Colony High marching band to perform in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
For the first time, a marching band from Alaska will be featured in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Colony High School students found out they were selected last year.
“It’s the biggest step in my career of music ever,” said drum major Michael Delph. “It’s my greatest accomplishment.”
Delph is a senior this year. In his last season, he’s preparing the band for the big performance with a top-secret song.
“We’ve been working on it for forever since June I believe. It’s been hard and difficult and we’re finally getting it really solid,” Delph said.
For more than a decade Colony had the only marching band in the state. Music Director Jamin Burton honed his students’ routines and made a name for his band around the country.
“We did the inauguration parade for President Obama and then we did the Rose Parade in Pasadena,” Burton explained. “We figured the last one that was huge to go for was Macy’s so we spent a couple years putting a resume and application.”
The years of work paid off. The band and the color guard will take the national stage in New York City next week.
“Oh, it’s so exciting, oh my goodness,” said color guard co-captain Kaitlyn Gilley. “I joined band my freshman year and I was so excited. The fact we’re doing something so rare and we’re the first group from Alaska to be able to do it is mind-blowing.”
They’re used to marching on a football field, so preparing for a parade route is a little different.
“In a parade, you can’t see the drum majors because they’re on the ground with you,” Delph said. “On top of that, you have to be able to keep yourself straight on the streets and be able to turn and do different things you can’t do on a field.”
Over the summer, Delph said the students marched through neighborhood streets early in the morning to get their timing down.
Burton said it’s that kind of dedication that will be worth it when the band is performing under pressure.
“They estimate 65 million on TV and then all the people on the parade route. You practice your routine, you learn your music then you forget about the audience and perform,” Burton said.
The band found out about their performance a year and a half ago, so some students who were seniors who graduated will come back and participate in the Macy’s parade.
It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for the team from Alaska to showcase their sound in the Big Apple.