UMass Marching Band chosen out of 150 applicants for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
The University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band was one of just two university or college marching bands chosen to be part of this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In addition to James Madison University, 10 other bands will be part of the parade.
Band director Timothy Todd Anderson called marching in the parade a tribute to those who built the band’s reputation, including the late George Parks, who directed the band for more than three decades, and current and former student members.
“Our spirits are definitely high and there’s a lot of energy and excitement building,” Anderson said.
The idea for participating came in 2011, the year Anderson was appointed.
“My first year, my wife and I were watching the Macy’s parade and thought the band should do that,” he said.
The band has performed at three presidential inaugurals and in 1998 received the Louis C. Sudler Trophy, a prestigious honor given to marching bands. But Macy’s was not on the resume.
The band submitted a video and a letter sent on the band’s behalf by state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, who said a performance could be tied into the university’s 150th anniversary. He noted that he played tuba in the band when he was a UMass student in the 1970s.
Since notification came in spring 2012 that UMass was selected out of 150 applicants, it’s been a big push for recruiting, Anderson said, swelling the ranks of the band.
Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said in a statement that participating in this annual tradition will be a highlight of the university’s 150th anniversary.
“Being selected for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a high recognition of our band’s reputation for excellence and excitement,” he said.
The UMass Alumni Association is inviting alumni who will be in the area to view the performance from Sixth Avenue, in front of the Pearson Building between 53rd and 54th streets.
Sam the Minuteman will march with the band for the entire parade route.