Reagan Band invited to perform at 2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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Students from the Ronald Reagan High School Marching Band were surprised Wednesday morning, May 2, with a visit by parade officials inviting the band to march in the 2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Reagan will represent the state of Texas in the parade, which is the first Macy’s Day appearance by the band.  

Macy’s Parade officials, led by Wesley Whatley, creative director of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® and head of the Parade’s Band selection committee, worked secretly with Reagan school officials including band director, Dan Morrison, to surprise members of the band with the news that they were one of only nine selected from hundreds of marching band applicants nationwide to perform in the 93rd edition of the annual holiday tradition. 

According to the NEISD website, the Macy’s Band Committee “looks for bands that have the stage presence, musical and marching abilities to captivate more than 3.5 million live spectators and more than 50 million viewers.”

“Very few high school band programs in America rival the level of excellence and artistry achieved by the students of the Ronald Reagan High School Marching Band,” Whatley told NEISD.  “These talented students have amassed a long list of accolades, and we are proud to offer another jewel in their crown when they represent Texas and perform for millions in the 2019 Macy’s Parade!”

“It is an absolute honor to have been selected to perform in the 2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” said Band Director Morrison. “As someone who has marched in the parade myself, I know firsthand what an incredible experience this will be for the students of the Reagan Band!”

The band will plan, fundraise and rehearse for the next 18 months to prepare for the march of a lifetime.  The big announcement concluded in a shower of confetti as students, staff and supporters shouted, "Let's Have a Parade," the iconic phrase that has signaled the start of every Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 1924.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a beloved tradition of more than 90 years that has grown into a world-famous event, marking the beginning of the holiday season. Upwards of 50 million broadcast viewers join the crowd of millions who line the 2-mile-long parade route in New York City. The parade involves more than 8,000 participants including Macy’s employees, their families, celebrities, athletes, clowns and dance groups. It also features America’s best marching bands, fabulous floats and Macy’s signature giant helium character balloons.