Credit: Photo by www.GroupPhotos.com

The Hampton University Marching Force performed in the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday. The band was supposed to perform last year but postponed their appearance to enhance safety protocols suggested by the CDC and New York City safety regulations.

During their televised performance, the band paid tribute to all essential workers with their routine titled “A Celebration of Family” that included renditions of the Kool & the Gang hit “Celebration” and “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge

The marching band received a $100,000 donation from Pepsi Stronger Together, a series of grassroots initiatives bringing tailored programming support to communities across the country. The donation provided practice uniforms for the band and transportation via the Pepsi Stronger Together bus, which arrived in New York City on Monday where band members met Big Apple welcome by DJ Envy of Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, who is a Hampton University alum.

“The goal of our band is to help put students in a better position in life through skills that they gain beyond music,” said Dr. Thomas L. Jones, Jr., Hampton University’s Director of Bands. “Thanks to Pepsi Stronger Together, we’re able to give these students an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience on a huge national stage.”

Each year, the Macy’s Parade Band Committee looks for bands that have the stage presence, and musical and marching abilities to captivate more than 3.5 million live spectators and more than 50 million television viewers. Hampton was selected from more than 100 applicants as one of nine selected bands to march in the annual holiday spectacle.

The 2021 annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was modified to safely bring the event to more than 50 million viewers nationwide on Thanksgiving Day, while maintaining all of the cherished holiday traditions. 

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