Indiana Band in Macy’s Parade

NEW YORK (WOWO): For the first time, the Center Grove High School marching band is headed to the country‘s most famous parade.

Center Grove‘s Trojan Band is traveling to New York City for Thursday‘s Macy‘s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a trip that has been almost two years in the making. Center Grove Band Director Kevin Schussler found out they were invited in March 2013 and announced it to the band just after their spring concert. Since then, the band has been focused on raising money – each of the band‘s 166 members essentially has to pay their own way. “The trip itself is $1,250 each, and that‘s above and beyond the band fees which are $650 per season,” Schussler said. A few weeks ago, it appeared that eight band members wouldn‘t be able to pay their way, but a band parent who asked to remain anonymous made sure the students didn‘t miss the trip. “She said her husband and her had talked about supporting the students, and it was to the tune of about $10,000,” Schussler said.

Center Grove is one of only 12 bands that will march in the parade, six of which will be high school bands, though high school players will comprise some of the all-star bands that march. “Journey To The Center Of The Earth by Peter Graham is the piece we will do during our 75-second production (for television). We will play “Pompei” (by Bastille) and Christmas Tunes On Parade for the parade section,” Schussler said.

The Trojans‘ long day begins early on Thanksgiving Day, with a 1am wake-up call likely for band members. “We actually practice at the Macy‘s star at 3:40am that Thursday morning,” Schussler says. It is a full dress rehearsal, with the television crew shooting the band‘s performance as if it were live to make sure it has its positioning correct. Center Grove‘s appearance is scheduled to be on the NBC-TV broadcast at 10:47am.