GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — On Sunday, the Jenison High School Marching Band will be headed off to New York City for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The band received an invitation to perform in the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Every year, the Macy’s Parade Band Committee goes on a nationwide search for bands that have very specific qualities, such as stage presence, musical and marching abilities, to captivate millions of live spectators across the United States.

For the 97th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Jenison High School Marching Band was one of ten schools selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants. The band consists of 193 students.

“It’s been a very long season and I think we’ve all just been waiting for this moment,” Isabel Botbyl, a drum major, said. “Now that it’s finally here, we’re all just kind of like, ‘Whoa.'”

“I can’t believe it’s tomorrow that we leave,” said Karen Glockzin, the grandmother to a band member. “I’m just so excited for them.”

In the spring of 2022, the Macy’s Parade Band Committee announced that the group was chosen to perform.

“For decades, the Jenison Band has delivered ambitious, exciting performances beautifully designed to resonate with audiences across the country,” Wesley Whatley, Macy’s Parade creative producer, said in a news release when it was announced.

“We’re all super emotional,” said Melissa Cagle, a member of the fundraising committee. “Very excited for them. Can’t wait to see them perform all of their hard work.”

On Saturday, members of the community, parents, siblings and grandparents filled the Jenison High School football stadium for a sneak peek of Thursday’s show.

“I’m just really thankful for the people that support us,” Jonathan Ngo, a drum major, said. “The community, alumni. We’re just in a really good spot, and I just can’t wait to be a part of it.”

“You can’t describe the amount of work that they put in,” Glockzin said. “They are here so much. This is their home.”

If you want to follow their journey, News 8’s Teresa Weakley will join the band to report on the trip to New York. You can check out her live blog to follow along.