One of Macy’s Great Americans

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McKenna Vaughn, Staff Writer

More than half of America tuned in to this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on T.V., but how many people can say they’ve actually been in it? Junior Hannah Duke can. She got the unique opportunity to march in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band and play her flute on live television for the 89th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

“It was amazing,” Duke says about the experience. “We danced, sang at the top of our lungs, and I got to play my flute on live T.V.!”

Duke also made some new friends in the Big Apple. “My roommates and I were all from different states, which I think is pretty cool,” she reflects. “My friends and I actually got to meet the parade ‘Santa’ outside one of the stores we were in. I thought that was a pretty special thing for us to do together.’

Not only did Duke get to march in the Macy’s parade on national T.V. during her stay, but she also took advantage of the opportunity to explore NYC’s nooks and crannies. “I think I saw a Starbucks on every block in Times Square, which was crazy. All the band kids and I went on a bus tour called ‘The Ride’, which is basically a bunch of street performers all through the town. It was really cool,” she said.

As fun as this trip may sound so far, Duke also recollects all the hard work she put into the parade. “On that Monday, we had our first practice, and it was pretty cold. Some sections would go outside for their sectionals, and the flute section was one of them. It was probably 25 degrees every morning, and it stayed like that for quite a few hours. Then we all got together and started to work on our Herald Square performance,” she says. “On the day of the parade, we had to be up at midnight and be ready to leave by 1:30 a.m. We rehearsed our performance about two times, and then at about 4:30 a.m. we left and waited for about two hours for the parade to start. We marched about three miles, and then we performed on live television!”

“This trip is definitely something I would encourage all band kids to do,” Duke says. “I got to experience New York, meet people from all around the country, and make a bunch of new friends. It was the best experience ever!”