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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

SA’s Churchill Chargers Head To Manhattan, And The Macy’s Parade

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
The Churchill Chargers conduct their last rehearsal in Texas before heading to New York City

One of San Antonio’s high school marching bands will make their broadcast television debut, during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York on Thursday morning. While your turkey is roasting, the Churchill Chargers will have a short solo performance on NBC.

For marching bands, this is the mother of all parades. The 200 Churchill band students will take to the streets of Manhattan, alongside 50-foot helium incarnations of Snoopy, Spiderman, and SpongeBob. They’ve been preparing for two years and Assistant Band Director, Charles Stolen, said they have had about eight hours of rehearsal a week over the past few months, coupled with dealing with football and UIL season.

“It’s phenomenal to see these kids everyday with smiles on their faces, just like, ‘tell us what to do, we’ll do it,’ the vibe is awesome,” said Stolen.

Along the 2.6-mile parade route, the band will play Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ and Journey’s ‘Any Way You Want It.’ Senior Drum Major Haley Wood said she was most excited to see New York and a performance of a special show at Carnegie Hall. “It’s a lot different; different people, different attitude, It will be the trip of a lifetime, it’s really exciting to have this as a senior trip.”

Fundraising was no easy task. At $2,300 for each person, the total trip is costing nearly half a million dollars. But for everyone involved, it’s worth the expense. The Chargers are one of 10 high school bands invited to the parade; they will have a 90-second performance in front of Macy’s around 10:30 a.m CST, Thursday, on NBC. 

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules