BCHS Band and Color Guard in New York City



BCHS band and color guard at the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.

Madison McClanahan, Staff Writer

The Parade first took place in 1924, tying it for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States with America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit (with both parades being four years younger than Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Day Parade). With such a historical event happening it’s a pretty big deal that our band and color guard performed in the parade! This was a big deal for the band! Not only did they perform in the parade, but they also watched the Rockettes and Lion King on Broadway, they went on a Ferry ride around the Statue of Liberty and had thanksgiving dinner, and they also Black Friday shopping in Times Square.

Now we hear from the director of the BCHS band, Michael Stone, about the experience in the parade.

Q: Mr. Stone recently the band had been invited to go the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which you attended over thanksgiving break, correct?

A: Yes

Q: You guys took a bus, correct?

A: Yes, we took a bus

Q: How did you all occupy yourselves during that time and how long was the ride?

A: Honestly, I just told everybody to go to sleep, but we watched movies and listened to music. We made about 4 stops so we could go to the restroom, stretch, and eat. It was about a 14-hour trip both ways, so it wasn’t too bad it was just a lot of time to occupy. I slept most of the time.

Q: What were some of the activities you all did while in New York besides the parade?

A: Well, we went to the one world trade center, the 911 memorial, we to see the Rockettes Christmas spectacular, we then did an educational tour throughout the city, we went to the statue of liberty, and we went to go see the Lion King. We also got to spend some time in time square too, so people could shop on their own.

 Q: That sounds fun. This whole experience, would you say was nerve-wracking?

A: Oh, it was nerve-wracking, just trying to keep up with that many people and the pressure of being on national TV. However, it was really fun, I’m glad we got to take the trip ’cause I know for a lot of people this might be the only time they get to go to New York City in their life. It was really fun just to see how much fun everybody else was having on the trip.

Talking to Mr. Stone was a great way to relive the excitement of going to New York. Now we switch over to the director of the BCHS Color Guard, Darnell Rawls, to get a second statement about the first-hand experience of going to New York with the BCHS band and color guard.

Q: So, Mr. Darnell, I had talked to Mr. Stone about the band going but I know the color guard also went to the Macy’s thanksgiving parade during thanksgiving break because they were invited, correct?

A: Absolutely

Q: So how were you guys invited, was it an application or was it invitational because they saw your performances?

A: Well, the short answer is Yes. So, the band had an extensive application process where they had to send in videos, videos about where we are from, what the town of Paris is like, what our community is like, and then they did get to see a video of what I think was two fall performances plus this year’s performance. I don’t remember, I wasn’t involved in the full application process, because it started before I was hired, so I don’t have all those answers, but I’m pretty sure that’s how that process goes.

Q: I see. Would you say the color guard was nervous?

A: Oh yeah, I would say that there were some nerves from everybody.

Q: What would you say your favorite part was?

A: Honestly, getting to spend the time with the kids somewhere, so many of them hadn’t ever been. You know this is Paris, Kentucky, a lot of those kids had never even seen a big city before, so getting to experience Time Square with all the lights and all the people. Even things like the traffic, I feel like were things these kids had never really experienced. It was awesome getting to share that with them, ’cause I’ve been in New York before, I know what it was like. I remember what it was like getting to do it in high school, but to see other kids get to experience that and be subject to things like Broadway and how we got to go see The Lion King! You know some of them haven’t been to the theater much less a musical on Broadway. So, it was cool to get to share the experience with them, the entire experience with them. The bus ride, the malls, shopping when we had time, staying in the hotel, I mean the entire trip was just magical.

Q: So overall you guys had a great time.

A: Heck yes. 10/10. Would do again.