Hampton University's marching band will help usher in the holidays by performing in the 95th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. This will mark the Marching Force's first appearance in the parade.
Virginia-based and historically Black, the Marching Force is one of nine bands chosen from more than 100 submissions nationwide. According to the Macy’s Parade Band Committee, bands are selected based upon "stage presence as well as musical and marching abilities."
“‘The Marching Force is an elite group of talented, young musicians and dancers who are academically accomplished. This opportunity will allow Hampton University to once again shine on the world-wide stage in front of the millions in attendance and others watching from across the globe,” said Hampton University's president, Dr. William R. Harvey. “Under the direction of Dr. Thomas Jones, The Marching Force continues to uphold THE Standard of Excellence as being one of the best marching bands in the nation.”
The other eight bands chosen for this year's parade include those from The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders (Austin, TX), Brownsburg High School (Brownsburg, IN), Centerville High School (Dayton, OH), Lincoln Way High School (Frankfort, IL), Macy’s Great American Marching Band (United States), NYPD Marching Band (New York, NY), Trabuco Hills High School (Mission Viejo, CA), Union High School (Tulsa, Oklahoma) and University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL).
This year's bands were originally chosen for the 2020 parade, but their invitations were deferred to this year due to the pandemic. After scaling down events last year, the Macy's parade is returning to its traditional format with live spectators.