Sunday, November 27, 2022

Hampton University was invited to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. How will they pay for it?

The Marching Force, Hampton University's band, was selected as one of nine bands to perform at the 2020 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City (WYDaily Photo/ Courtesy of Thomas Jones. Jr)
The Marching Force, Hampton University’s band, was selected as one of nine bands to perform at the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City (WYDaily Photo/ Courtesy of Thomas Jones. Jr.)

Hampton University recently announced the school’s band, The Marching Force, was invited to play at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2020.

The Marching Force was selected as one of nine bands to perform at the annual parade. But just because the band was invited to perform does not necessarily mean they can afford it.

“It takes a lot to support a band,” said Thomas Jones Jr., director of the university band. “So we need all the help we can get.”

The Marching Force, which grew from 70 people to more than 200 people in a span of two years, also received an invitation to play in Rome, Italy for the New Year’s Day Parade.

Both performances are scheduled for 2020 and the band has to pay for all of it, not the university.

“We need to raise about $750,000 for Rome, flights, hotel, meals, instrument shipping, performance apparel, and about $450,000 for Macy’s,” Jones wrote in an email. “Since these performances are not university-funded, we are relying on donors, philanthropists, corporations, and hopefully celebrities to help us out.”
Jessica Zimmerman, spokeswoman for the university, said the band has to raise the money money and the band plans to have multiple fundraising events throughout the year.
It’s unclear why the university’s band must rely on donations or why the university won’t contribute to the upcoming performances.

If the band does manage to raise the funds for both events, this would mark the first time in the school’s history of the Marching Force performing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

“The students are really excited,” Jones said. “A lot of them have never been to New York before.”

It’s unclear exactly how many band members plan on traveling to both trips since the students arrive from camp at a later date, Jones said.

For more information about the Hampton University Band or to donate, visit their website. The donations are tax-deductible.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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