The 230-member American Fork High School marching band will join only five other high school bands and two college bands in the 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday.
The band’s director John Miller said this is the second time the band has had the opportunity to play at the prestigious venue.
“They can only invite bands back every seven years. So, they sent me an email and said, ‘If you’re interested, would you please apply again. We can’t guarantee you a position, but… we’ll take a look at it.’ So we did, and to our surprise they offered us another spot in the Macy’s parade this year,” Miller said. “They only take the very top, top cream of the crop for this thing, so it was quite an honor again.”
Miller said the American Fork band has also had the opportunity to play twice at the Rose Parade. This year’s group won the state marching band championships and took first place in the Bands of America St. George Western Regional Championship before receiving this honor.
"It just kind of hit me all of a sudden… Not only are [we] one of these rare bands that have been blessed to simply do the Macy’s parade, but to have now have done it twice! It’s kind of a rare thing in America. I think it’s a tribute to our kids that we have; as a director I couldn’t be prouder,” Miller said.
Despite the young age of the 2014 band members, Miller said they are a hard-working group. Trombone player for the band Michael Hafen said their work ethic is the key to the band’s success.
“We just work hard right from the get go,” said Hafen. “There isn’t any slack; we try to push from the very beginning so we can get as good as we can be, and it is a lot of fun.”
Miller said he’s excited to show the students the sites of New York and Hafen said he’s looking forward to the experience of playing for such a vast audience.