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WVU band to be in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A familiar Mountaineer sound will be heard on the streets of New York City this Thanksgiving as the The Pride of West Virginia performs in the 90th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in the University’s history.

The Pride was selected out of 175 applicants. It is the only university band out of the 10 marching bands performing on the streets of Manhattan.

“I think this will really put West Virginia University on the map,” said Drum Major Tayler Marrow. “People know us for our sports, but this will show the nation we have more to offer.”

 With around 3.2 million people watching the parade live and over 50 million people viewing it from home, The Pride will be getting its name out there. The 380 band members will be performing alongside 60 feet-tall balloons, elaborate floats, and many famous artists who have yet to be announced. This is all under the commentary of Today Show hosts Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker.

Assistant Band Director Christopher Nectar rightfully called the performance, “A trip of a lifetime with memories they will never forget.”

But such a prestigious event requires excellence.

“Our marching has to be exact. Our horn angles have to be perfect. We’ve been more nit-picky than normal,” Marrow said. “But I’m more excited than nervous. I know we’ll be ready.”

The band will be leaving Nov. 22 to spend some time in NYC before performing on the 24th, as this is many of the band members first time in the Big Apple.

Freshman Naomi Crickenberger has never been to the city and is humbled to have this opportunity her first year as a Mountaineer.

“I think of all of the amazing people that came before me that didn’t get the opportunity to be apart of something this monumental. I am beyond thankful that the band has made it possible for me to be a part of something bigger than myself.”

 But none of it would be possible without the support of the community. The band relies completely on The Pride Travel Fund, a donation campaign that allows alumni and community members to support and give directly to the band.

“The Pride Travel Fund is one of the greatest things I’ve seen at this University,” Marrow said. “Because of outside contributors the band can travel with no cost to its members. They see how important the Pride of West Virginia is to the state and give us the opportunity to do things like this.”

If you would like to support The Pride in going to NYC visitpridetravelfund.com.

Meanwhile, band members will continue to practice for hours each weekday and countdown the days until the performance of a lifetime.

To see more from The Daily Athenaeum, click here. 

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