Featured in the National Football League’s (NFL) annual Super Bowl welcome to the city video in Atlanta, Clark Atlanta University’s Mighty Marching Panther Band was able to play a crucial part in the Super Bowl LIII weekend.
“It was an amazing and unforgettable experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything,” Drum Major, Kendrick Payne said.
The endeavor was created by CAU’s new Interim Band Director, Rhonda Harper. “The NFL looks for high energy and polished bands, so they called us and I thought it would be good exposure,” Harper said.
Rhonda Harper is a proud graduate of Lincoln University where she played in the band and majored in music education. Afterwards, Harper attended Hampton Institute and returned to St Louis, Missouri and taught for 21 years.
“I want to take the band in a positive direction. I want them to be able to balance being in the band and a student at the same time,” she said. “I’m here on a one-year assignment and I want to make sure I can do as much as I can for this institution. I think highly of Clark Atlanta.”
The band was also able to interact with stars like Deion Sanders, 2 Chains, and Samuel L. Jackson just to name a few. “I had a blast and was excited to be able to represent the university once again on a bigger scale,” Payne said.
“The proximity of CAU in the city of Atlanta has provided me with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like being able to enjoy the festivities of a major national event like the Super Bowl,” band member Tori Shoemake said.
The video was aired nationwide and allotted CAU’s Mighty Marching abilities to be broadcasted to millions of homes.