Band gears up for marathon November
For a marching band, controlling hundreds of performers and their equipment is a routine task, but even by that standard, the Trumbull High School Golden Eagle Marching Band is in for a frenetic November.
The band is gearing up to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. The annual event is attended by more than 3 million people, and broadcast to millions more. The band previously marched in the parade in 1997.
“Over the years, Trumbull High School has consistently proven they are one of the finest high school bands in the northeastern United States,” said Wesley Whatley, creative director for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “Macy’s is proud to welcome the Golden Eagle Marching Band back to the Macy’s parade family in 2017.”
The Macy’s parade will mark the end of a long month of performances that begins Nov. 4 as Trumbull hosts the USBands New England Regional Championships. The performances start around 1 p.m. on Saturday, with a total of 16 bands performing in preliminaries. Trumbull is currently set to perform around 4:45. There will be a finals performance, too, with those starting around 7:30.
The following week the marching Eagles will complete their season at the national championships, before immediately beginning rehearsal for the two-minute performance in New York’s Herald Square.
And the schedule only intensifies from there, with Thanksgiving week performances Nov. 19 in the Stamford Thanksgiving parade, followed by a Nov. 20 performance at Westfield Trumbull. Two days later, members will perform shows at both Trumbull middle schools before boarding buses at 1 a.m. for the drive into Manhattan.
Arriving at Herald Square, the Eagles will rehearse in the heart of New York City before having an early-morning breakfast and bus ride to the parade’s staging area on the Upper West Side by 7 a.m. After the march and performance, band members will bus back to Trumbull for a Thanksgiving dinner with parents. For the latest information about the order of march, log on to thsgembcorp.com.
Band spokesman Kelly Targowski said the uncertain budget situation in Hartford meant that financial assistance for school-related activities was simply not available this year. To help raise the estimated $15,000 necessary to participate in the parade, the band has set up donation boxes around town, and has scheduled fund-raising drives at Stop & Shop. The band also has an online fund-raising page at gofundme.com/macys-parade-campaign. Everyone donating $25 or more is entered into a raffle to win four grandstand tickets to the parade.