Texas Marching Band on Performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
As you start to plan your performance travel for 2018, let’s take a look back to last year as a band marches in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Just northeast of Austin sits the once quiet German farming village of Pflugerville, Texas, now loud and filled with sounds of the Hawk Band.
It’s no wonder The Robert E. Hendrickson High School marching band was practicing day in and day out as 3.5 million live spectators from around the globe patiently waited for them to march the streets of New York City in the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
That’s right! In 2016, the Hendrickson High School marching band was one of 12 bands selected among hundreds of applicants as one of the best in the nation and worthy of the world stage. With the seasoned Garth Gundersen at the lead as Band Director, and the vast recognitions under the Hawk Band’s belt including 5-time UIL Texas State Marching Contest finalist and invitational performances at the Fiesta Bowl Parade and the Disney Magic Music Days Parade, the band members were ready!
Prior to the trip, Garth tells local news, “It was the greatest feeling I’ve had as a Director in my career [being chosen to march in the parade]. For the students to have the memories of marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is a part of Thanksgiving tradition for everybody every year, are memories they’ll carry for their whole life.”
The 356 band members marched the 2.65 miles of the parade route behind the veteran Spongebob, who made his parade debut in 2004. During the Hawk Band’s iconic 34th Street performance, they played the holiday classic “Ode to Joy” and wowed the crowd with their out- of-this-world talent. “The opportunity to play in the parade is a great example of the hard work and determination the band puts into all of their performances. It’s also the commitment of the community and the district that lead to this. It’s a cumulative effort,” Says Gundersen.”
The band traveled to the Big Apple with a whopping 327 parents and teachers and we packed the
itinerary with all the must sees in New York City. From a behind the scenes tour of Radio City Music Hall to the 70th floor observatory at the Top of the Rock, Ellis Island and a workshop with a Broadway conductor, the Hawk Band had a performance and travel experience they will never forget!