AMHERST, Mass. - The award-winning University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band has been chosen to perform in the 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a nationally televised event that draws more than 50 million viewers and 3.5 million live spectators.
At a special meeting held today at the George N. Parks Band Building at UMass Amherst, officials from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade surprised band members with the news of their selection to play in the annual holiday spectacular. The band’s high-profile appearance in the parade comes as UMass Amherst celebrates its sesquicentennial next year.
"We are so thrilled to welcome the Minuteman Marching Band into our band family as they prepare to perform in the 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade," said Wesley Whatley, creative director of the parade. "With a rich musical legacy and accomplished playing on the field, our audience is sure to be blown away by the debut performance of UMass in the 2013 parade."
"Being selected for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a great honor for the Minuteman Marching Band," said Timothy Todd Anderson, director of the 350-strong ensemble. "The Minuteman Band has a proud history, but this is something we’ve never done before. The selection is a fitting tribute to the many great people who have made the Minuteman Band what it is today: Professor George Parks, Thom Hannum, Michael Klesch, Colin McNutt and many others, not to mention all the wonderful students who have marched in our ranks over the years. For everyone who has ever been a part of the Minuteman Band, this invitation is because of you!"
"UMass Amherst excels in many endeavors, and the Minuteman Marching Band reflects our commitment to excellence and achievement. The band richly deserves this honor to perform in one of the nation’s most prominent entertainment events," said UMass Amherst Chancellor Robert C. Holub.
Macy’s selection is the latest honor for the band known as the "Power and Class of New England." During its long history, the band performed at three presidential inaugurals and in 1998 received the most prestigious honor bestowed upon college bands, the Louis C. Sudler Trophy, which is awarded in recognition of "the highest of musical standards and innovative marching routines and ideas, and which has made important contributions to the advancement of the performance standards of college marching bands over a period of several years."