This past November I was one of four students selected to represent Texas in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band. This band is compiled of four outstanding musicians from each state who come together to create an amazing band and have an experience like no other. We learn and memorize challenging music, create an elaborate drill, see all the incredible sights of New York, and make life-long friendships.
We were boarded in a top-of-the-line Hilton hotel just outside the New York border in the breathtaking countryside of New Jersey. While there, we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves amongst our peers simply visiting and getting to know each other better. Although we practiced an exceptional amount of time before the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the organization did a phenomenal job on making sure we were exposed to everything New York had to offer. From Cirqu de Wintuk in Madison Square Garden, to strolling down the infamous Times Square, to visiting China Town and Little Italy and more. We were able to visit Rockefeller Plaza, Top of the Rock and even eat at the Empire State Building. One excursion led us on a boat down the Hudson River seeing many buildings and places of importance including the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. We were also introduced to much of the history of New York. For example, Ellis Island where the immigrants were brought, and also an old, abandoned fort later used by the Union as a Confederate prison during the Civil War.
During my trip, I was able to make many incredible friends with whom I still keep in touch today. Two remarkable people that fit into this category are Elise and Tyler. They were my best and closest amigos while there. To this day we still talk and have even managed another trip together even with them being in Tennessee and myself in Texas. My roommate, Sylvia, and I stay in touch via e-mail and telephone. She taught me so much about the world and culture and the diversity in even a country as closely connected as this one. I remember when she asked me to put her money in my pocket; I couldn’t understand what she meant because I though she was saying packet, not pocket. “Hey, can you put my money in your ‘packet’?” she said. It must have taken at least five minutes for us to get on the same page. All of her “o’s” were “a’s” and I loved and laughed at every word from her mouth.
On the morning of our performance, we were to wake up at one o’clock a.m. and be dressed and ready to go by two in order for our run through at three in front of Macy’s. As nervous as could be and marching one-hundred seventy beats a minute, we did our absolute best, which I must say was without a doubt, incredible. Marching down Time’s Square was I would have to reiterate, the most stupendous, mind-blowing, unbelievable, rewarding experience I have ever had in my entire life and believe me you, I’ve had a lot.
I would recommend auditioning for this honor to absolutely everyone that loves music, friendship, and travel. Not only will you remember it for the rest of your life, but you will also leave a more knowledgeable, cultured, and enlightened person of understanding. It’s very simple to find the information online and if chosen, every penny is worth it. You can obtain the needed information from http://www.musfestivals.com/mgap/macys.htm
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