Band will play in Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade

By Lindsay Roberts — Chosen out of 19 other high school bands, the marching band will be a part of 1.4 miles of magnificent floats, choirs, variations of dancing groups, balloons, local performers, marching bands and a celebratory Thanksgiving feast.

Dating back to be the oldest and most traditional Thanksgiving day parade, Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade is where the marching band will be headed on Thanksgiving Day this year.

“Our marching band will in fact be a part of the parade, and will be staying in Newark, New Jersey from November 9th to the 12th,” band director Chris Irwin said.

This is a great opportunity for the band, especially since the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade is nationally televised.  The band was picked out of applications across the country.

The application was a tedious task according to Irwin.  It consisted of general questions about the school and the band itself.  Along with being asked to elaborate on previous accomplishments and honors, the band was required to send a DVD of the marching band performing at their daily practices.  Another requirement was a select number of references such as some of director Irwin’s colleagues.

Accomplishments were required to be brought to the attention for admission.  Two in particular took place here in Canton, Ohio over the years.

“We’ve had the honor of performing at Fawcett Stadium for the 2007 Hall of Fame Enshrinement, along with the half-time shows in 2007 for the Pittsburgh Steelers and again for the Dallas Cowboys in 2010,” Irwin said.

The band will go about their usual daily routines.  This consists of hands on practice of repetition and marching movements.  Their ability to read music will be rehearsed before the parade as well.

“The Wednesday morning before the actual parade will be our final rehearsal,” Irwin said.

Safety is assured to the students during the time in the city.  This is done so by being in their chaperoned groups of around 10 to 12 students.

The band’s time there will not be ‘all work and no play.’ Students will have the chance of visiting Liberty Island, the Rocket Spectacular, ice-skating at the Rockefeller Center and visiting the September 11th memorial.

“Yes, the students may miss out on the on the first half of their families’ usual Thanksgiving Day events but they will experience things others do not have the opportunity of,” Irwin said.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]