The Busy Band Buzz in the Big Apple
New Prairie sophomore Jacob Sherrick recently performed at the 92nd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City as a member of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band. He shares his experience in this week’s issue of The Gazette.
I am very thankful that I was selected to be a member of the 2018 Macy’s Great American Marching Band. It was truly an honor to represent my school and my community, and it was a pleasure to meet and work with an outstanding group of people from all over the nation. Although we were only together a week, I know many of these people are going to be lifelong friends.
For me, as being a first-time visitor to New York, the environment of the city was breathtaking. Throughout the week, we were able to balance exploration of the city and rehearsals. We visited attractions such as Times Square, Radio City, and we saw Wicked on Broadway.
Rehearsals normally took place at a large armory in Teaneck, New Jersey, just outside the city. This is where many tiring but fun hours of rehearsing for the parade, but mostly for our Herald Square performance, took place. Our entire band stayed at a very nice hotel near our rehearsal location.
The parade itself was also a blast although it was very cold! There were an estimated five million live viewers who lined the streets of New York City along the three mile parade route. The coolest part, for me, was looking up at all the people crammed in every window of the skyscrapers to watch the parade (not to mention the 55 million spectators on TV).
Before we got to Herald Square at Macy’s, we stopped playing as it was a quiet zone for the cameras, and we got into our performance block. Before we went on TV, it was very hectic, and we were told that our cue to begin would come out of nowhere when we least expected it, so we had to be ready.
Once we started, I had to force myself to take my focus off the large mechanisms and cameras in front of us which were broadcasting to the largest audience I’ve ever performed for! I certainly didn’t want to make a mistake. The performance went by very fast, though, as did the whole week. It’s something I miss very much, and would certainly love to do it again.
I would like to extend a colossal thank you to my band directors Mr. Patrick Teykl and Mr. Daniel Weinberg, my family, teachers, peers, all of the greatly considerate media personnel, and to the entire community. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of supporters. There’s no doubt performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is going to be a memory that remains with me for the rest of my life.