The Hampton University Marching Force is the marching band of Hampton University located in Hampton, Virginia. Wherever they go, the band is sure to wow their audiences with an eclectic array of musical selections and marching styles that are unique among collegiate bands. The ensemble has participated in President Obama's Inauguration Parade in 2009, the Honda Battle of the Bands in 2018 and 2020, and the New Year's Day Parade & Celebration in Rome, Italy, in 2020. In addition, the Marching Force drumline participated in the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade. In 2016, selected band members also travelled to Honduras to conduct an International Music Camp.
History with the Macy's Parade
The Hampton University Marching Force were selected in the spring of 2019 to march in the 2020 Macy's Parade, marking the first-ever time the prestigious group of musicians will participate in the famed holiday spectacle. The band was selected out of more than 100 applicants by Macy's Parade Band Committee, being one of only nine regional marching bands chosen.
Wesley Whatley, creative director of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, commented on the band's unique and powerful performances, saying that the band was "Rooted in addition and explosive energy, later adding "we look forward to introducing the talented students of Hampton University to our parade audience for the band’s debut."
Though the Marching Force was originally slated to appear in the 2020 Parade, concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic caused the band's invitation to be deferred to 2021.
The Hampton University Marching Force thundered onto 34th Street with a medley of Kool and The Gang's "Celebration" and Sister Sledge's "We Are Family," forming an original composition titled "A Celebration of Family."