As a high school marching band member, it’s not every day you find out you’ll be performing for more than 50 million people.
Each spring, our Parade team travels across the country surprising high school, college, and community-based marching bands with the exciting news that they’ve been selected to join the Macy’s Parade family – an opportunity for which only nine bands out of more than 100 are selected.
This is a chance for marching bands across the nation to represent their local communities in one of the most-watched events of the year, with more than 50 million viewers tuning in from home, and more than 3.5 million attending in person.
We take celebrating seriously. The Parade team works with band directors, principals, and superintendents to create surprise events, or join in on pre-planned meetings. The groups assemble in what they think is a ceremony to welcome incoming band members. Instead, the afternoon turns into a confetti-filled celebration when Wesley Whatley, creative producer of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, is introduced and delivers the ultimate invitation. Whatley described the experience:
“Whether we shared the news inside a band room, at a school assembly, or at an outdoor community concert, the response was always the same: enthusiastic screams, thunderous applause, tears of joy, and a whole lot of confetti! Even the band directors got emotional seeing their students recognized for many years of hard work. A performance in the Macy’s Parade is a crowning achievement for these bands, and we cannot wait to welcome these incredibly talented groups to New York City in 2019!”
This year, at the time of each announcement, the bands were presented with a custom Macy’s 2019 Thanksgiving Day Parade drumhead to commemorate the invitation and display proudly in their rehearsal space.
Join in the excitement by checking out the video below: