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Hampton University marching band invited to perform in Rome, launches fundraising campaign

Hampton University's marching band, “The Marching Force” is headed to Rome on January 1, 2020 to perform at an invitation-only event at the Vatican.

HAMPTON, Va. — It's shaping up to be the highlight of their band career so far.

Hampton University's marching band, “The Marching Force” is headed to Rome on January 1, 2020 to perform at an invitation-only event at the Vatican.

Bryce Smith is the sousaphone section leader. He said band members realize how huge this opportunity is for the band.

“To be able to play in Rome it's a great accomplishment,” Smith said.

The band is led by Director of Bands Dr. Thomas Jones. He said Hampton is the first HBCU to perform in Italy.

It's just one of several big trips for the band. Members are also set to participate in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade next November.

“It's an honor and it shows we're doing the right thing,” Jones said.

The band is asking for financial support. They started a campaign to raise money for trips, like the Rome trip, scholarships, uniforms and instruments. The trip to Rome costs almost half a million dollars.

Visit the website or call 757-727-5350 for information on the Campaign. Contact University Relations at 757-718-2949 for interview opportunities. 

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