Thanksgiving 2017 was a day to remember for the Rockford High School Marching Band as the 308 member ensemble performed in the national spotlight in the 91st annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. The 40 chaperones were joined by over a thousand family members and friends of the band to witness this once in a lifetime event.
The band had a grand send off for the Thanksgiving week as hundreds of fans lined the road leading from the school with signs, fireworks and words of encouragement. After over 12 hours on the seven coach busses, the group arrived at their destination to begin their whirlwind week of activities. History and arts were mixed as the students took in the historical sights of New York including the 9/11 Memorial, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Broadway show “Wicked” and the Rockette’s Holiday Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.
Prior to the parade, the band performed a concert in Central Park and showcased for a large audience their 2017 state championship music from their show “TAO”. In addition, the listeners treated to the Motown favorite “I Want You Back” by the Jackson-5, “Armed Forces on Parade” and the RHS Fight Song.
To prepare for their parade, the band had to travel two hours outside of New York City to Connecticut for rehearsal to put the finishing touches on their day in the national spotlight.
Thanksgiving morning came early with a 3:00 AM call time to head to Herald Square for their run through of their special performance of “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” in front of the iconic Macy’s store for broadcast by NBC. Following breakfast, the group headed to Central Park to line up for the 2.5 mile parade which began at 9:00 AM and concluded at 12 noon. They capped off the day with a celebratory dinner / dance cruise of the New York harbor with family and friends where they were able to witness the NY skyline and Statue of Liberty lit up again the dark night sky.
The band would like to thank the Rockford community for all their support and encouragement to make this trip a reality!