FAMU Concert Choir Makes NFL History, Marching ‘100’ Opens for Ed Sheeran

September 17, 2021
Marching 100
FAMU Concert Choir Makes NFL History, Marching ‘100’ Opens for Ed Sheeran

The Marching “100” performed at the NFL Kickoff in Tampa on Sept. 9. (photo courtesy the NFL shot by Alive Coverage Alive Coverage)

By Aaliyah Wilkerson

Millions of football fans watched the Florida A&M University (FAMU) Concert Choir make NFL history with their performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” with Alicia Keys at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Sept. 9. It was the first live, in-person performance of the Black National Anthem in an NFL stadium.

Sianna Hayden, a third-year music student from Orlando, said this opportunity for the FAMU Concert Choir was long overdue.

“I am so excited that we got to showcase our talents on this platform, and I believe it is going to take us very far,” Hayden said.

The student choir, led by FAMU’s director of Music Industry, Mark Butler, DMA, performed at the beginning of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus the Dallas Cowboys season kick-off football game. Check out this video to see the Concert Choir’s performance. The NFL has now committed to having the anthem sung at every game.

The Concert Choir wasn’t the only FAMU music group taking over Tampa for the NFL season kick-off. Crowds enjoyed a toe-tapping performance from the Marching “100,” which opened for four-time Grammy award-winner Ed Sheeran at the Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park.

The Marching “100” even had a special new band member join them in the middle of their performance, comedian Desi Banks. Later, Banks took to social media to thank the Marching 100 for letting him join them on stage.