Bruins in New York
December 14, 2017
The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade has revamped and popularized Thanksgiving spirit since 1924. However, the parade has not always received the acclaimed fame that it pockets now. In fact, the New York Herald only wrote two sentences about the first parade in the paper the following morning. Despite this, Macy’s announced that it would continue the parade the following year because of its unexpected success.
Since then, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade has grown in popularity and has established a reputation for being a memorable Thanksgiving tradition looked forward to by millions across the country. Along with Macy’s employees, their family and friends, and other partners that participate in the parade, Macy’s invites special talent groups to perform. One group is the Macy’s Great American Marching Band that was established in 2006 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Parade. It allows for the best and most experienced musicians across the country to participate in the Thanksgiving Tradition. Four West Brook students, Payton Weinbaum, Madeline Genuardi, Brianna Whittington, and Cameron Montgomery, were accepted after auditioning and recently spent Thanksgiving break in New York.
“The experience was incredible,” Senior Cameron Montgomery said. “Watching the parade as a kid and loving it, and then to actually be in it. It was amazing.”
The audition process includes the submission of a solo or etude to YouTube and filling out an application. The most proficient musicians were selected to participate, allowing for a focused and skillful atmosphere.
“My favorite part was meeting new people and going to rehearsal,” Sophomore Payton Weinbaum said. “Everyone in rehearsal wanted to be there the same reason I did, so everyone was very focused on the task, and our drill was fun and upbeat.”
Because of the fame and national status the parade has earned, the four students were able to perform in front of a larger audience than ever before.
“It’s an amazing feeling to know that three million people are along the parade route and fifty million are watching at home.” Senior Brianna Whittington said. “Once you get in Herald Square and perform the show it’s an incredible feeling knowing that all the hard work has paid off.”
These students have helped boost the morale of Soundpower, the school band. Many members have considered auditioning for the 2018 Parade.
“This has helped the West Brook Band’s reputation,” Whittington said. “There have been more band members who have taken an interest in the event and would like to audition.”
All in all, the four participants thoroughly enjoyed marching in the widely acclaimed Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, and were grateful to have fellow bruins marching by their side.
“Having Cameron, Bre, and Payton there was great. It was like having my family on Thanksgiving which I haven’t had in three years,” senior Madeline Genuardi said. “Macy’s Great American Marching Band 2017 was definitely one for the books. I would do anything I could to rewind and live it again.”