NEW YORK (WOOD) — Just days away from a performance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Jenison High School Marching Band arrived in New York City Monday morning after an overnight bus trip.
The students spent the day visiting tourist destinations around the city, including Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. They will head to another tourist hot spot for an important rehearsal late Monday night: the Macy’s on 34th Street in Manhattan.
While Macy’s typically holds dress rehearsals on 34th for the parade participants early the morning of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, organizers changed their approach this year and have scheduled the high school bands to rehearse Monday night between 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Each band has a one minute, 15 second performance planned and will get 10 minutes to work out any challenges.
“That Macy’s star is their (the students’) only point of reference. Typically, when we’re doing a field show, they have the yard lines to tell them where they’re supposed to be. This is very different,” band director Dave Zamborsky explained.
For practice, Zamborsky and the staff placed a tarp on the soccer field with a replica of the Macy’s star in the middle. This will be the band’s first time practicing with the real deal.
The band will head to a fieldhouse in Connecticut Wednesday afternoon for a final practice ahead of the big day. They will get a chance to play in public in Central Park Tuesday afternoon, but will not be permitted to perform any of the music from the planned TV spot.
The parade begins at 8:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. It will air on NBC on WOOD TV8 and stream on Peacock.