuses' athletic programs and fund scholarships through the SU System Foundation and the Grambling University Foundation.

The Bayou Classic was supported last year by the following organizations for the 39th annual series of events – State Farm, MillerCoors, US Marine Corps , Toyota, Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board, The Home Depot®, The Coca-Cola Company, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC), New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, McDonalds, Cox Louisiana, Louisiana>AIDS (Louisiana Greater Than AIDS), The Rickey Smiley Morning Show, The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living, the French Market Corporation, Entergy, Visit Baton Rouge, Jacobs Engineering, State of Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, L'Auberge Baton Rouge, Crystal Hot Sauce, CH2MHILL, The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc., the Downtown Development District and 100 Black Men of Atlanta.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for the 40th Annual Bayou Classic and the Battle of the Bands & Greek Show are on sale now, Tickets for both events can be purchased at the following locations: the Bayou Classic website (www.mybayouclassic.com), Ticketmaster, the New Orleans Arena Box Office, the Grambling State University Ticket Office or the Southern University Ticket Office.