Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Still plugging through The Thankful Project with Kenzie at Chasing Happy. Today's prompt is 'an opportunity.'

I was going to talk about my study abroad adventure, but I thought I would choose something a little different that I don't really talk about much. When I was in high school, I loved marching band and playing percussion. My junior and senior year, I became the section leader and could not have been more proud. My goal for an extremely long time was to play in The Ohio State University Marching Band (The Best Damn Band in the Land). 

At the Skull Session (where the OSU band plays before the football game), I heard about The Macy's Great American Marching Band, a band composed of high school students from all over the counrty. I didn't know what it was, but I knew I wanted to do it so I could meet the director of the OSU Marching Band. That weekend, I contacted my percussion instructor (who was on the OSU drumline) and told him I wanted to audition for next year's band. Come Spring, I was on top of my music and video audition preparations. By April, I found out I was going to be a part of The Macy's Great American Marching Band in The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade my senior year of high school. WHAT?!?! My mind was blown. My family watched the parade every year on Thanksgiving morning at my grandma's house and I was about to be in it!  I was also going with my friend, Hannah (flautist), and sister, Caitey (banner carrier).

The first few days we were in New York, the organization gave us tours and free time around the city. After settling in, it was time to get to work and learn our routine that would be performed on live television. We had 3 days-ish to get it all together. It was so impressive how it came together in a short amount of time.  

The day of was INSANE! We had a dress rehearsal for NBC at 4 a.m.....yes, A.M., people. It was quite the experience. It really seemed so surreal. When it came time to start the parade route, I could not believe the sight of all the floats and balloons. I never thought in a million years I would ever have the chance to see the parade in person, let alone, be in it! I don't think I have ever seen so many people, especially at a parade. 

We marched through the streets of New York City until we arrived at the performance area that would be filmed on live television. We held up the back end of the parade, right before the Santa Clause entrance. Let me tell you, as soon as it was our cue, I played my little heart it. I played as if it were my last day to ever play cymbals. I was overjoyed and thrilled for such an opportunity. I knew all of my family was watching and I wanted to make them proud. Afterwards, my legs were jello and I needed some serious recovery from the 4a.m. rehearsal and adrenaline overload. 

Overall, it was an incredible opportunity and I am unbelievably thankful. Every Thanksgiving, I look forward to watching the band, knowing they are having the time of their lives. 

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