On Thanksgiving, the Madison Central marching band will be celebrating in New York City while performing in The Macy's Day Parade.
This will be the first time Madison Central will perform in The Macy's Day Parade and they will be only the sixth or seventh band from Kentucky that has performed there, said Director David Jaggie.
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," said senior Bethany Greenwell who plays the trombone.
Madison Central was picked to play in parade after their second application and were told about the opportunity 18 months ago, said Jaggie. Ever since, the band has been working and practicing for the parade.
Part of the preparation for the parade has been the many fundraisers the school has put on to help students pay for the trip. Jaggie estimated that the total cost for the trip was close to half a million dollars. With the band using the same outfits that they had for their fall parade, the money raised through fundraisers was able to go towards making the trip affordable for all students, said Jaggie.
There will be 275 students participating in the parade where they will play two tunes while marching, a song while in Herald Square, and finish off with their fight song while leaving the square. They also have learned a pep tune that they will be playing on a television show after the parade, said Jaggie.
"Preparing for this parade has been very different from what we normally do," explained senior Olivia Puckett who plays the trumpet.
Jaggie explained that the route they take for the marching portion of the show is longer than the band is used to, being two and a half miles long. He added the band will have less to guide themselves from as they perform in Herald Square. The students will only have the diagram of a star, their red start line, and one minute and fifteen seconds to work with.
Jaggie is confident the students will perform beautifully. Greenwell and Puckett say that their families will be attending the parade and many other families from the band will be joining to cheer on the students.
One interesting bit of information about the parade that Jaggie shared is that Madison Central band will be playing behind The Second Time Arounders, which is a band that boasts multiple Madison Central alumnus.
"It's really neat to have them there. It shows our students that down the road there are still opportunities like this," he said.
The parade isn't the only fun the band will be experiencing in New York City. The students will be given the chance to explore the city when they arrive a couple of days before the parade as well as staying a couple of days after.
"I've never been to such a big city before," said Puckett. Greenwell noted that she was most excited about the opportunity to see the Aladdin Broadway show.
Whether performing on Thanksgiving day or seeing the sights of New York City, the Madison Central band will have a holiday season to remember.