Thankful To Play

Student Recalls Macy's Parade Experience

by Kyle Rogers, FACS Senior


Kyle Rogers, Macy's Great American Marching Band

A week or two after the 2012-13 school year ended, I received a letter from the Macy’s department store in New York City. Upon reading it, I learned that I was invited to march and play in the Macy’s 87th Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade with the Macy’s Great American Marching Band in November of 2013. I had received letters like this before, inviting me to play with some group in Europe or tour some other country like hundreds of others were invited to do, but I knew this invitation was quite different. This band was comprised of about 250 musicians representing all 50 states in America. Many were either selected via audition or were invited through All-State band clinics. Upon meeting many of them, I knew I was in a company of very serious musicians who excel in whatever area they focus themselves. They are hard workers and they achieve all of their personal goals.

While I was there, I was able to work with one of the best music staffs in the country. The head director was Dr. Richard Good, who is the Director of Bands at Auburn University. I also worked with Dr. Barry Houser, Dr. Rosener of Auburn University, and many others. They all have brought their marching bands to glory, and did the same with our group. Rehearsal days were usually long, beginning around 7 a.m. and continuing to around 4 or 5 p.m. During rehearsals, we practiced our music within our sections and then came together as a whole band and rehearsed marching or playing. It is amazing to see how everything came together so quickly!

Although we rehearsed a lot, we did have free time, venturing into New York City almost every day. While I was there, I saw everything there is to see in NYC, such as: Rockefeller Center, the Top of the Rock, the Empire State Building, The World Trade Center, Times Square, and many other places! I ate at many famous restaurants in Times Square and saw the blockbuster Broadway musical, “Matilda!” I met many people that I will keep in contact with for years to come and made friends of a lifetime! Not to mention that I will cherish the memory of performing in the largest parade in the world on Thanksgiving Day!