Winston-Salem Wins at HBCU Film Contest PDF Print E-mail
By Lena’ Kithcart - Black College Wire   

More than one million online-voters chose two Winston-Salem State University students in the 2011 Honda Battle of the Bands HBCU filmmakers' contest Jan. 23.

Mass communications majors, Leslie Miles, a junior from Mount Olive, N.C., and Antonio DeGraffenreaidt, a senior from Henderson, N.C., submitted a two-minute documentary video highlighting the WSSU's Red Sea of Sound marching band.

The first-ever filmmakers' competition was open to all communications, journalism and film students from eight HBCUs. The contest was designed to highlight the creativity and skills of the students of the HBCU's communications departments.

The News Argus
From Left: Adrian Bryant, Leslie Miles, Antonio DeGraffenreaidt and Justin Long
Miles and DeGraffenreaidt had more votes than Tiffany Edmondson from Jackson State, whom Miles said was her biggest competition.

After being encouraged by faculty, the two entered and completed the video within a week.

Although pleased with the finish product, both shared that there were changes that they wanted to make. Miles said that she wanted to incorporate historic WSSU bands but could not due to  the deadline.

"There were a few glitches that could be noticed by a professional," DeGraffenreaidt said. "I am satisfied with the production."

The video showed band  members' dedication to the Red Sea of Sound. The video also included interviews from Michael Magruder, director of bands and professor of music.

The students won an all-expense paid trip to Atlanta, a Flip camera and a laptop with editing software. Miles picture was posted on the Honda Battle of the Bands website.

"I felt as though some prayers had been answered when she handed me the laptop," Miles said. "I really needed a new one, and I'm definitely enjoying it so much."

Miles and DeGraffenreaidt said that they are receiving recognition from all over the University.

"We are very proud of both Leslie and Antonio," said Brenda Allen, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs."

Chancellor Donald Reaves said."They are very talented students. We expect great things from these students in the future," "It is certainly great recognition for Leslie and helps continue to build awareness of the quality of our students and our programs. It was especially nice since the Red Sea of Sound was performing this year."

While in Atlanta, Miles and DeGraffenreaidt helped document this the 2011 Honda Battle of the Bands.

"I felt so blessed to have won the competition," Miles said. "I wish that everyone could have gotten the opportunity to be a part of that event in the way that I was."

DeGraffenreaidt said that he is very grateful. "Leslie is a great partner."

Lena’ Kithcart writes for The News Argus, the Winston-Salem State University student newspaper, which originally published this article.

Posted Mar. 22, 2011
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