Band preparations for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – The Grants Pass High School Marching Band and Color Guard has been practicing and preparing for two years to represent Oregon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Band Director Jason Garcia said the focus leading up to the parade is on perfecting the footwork and fine tuning the songs.

“We are cleaning up drill and flag work. We’ve been doing several hours after school every other day,” Garcia said.

Even spending hours practicing how to walk in formation.

Luckily, Garcia has experience taking a group to NYC for the parade. He took a group back in 2010, but it was a much smaller operation eight years ago.

“We took 130 kids and then we took some adults as well so it was a total of 190 that went. It was such an experience, most of the kids had never been on an airplane.” Garcia said, “This year we are 100 kids larger so we have 230 kids in the band. We have a lot of parents and community members going too, so I think we have a total of 440 travelers.”

Among the Christmas songs, the group will also perform the song “Downtown” by Petula Clark. The televised portion that will air on NBC is a secret.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air on NBC5/2 on Thursday November 22 at 9 a.m.

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