Brownsburg band surprised with invitation to Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade

(Photo: WTHR)
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BROWNSBURG, Ind. (WTHR) — They've spent countless hours practicing and performing, and on Tuesday afternoon, the marching band at Brownsburg High School saw all that hard work pay off in one unforgettable moment.

"It gives me great pride and great pleasure that I announce tonight, for the first time in this school's history, The Sound of Brownsburg will represent this school and represent the state of Indiana and perform in New York City at the 2020 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," Wesley Whatley with Macy's told the crowd of students, parents and teachers gathered at the school.

Whatley said Macy's selected only nine bands to perform in the 2020 parade after receiving hundreds of applications.

"The band will represent this school and this city and this state in front of three-and-a-half million spectators on the route, many of them 40 and 50 stories in the air and over 50 million people on television," Whatley told the crowd.

That's a lot of eyes, but snare drum player Matthew Smith says he's ready.

"The running joke that we have right now in the drum line is 'Don't drop the stick, everybody's watching' but it's gonna be fun. I'm going to be excited," said Smith.

"This is so special because every year we're watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and every year we always think about 'Wow, what if we got to do that?' And now, it's kind of like a dream come true," said the band's future drum major Kami Harless.

The dream took some time. Brownsburg came close to being chosen last year but didn't get in, so they applied again.


"This year was their year," Whatley said.

The folks at Macy's gave the kids a drum head. It's going to hang in the band room for the next 18 months as motivation about where they're headed and all the hard work it's going to take to get there.

That hard work that started 30 minutes after Tuesday's big surprise with a little marching practice.

"No one would do this if they didn't want to put in all the hours and hard work. We really enjoy what we're doing and it's so much fun for all of us," said Harless.

"The level these students have come to perform, they're just remarkable kids and families," said band director Tracy Runyon.

"It's going to be a journey," said Smith, smiling.