CAU Philharmonic Society to Perform During NBA All-Star 2021


The Clark Atlanta University Philharmonic Society selected to perform the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” as NBA highlights the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

 ATLANTA, (February 24, 2021) — Clark Atlanta University’s Philharmonic Society has been selected to perform during National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star 2021.  The Philharmonic will be featured on the steps of Clark Atlanta University’s historic Harkness Hall and will perform Roland Carter’s special rendition of the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” written by Clark Atlanta University alumnus James Weldon Johnson. 

“The Clark Atlanta University community is incredibly excited to be a part of NBA All-Star 2021.  The night will provide a unique opportunity not only to celebrate the accomplishments of our students, faculty and alumni, but also to share the rich history and essential contributions of our institution and other HBCUs with a global audience,” said Clark Atlanta University President George T. French Jr.

The invitation to perform is a part of the NBA and National Basketball Players Association’s (NBPA)  commitment of more than 2.5 million in funds and resources to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The contributions will support HBCUs and raise awareness around equity and access to COVID-19 care, relief and vaccines. Throughout the night, the league will highlight the importance and pay tribute to the vital role of HBCUs through music, content and storytelling.

The NBA partnered with United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), National Association for Equal Opportunity (NAFEO) and Direct Relief’s Fund as well as presenting partners AT&T, MTN DEW® and Taco Bell® to provide an evening of HBCU exposure and raise awareness around the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.


Coverage of the 70th NBA All Star Game 2021 begins Sunday March 7 at 5:00 p.m. ET on TNT, with oncourt action beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. Additional musical performances will feature other HBCUs, including Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) Marching 100 and the Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band, among others.  Seven-time Grammy®  Award winner and Shaw University alumna Gladys Knight will sing the United States National Anthem live from State Farm Arena and  Grammy Award winner and singer-songwriter Alessia Cara will sing the Canadian national anthem from Toronto.

About Clark Atlanta University

Established in 1988 by the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869).  Clark Atlanta University continues a 150-year legacy rooted in African-American tradition and focused on the future.  Through global innovation, transformative educational experiences, and high-value engagement.  CAU cultivates lifted lives that transforms the world.  Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson; American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing "The Black National Anthem"; Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit