AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB) – The Pioneer Valley will be well represented in the 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade after one local band was selected to march in next year’s spectacular.
Tuesday morning, members of the UMass Minuteman Marching Band were surprised by officials from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and band director Tim Anderson as they announced that the 300 plus member band has been selected to march in the 2013 parade.
“The selection is a fitting tribute to the many great people who have made the Minuteman Band what it is today – Prof. George Parks, Thom Hannum, Michael Klesch, Colin McNutt and many others, not to mention all the wonderful students who have marched in our ranks over the years. For everyone who has ever been a part of the Minuteman Band, this invitation is because of you!” says UMMB director Tim Anderson.
“It’s terrific,” said Minutemen band director, Tim Anderson. “It’s something our band and its proud history have never done. It’s going to be a wonderful opportunity for our students,” adds Anderson.
The applicant pool had over 150 entries for one of the eleven performance slots in the parade, according to Macy’s officials, adding that the parade committee makes their selections 18 months prior to the parade in which the group will appear.
“Oh my gosh, this whole room just went crazy,” said band member Daniel Rodruiguez about learning the news. “It was so awesome and this was just such a great privlege and honor for our band”
Macy’s adds that the band will not only represent the region, but the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Wesley Whatley, creative director of the parade, expressed his excitement about the addition of UMass to the parade lineup. “With a rich musical legacy and accomplished playing on the field, our audience is sure to be blown away by the debut performance of UMass in the 2013 Parade,” he says.
UMass Chancellor Robert Holub commended the band on their accomplishment Tuesday, saying “UMass Amherst excels in many endeavors, and the Minuteman Marching Band reflects our commitment to excellence and achievement. The band richly deserves this honor to perform in one of the nation’s most prominent entertainment events.”
The parade, which will mark its 86th year this November, is seen by over 3.5 million spectators who line the two mile parade route, weaving through Manhattan, every Thanksgiving.
ABC40 was at the surprise announcement and will have the latest starting on ABC40 News at 5:00 p.m.