MERCER ISLAND, Wash. — Members of the Mercer Island High School marching band got a big surprise Friday morning.
Band members were told to come to school early. Little did they know, organizers from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade were there waiting for them.
Parade officials announced that the band was selected from applicants nationwide to be one of 10 selected marching bands in the 97th edition of the annual holiday tradition in 2023.
To keep the announcement a surprise, parade staff worked secretly with school officials, including band director Parker Bixby, to deliver the news at a gathering arranged by school staff.
The news that the band was selected was kept secret for a month. A parade organizer flew in from New York to deliver the good news in person.
“For the first time in this school’s history, Mercer Island High School marching band has been selected to represent the great state of Washington and perform in New York City, in the 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” said Wesley Whatley, creative producer for the parade.
When the news was delivered, the band room erupted with excitement.
A marching band from Washington hasn’t performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for 20 years.
An estimated 3 million spectators will pack the streets of Manhattan.
The band beat out not only high schools to secure the spot, but colleges and universities too.
Senior drum major, Jaya Woerner, said the announcement is a major pick-me-up for the program.
“On the list of things bands want to do, especially high school bands, this is pretty much at the top,” said Woerner.
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