PMK selected to perform at 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

By Elai Kobayashi-Solomon (@elaikoso)
When marching band members were told by band director Chris Barnum to meet in the  band room last Thursday morning for an announcement, many didn’t know what to expect.
“[Barnum] said it was like a secret meeting,” sophomore Nick Serio said. “We had no idea what was going on.”
To their surprise, band members were greeted by members of Prospect’s administration, including Principal Michelle Dowling, along with District 214 Board of Education President Bill Dussling. And amid a shower of confetti and cheering, the Marching Knights received the news: Prospect’s marching band had been selected to perform in the 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
According to Barnum, Prospect was one of only ten schools around the nation to be selected from a pool of 175 to perform in the Macy’s Day Parade. In order to be selected, Barnum had to send in a comprehensive application which included everything from letters of recommendation to video footage of a previous Marching Knight’s performance. Prospect was the only school to be selected from Illinois.
“This just really shows what we already know; we have a world class opportunity down in our music wing,” Associate Principal Scott McDermott said. “All the work put in not just by the students but by the clinicians and the teachers and the parents and all the supported hasn’t gone for naught.”
Because the band was selected to play in the 2016 parade, current junior and seniors won’t be able to perform in New York City. While this may be a little disappointing for the upperclassmen, Serio says that he’s grateful for the work that they’ve put in to the band program.
‘I think [the upperclassmen] are a bit upset they can’t go,” Serio said. “But I also think they’re glad to be a part of the people that allowed us to qualify for the parade.”
Although Prospect has performed in the Macy’ Day Parade twice in the past, in the early 1990’s and in 2002, Barnum says that it is the first time since he has been band director that the school was selected to perform at such a prestigious and famous event, and that both he and the Marching Knight members are incredibly excited to be able to perform at such a large venue.
“There are going to be around three and a half million people on the streets and 50 million people watching on TV,” Barnum said. “I just hope it’s something that the kids can have a great time preparing for, and I hope to paint our school and our community in the best light possible.”