AMERICAN FORK, Utah – The American Fork High School Marching Band will play at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2014. It’s said to be a once-in-a-lifetime activity, but this is the second time American Fork has been asked in the last five years.
175 schools applied, but only 10 bands nationwide play in the parade every year. American Fork High School last marched the parade in 2007, but had to wait five years to enter again.
“We spend all year long preparing for each parade. It’s a big job, we have lots of moving parts and the marching bands are of course a corner-stone. Our parades have always had a marching band since 1924,” said Wesley Whatley, creative director for the parade.
Macy’s has kept tabs on the band for years. The school has a legacy of excellence, headed by 27-year veteran director John Miller.
“I saw American Fork at a competition live back in 2005 in Las Vegas and fell in love with the band, their energy on the field and their execution was just phenomenal,” Whatley said.
Band members say they work hard, but can’t believe that anyone on that level would know who they are and what they do.
“We all love this band, and love to work hard and have fun. And to know that people are recognizing us and know who we are it like, ‘Oh, all of our hard work is paying off,'” said drum major Maren McAllister.
Macy’s picks the bands two years ahead of time, so between now and then, there will be a lot of rehearsals to get the sound just right.
“On a whole we are all excited, we are all nervous. Individually I think we are ready,” said drum major Thomas Judkins.