Hampton University's award-winning band, The Marching Force, will perform in Macy's 2021 Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City for the first time in the school's history.

With support from Pepsi Stronger Together, a series of grassroots initiatives bringing tailored programming support to communities across the country, the marching band received a $100,000 donation, transportation to and from NYC, practice uniforms for the band, and a special greeting from Hampton alum DJ Envy upon their arrival.


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

The predominantly female band will represent the only Historically Black College and University in the parade this year.

"I'm so excited Pepsi Stronger Together was able to help make this journey happen for the incredibly talented Hampton Marching Force as they head to perform at this iconic stage," said Derek Lewis, President, South Division, PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA). "From our 'She Got Now' internship program to other HBCU-specific donations, and as a Hampton alum myself, I'm so proud to see another piece of PepsiCo's commitment to supporting HBCUs come to life."



Last year, Hampton University was invited to march in the parade, selected from more than 100 applicants as one of nine bands chosen. Unfortunately, plans got deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which inspired the theme of this year's upcoming performance: "A Celebration of Family."



The Force arrived in New York via the Pepsi Stronger Together bus on Monday. The parade takes place on Thanksgiving Day at 10 am EST on NBC.