By Karli Molignoni
KU’s marching unit has been selected to perform in this year’s Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 26.
The parade, now in its 96th year, consists of a 1.4-mile route, which ends at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This makes it the longest running Thanksgiving Day parade in the country. The featured groups include choirs, dance groups and marching bands. Santa will also make an appearance throughout the parade.
KUMU will be the only collegiate band playing, and they are one of only two bands chosen to play from all of Pennsylvania. The unit is made up of 150 students and is under the direction of Professor Daniel Neuenschwander.
The band has been preparing for the performance since August. They will be playing “ABC/I Want You Back” from their first field show, along with some Christmas tunes, including “Joy to the World.”
Even though KUMU members are disappointed about not spending the thanksgiving holiday with their families, they are excited for the extraordinary opportunity to play in the parade. On that day, they will be departing from campus at 4:30 a.m.
“Spending Thanksgiving morning [by] waking up at 3 a.m. to catch the bus on time definitely isn’t how I imagined my holiday to begin this year, but I am really looking forward to participating in this event,” said Laura Cressley, senior music education major.
“It’ll be a really great opportunity. It’s not every day that you get to play in the Philly Thanksgiving parade. This is the first Thanksgiving I won’t be able to be with my family, so I’m not too happy about that,” said Luke Wynn, sophomore environmental science major.
The group is hoping that this performance may lead to even more exciting opportunities in their future.
“The Thanksgiving parade is such a huge step for KUMU this year, as it is the first time we have participated in a Thanksgiving Day parade. This will hopefully lead the group to bigger and better things in the future,” said Cressley.
After hours of rehearsal, the band is looking forward to putting on a good show.
“We have so much fun performing, especially in parades, so I’m excited to play for a bigger crowd than normal. We’re going to feel like celebrities,” said Cressley.
The parade begins at 8:30 a.m. and will be broadcasted across the nation. It can be viewed locally on channel 6 ABC, Philadelphia.