The Marching Force
The Hampton University Band Program has been in existence since 1878. The Hampton University Band Program currently consists of the HU Marching Force, the Concert Band, the Symphonic Winds, the Brass Band, the Percussion Ensemble, the Jazz Band, and the Pep Band. Each of these organizations strive to provide a high level of musical experience for its members, and provides music for various university functions under the umbrella of the Department of Music.
The Marching Force is a grand example of the positive impact of music on student engagement and success. The Marching Force provides experiences which assist students in their ability to assume responsibility, establish a professional attitude, gain self-confidence, develop a humanistic attitude toward life, become proficient in their area of musical specialization, appreciate diverse cultures, and contribute positively to the world around them.
The HU Marching Force is currently under the leadership of Dr. Thomas L. Jones, Jr., a graduate of Hampton University and North Carolina A&T State University. Mr. Clifford Cox, II and Mr. Alexander Hamilton, II are the Assistant Directors of Bands.
The dance team, “Ebony Fire,” is coached by Ms. Brint Martin, who also serves as the HU Director of Alumni Affairs. The flag corps, “Silky,” is coached by Ms. Megan McKinney. The majorettes, “Shimmering Sapphire Elegance,” are coached by Ms. Tenisha King-Weston. Mr. Keon Galloway and Mr. Charmers Redd serve as the percussion coaches, Mr. Alex Somar serves as the Chief Music Arranger, and Dr. Richard Mason, II, Mr. Joe King, and Mr. Justin Langley, Sr. serve as the Alumni Ambassadors. Mr. Langley also serves as the band’s announcer. Mr. Trey Rawles and Mrs. Britney Hamilton are the Alumni Band President and Vice President, respectively. Mr. Kedryck James serves as the band’s videographer, Mr. Daryrl Miles is the band’s photographer, and Ms. Quinci Rice and Mr. Dorian Black are the graduate assistants. Ms. Tanita Nelson is the band’s trainer/nurse.
The 2019-2020 HU Marching Force consists of 195 students representing 28 states, The Bahamas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 2009, The Marching Force performed in the Inaugural Parade for President Barack Obama. In 2018, The Marching Force was selected to perform in the Honda Battle of the Bands—the band’s first-ever appearance in the Invitational. In 2019, the HU Drumline was featured in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA. The Marching Force has since been invited to the upcoming 2020 New Year’s Day Parade and Celebration in Rome, Italy, as well as the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.