The historic Shaw University's Platinum Sound Marching Band receives a surprise $100,000 contribution from McDonald's USA and its local Owner/Operators to fund new equipment, uniforms and essentials.

CHICAGO – For decades, Platinum Sound Marching Band has been a staple at Shaw University, one of the oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the nation. To support Platinum Sound’s tradition of bringing joy to sports fans and the local community, McDonald’s USA and its local Owner/Operators surprised the Band with a $100,000 grant on Feb. 19 during the University’s Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament (CIAA) send-off ceremony.

The historic Shaw University’s Platinum Sound Marching Band receives a surprise $100,000 contribution from McDonald’s USA and its local Owner/Operators to fund new equipment, uniforms and essentials.

“This grant is beyond anything we could have imagined,” said Andrae King, current director and former member of Platinum Sound. “It means everything to these students who grind day in and day out to bring energy and excitement to others to get so much love and support back from McDonald’s and the community.”

Platinum Sound’s longstanding legacy of entertaining crowds through elite musicianship and showmanship was recently celebrated in a national McDonald’s commercial. Through the lens of current Platinum Sound member, Dave Walters, Jr. and his mother, a musician and Shaw alumna, the spot highlighted the local McDonald’s restaurant’s role as a familiar gathering place for Shaw students across generations.

While filming, McDonald’s was inspired by Platinum Sound’s commitment to excellence and the University’s unwavering efforts to support these students artistically, academically and financially. Shortly after leaving campus, the brand was moved to further assist these musicians through this grant.

“While I attended an HBCU, it was eye-opening to see the amount of hard work, dedication and resources it takes for a marching band to perform and operate on such a high level,” said Deborah Holder, a McDonald’s Owner/Operator in North Carolina and East Coast Second Vice President of the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association. “As part of the Raleigh and HBCU community, we are committed to ensuring future leaders such as these talented musicians have the tools they need to succeed.”

The funds will benefit the Band’s enhancement and expansion goals, helping them continue to perform in style, provide scholarships to band members, create recruitment opportunities and provide equipment and instruments, such as their sousaphones, which have not been replaced in more than a decade.

This grant is just one of many ways McDonald’s is shining a light on HBCUs and their greatness. The company’s long-standing support of HBCUs includes scholarships, impactful partnerships, sponsorship of HBCU Classics and tournaments, and more. For more information, follow @wearegolden on Instagram.