North Hardin High School band prepares for moment in the spotlig - WDRB 41 Louisville News

North Hardin High School band prepares for moment in the spotlight

Posted: Updated: Jan 12, 2016 11:47 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- For many, a traditional Thanksgiving experience includes the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year, a Kentucky high school band will have a once in a lifetime view of the parade, marching among the giant balloons in front of millions of people.

More than 200 band members from a town of just over 20,000 people will perform in front of 50 million people.

"Radcliff, Kentucky's not really known for anything, so it's just a lot of pride in the community as a whole," said senior band member, Devon Jobson.

Preparation for the parade started nearly two years ago when the band found out they'd been chosen.

"I know there were over 100 bands that applied, and they pick six high school bands each year, so it was pretty competitive," said director Brian Froedge.

Since then, it's been hours of marching and playing, making last minute adjustments before the biggest performance of their lives.

"It's not just going to be our friends and family. It's people watching in New York, or people watching in Texas, people watching us in California," said drum major Erykah Ochoa.

More than 3.5 million people will line the streets of New York for the iconic parade, a far cry from the empty residential streets of Radcliff where the band practices. But directors hope the two-hour after school practices, sometimes in the rain, will prepare students for the grueling 2.5 mile march.

"We're going to have to mentally prepare ourselves, physically prepare ourselves," said Ochoa.

The parade is topped off by a 1-minute, 15-second choreographed performance. It's a top secret routine that no one can see until the day of the show.

"We're used to sharing our music with other people so it's different to think we have to keep quiet about it and keep it hush hush under lock and key," said Ochoa.

Band member are giving thanks for this opportunity that allows them to celebrate the holiday in the national spotlight.

"It's a once in a lifetime chance, a huge accomplishment for our band," said Ochoa. "It's exciting to think about, to be able to show my kids or my grand kids." 

The band leaves the Monday before Thanksgiving for New York. They're traveling by bus and will also be fitting in some sightseeing before and after the parade.

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